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Rule

Rimsulfuron; Pesticide Tolerances

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of rimsulfuron in or on the caneberry subgroup 13-07A and the bushberry subgroup 13-07B. Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective January 25, 2012. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before March 26, 2012, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1017. All documents in the docket are listed in the docket index available at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available in the electronic docket at http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard copy, at the OPP Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew Ertman, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-9367; email address: ertman.andrew@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to those engaged in the following activities:

  • Crop production (NAICS code 111).
  • Animal production (NAICS code 112).
  • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).
  • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to provide a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1017 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before March 26, 2012. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing that does not contain any CBI for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit a copy of your non-CBI objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1017, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
  • Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. Deliveries are only accepted during the Docket Facility's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

II. Summary of Petitioned-for Tolerance

In the Federal Register of February 25, 2011 (76 FR 10584) (FRL-8863-3), EPA issued a notice pursuant to section 408(d)(3) of FFDCA, 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 0E7809) by IR-4, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Rd. East, Suite 201W., Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.478 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide rimsulfuron, N-((4,6-dimethoxypyrimidin-2-yl)aminocarbonyl)-3-(ethylsulfonyl)-2-pyridinesulfonamide, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on caneberry, subgroup 13-07A at 0.01parts per million (ppm) and bushberry, subgroup 13-07B at 0.01 ppm. That notice referenced a summary of the petition prepared by DuPont, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue * * *.”

Consistent with section 408(b)(2)(D) of FFDCA, and the factors specified in section 408(b)(2)(D) of FFDCA, EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for rimsulfuron including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with rimsulfuron follows.

A. Toxicological Profile

EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

Rimsulfuron has low acute toxicity by oral, dermal, and inhalation routes of exposure. It is a moderate eye irritant and is not a dermal sensitizer. In subchronic and chronic toxicity studies in rats, toxic effects included decreased body weight, decreased body weight gain, increased relative liver and absolute kidney weights, and diuresis. In the subchronic study in mice, increased red blood cell (RBC) and hemoglobin, and decreased body weight gain and food efficiency were observed. In the chronic study in mice, decreased body weight, increased incidences of dilation and cysts in the glandular stomach, and degeneration of the testicular artery and tunica albuginea were observed. In the subchronic study in dogs, diuresis was indicated by urinary volume, platelet concentration and kidney weights accompanied by decreased urinary osmolality. In the chronic study in dogs, increased absolute liver and kidney weights, increased seminiferous tubule degeneration, and increased number of spermatid giant cells present in epididymides in males were observed.

In the developmental toxicity study in rats, no toxicity was seen at the highest dose tested (HDT). In the developmental toxicity study in rabbits, and in the 2-generation reproduction toxicity study in rats, developmental/offspring toxicity was seen in the presence of maternal/systemic toxicity and at similar dose levels. There is no quantitative or qualitative evidence of increased susceptibility following pre- and/or postnatal exposures, and there are no concerns or residual uncertainties.

Rimsulfuron was classified by EPA as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans” based on the absence of tumors in carcinogenicity studies conducted in rats and mice.

Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by rimsulfuron as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Rimsulfuron. Human Health Risk Assessment for Proposed Section 3 Uses on Caneberry and Bushberry,” pp. 31-33 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1017.

B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which the NOAEL and the LOAEL are identified. Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for rimsulfuron used for human risk assessment is shown in the Table of this unit.

Table—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Rimsulfuron for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment

Exposure/ScenarioPoint of departure and uncertainty/safety factorsRfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessmentStudy and toxicological effects
Acute dietary (Females 13-50 years of age and General population including infants and children)No appropriate endpoint attributable to a single dose identified.
Chronic dietary (All populations)NOAEL = 11.8 mg/kg/day UFA = 10x UFH = 10x FQPA SF = 1xChronic RfD = 0.118 mg/kg/day cPAD = 0.118 mg/kg/dayCombined Chronic/Carcinogenicity-Rat LOAEL= 121 mg/kg/day in males; 568mg/kg/day in females (NOAEL=163 mg/kg/day), based on decreased body weight gains and liver effects.
Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation)Rimsulfuron is considered “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans” due to the absence of tumors in rat and mouse carcinogenicity studies.
UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies). FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. Mg/kg/day = milligrams/kilograms/day.

C. Exposure Assessment

1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to rimsulfuron, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing rimsulfuron tolerances in 40 CFR 180.478. EPA assessed dietary exposures from rimsulfuron in food as follows:

i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for rimsulfuron; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA 1994-1996 and 1998 Continuing Surveys of Food by Individuals (CSFII). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed that rimsulfuron residues were present at tolerance levels in all commodities for which tolerances have been established, and that 100% of those crops were treated with rimsulfuron.

iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that rimsulfuron does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for rimsulfuron. Tolerance level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for rimsulfuron in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of rimsulfuron. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

Based on the First Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST) and Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCI-GROW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of rimsulfuron for acute exposures are estimated to be 5.596 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 0.016 ppb for ground water and for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 0.120 ppb for surface water and 0.016 ppb for ground water.

Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For the chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 0.120 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Rimsulfuron is not registered for any specific use patterns that would result in residential exposure.

4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

EPA has not found rimsulfuron to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and rimsulfuron does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that rimsulfuron does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. In the developmental toxicity study in rats, no developmental toxicity was seen at the HDT. In the developmental toxicity study in rabbits and in the 2-generation study in rats, developmental and offspring toxicity were seen in the presence of maternal/systemic toxicity. Consequently, there is no evidence of quantitative or qualitative increased susceptibility following in utero or postnatal exposures. Therefore, there are no concerns, nor residual uncertainties for pre- and/or postnatal toxicity after exposure to rimsulfuron.

3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x. That decision is based on the following findings:

i. The toxicity database for rimsulfuron is complete with the exception of the acute and subchronic neurotoxicity and the immunotoxicity studies which are required by the new part 158 guidelines. Despite the requirement for these studies, there is no evidence that rimsulfuron either causes neurotoxic effects or directly targets the immune system, and therefore an additional uncertainty factor is not needed to account for the lack of these studies.

ii. A developmental neurotoxicity study is not required because neither the subchronic or chronic toxicity studies in rats and dogs, the developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, nor the 2-generation reproduction study indicated that the nervous system was specifically affected by treatment with rimsulfuron.

iii. There is no evidence that rimsulfuron results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study.

iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to rimsulfuron in drinking water. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by rimsulfuron.

E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the aPAD and cPAD. For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

1. Acute risk. An acute aggregate risk assessment takes into account acute exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water. No adverse effect resulting from a single oral exposure was identified and no acute dietary endpoint was selected. Therefore, rimsulfuron is not expected to pose an acute risk.

2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to rimsulfuron from food and water will utilize < 1% of the cPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for rimsulfuron.

3. Short- and intermediate-term risk. Short- and intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account short- and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

Short- and intermediate-term adverse effects were identified; however, rimsulfuron is not registered for any use patterns that would result in short- and/or intermediate-term residential exposure. Short- and intermediate-term risk is assessed based on short- and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no short- and/or intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess short- and intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of short- and intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating short- and intermediate-term risk for rimsulfuron.

4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, rimsulfuron is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

5. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to rimsulfuron residues.

IV. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

Adequate enforcement methodology (liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectroscopy (LC/MS/MS)) is available to enforce the tolerance expression. The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd. Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: residuemethods@epa.gov.

B. International Residue Limits

In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

The Codex has not established a MRL for rimsulfuron.

V. Conclusion

Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of rimsulfuron, N-((4,6-dimethoxypyrimidin-2-yl)aminocarbonyl)-3-(ethylsulfonyl)-2-pyridinesulfonamide, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on caneberry, subgroup 13-07A at 0.01 ppm; and bushberry, subgroup 13-07B at 0.01 ppm.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This final rule establishes tolerances under section 408(d) of FFDCA in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this final rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This final rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under section 408(d) of FFDCA, such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

This final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of section 408(n)(4) of FFDCA. As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this final rule. In addition, this final rule does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4).

This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

VII. Congressional Review Act

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

Dated: January 11, 2012.

Lois Rossi,

Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

PART 180—[AMENDED]

1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

2. Section 180.478 is amended by alphabetically adding the following commodities to the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Rimsulfuron; tolerances for residues.

(a) * * *

CommodityParts per million
*    *    *    *    *
Bushberry, subgroup 13-07B0.01
Caneberry, subgroup 13-07A0.01
*    *    *    *    *
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2012-1258 Filed 1-24-12; 8:45 am]

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