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Rule

Metconazole; Pesticide Tolerances

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation amends the current tolerances for residues of metconazole in or on corn, field, stover and corn, pop, stover. BASF Corporation, requested these tolerance amendments under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective March 5, 2014. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before May 5, 2014, 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:

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0656, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Start Printed Page 12409Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/​dockets.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lois Rossi, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: RDFRNotices@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

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

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://www.ecfr.gov/​cgi-bin/​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-2013-0656 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 May 5, 2014. 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 (excluding any Confidential Business Information (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 the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0656, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.
  • Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/​dockets/​contacts.htm.

Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/​dockets.

II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

In the Federal Register of October 25, 2013 (78 FR 63938) (FRL-9901-96), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 3F8157) by BASF Corporation, 26 Davis Drive, P.O. Box 13528, RTP, NC 27709-3528. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.617 be amended by increasing tolerances for residues of the fungicide metconazole, in or on corn, field, stover from 4.5 parts per million (ppm) to 30.0 ppm and corn, pop, stover from 4.5 ppm to 30.0 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by BASF Corporation, 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 FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), 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 metconazole including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with metconazole follows. Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the effects caused by metconazole can be found in www.regulations.gov, under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0656-0004, entitled “Metconazole. Additional Residue Data on Corn Stover. Summary of Residue Data and within the memo entitled “Metconazole. Summary of Risk Issues Associated with Increase in Tolerance for Corn Stover”, under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0656-0005.

To demonstrate the safety of the increases in these corn stover tolerances, EPA is relying on its most recent tolerance action on metconazole published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2011 (76 FR 50898) (FRL-8882-7). See also 74 FR 21260, FRL-8408-6 (May 7, 2009) (initially establishing the corn stover tolerances). In the 2011 tolerance action, EPA concluded that aggregate exposure to metconazole is safe assuming all treated commodities, including both human and animal foods, had metconazole residues at the tolerance level. Because Start Printed Page 12410EPA assessed metconazole exposure assuming tolerance level residues—a level that is set above the level of residues expected from legal use of a pesticide—unless tolerance levels on human foods increase, the 2011 action remains an up-to-date assessment of metconazole risk.

Corn stover is an animal feed. Thus, humans are only exposed to metconazole on animal feed as a result of consuming meat, milk, or egg products from livestock that have eaten commodities containing metconazole residues. After examining the impact of the proposed increase on corn stover tolerances on residue levels in meat, milk, and eggs, EPA has concluded that any residue increases in meat, milk, and eggs will be minor (principally due to the minor role that corn stover plays in the livestock diet), and thus meat, milk, and egg tolerances will not need to be increased. In other words, EPA determined that the proposed increase in tolerance levels in corn stover will not result in metconazole residues exceeding the existing meat, milk, and egg tolerances.

Accordingly, because EPA in the 2011 metconazole action assumed tolerance level residues in meat, milk, and eggs in assessing metconazole risk, and the proposed increase in the corn stover tolerances will not necessitate an increase in those tolerances, the 2011 determination of safety applies with equal force to this action. For these reasons, and in reliance on the findings in the August 17, 2011 and May 7, 2009 Federal Register actions, EPA concludes that there is reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, and to infants and children, from aggregate exposure to metconazole residues.

IV. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

An adequate high performance liquid chromatography method with tandem mass spectrometry (Method D0604), entitled “The Determination of Residues of BAS 555 F and its Metabolites in Corn and Cotton Matrices Using LC/MS/MS”), with the German multi-residue method DFG S19 as a confirmatory method, is adequate as an enforcement method. Method D0604 determines metconazole (cis- and trans-isomers), 1,2,4-triazole (T), triazolyalanine (TA), and triazolylacetic acid (TAA). DFG S19 uses gas chromatography/nitrogen phosphorus detection (GC/NPD) or gas chromatography/mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS). The methods 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 United Nations 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 metconazole on corn, field, stover and corn, pop, stover.

V. Conclusion

Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of metconazole, measured as the sum of cis- and trans- isomers, in or on corn, field, stover at 30 ppm and corn, pop, stover at 30 ppm.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This final rule establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) 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 FFDCA section 408(d), 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 FFDCA section 408(n)(4). 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) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

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) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

VII. Congressional Review Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 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 the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

  • Environmental protection
  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Agricultural commodities
  • Pesticides and pests
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
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Dated: February 24, 2014.

Lois Rossi,

Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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PART 180—[AMENDED]

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

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

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2. In § 180.617, paragraph (a), revise the following entries in the table to read as follows:

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Metconazole; tolerances for residues.

(a) * * *

CommodityParts per million
*    *    *    *    *
Corn, field, stover30
*    *    *    *    *
Corn, pop, stover30
*    *    *    *    *
* * * * *
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[FR Doc. 2014-04865 Filed 3-4-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P