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Glufosinate Ammonium; Pesticide Tolerances

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Final rule.


This regulation amends tolerances for residues of glufosinate ammonium in or on Olive; Fruit, Stone (crop group 12-12); Nuts, Tree (crop group 14-12) and Soybean Hulls.


This regulation is effective May 15, 2019. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before July 15, 2019, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).


The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0207, is available at or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton 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​dockets.

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Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address:

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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​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(g), 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-2018-0207 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 July 15, 2019. 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-2018-0207, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: 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​dockets/​contacts.html.

Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at​dockets.

II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

In the Federal Register of August 14, 2018 (83 FR 40272) (FRL-9981-10), EPA issued a notice pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP#8F8668) by Bayer CropScience, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12014, RTP, NCP 27709. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.473 Start Printed Page 21707be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) monoammonium salt, and its metabolites, 2-(acetylamino)-4-(hydroxymethyl phosphinyl) butanoic acid, and 3-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) propanoic acid, expressed as 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) butanoic acid equivalents, in or on olive at 0.50 parts per million (ppm); fruit, stone (crop group 12-12) at 0.30 ppm; nut, tree (crop group 14-12) at 0.50 ppm, and soybean hulls at 10 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Bayer CropScience, the registrant, which is available in the docket, 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 glufosinate ammonium including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with glufosinate ammonium follows.

In the Federal Register of September 26, 2012 (77 FR 59106) (FRL-9363-6), EPA established tolerances for residues of glufosinate ammonium in or on corn, sweet, forage; corn, sweet, kernel plus cob with husks removed; corn, sweet, stover; fruit, citrus (crop group 10-10); olive; fruit, pome (crop group 11-10); and fruit, stone (crop group 12-12). EPA concluded a risk assessment in 2013 for the registration review of glufosinate and in 2017 for an increase in use rates in/on canola, corn (field and sweet), and soybean and to incorporate 6(a)(2) data on pistachio. The 2018 risk assessment for an increase in tolerances for olive; fruit, stone (group 12-12); nut, tree (group 14-12); and soybean, hulls concluded that the 2012, 2013, and 2017 risk assessments support the tolerance increases. The tolerance increases do not increase the dietary or aggregate risk estimates. A detailed discussion of the aggregate risk assessments and determination of safety for the tolerance increases can be found at in documents titled “Glufosinate Ammonium. Abbreviated Risk Assessment for Increase in Tolerances for Olive, Stone Fruit (Group 12-12), Tree Nuts (Group 14-12), and Soybean Hull.”, “Glufosinate ammonium. Human Health Risk Assessment for the Label Amendment Increasing the Use Rate in/on Canola, Com (Field and sweet), and Soybean; and to Incorporate 6(a)(2) Data on Pistachio.”, “Glufosinate Ammonium. Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review.”, and “Glufosinate Ammonium. Updated Human Health Risk Assessment for the Proposed New Use of Glufosinate Ammonium in/on Citrus Fruit (Crop Group 10), Pome Fruit (Crop Group 11), Stone Fruit (Crop Group 12), Olives and Sweet Corn” in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0207.

EPA concludes that there is reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to glufosinate ammonium residues.

IV. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

An adequate enforcement methodology (high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry (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:

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 glufosinate ammonium in or on olive or soybean hulls. Codex has set a MRL for stone fruit at 0.15 ppm, and a MRL for tree nuts at 0.1 ppm. EPA cannot harmonize recommended U.S. tolerance values with the Codex MRLs for stone fruit or tree nuts because the lower MRLs could be exceeded with the uses petitioned-for in this action.

V. Conclusion

Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of glufosinate ammonium, butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) monoammonium salt, and its metabolites, 2-(acetylamino)-4-(hydroxymethyl phosphinyl) butanoic acid, and 3-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) propanoic acid, expressed as 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) butanoic acid equivalents, in or on olive at 0.50 ppm; fruit, stone (crop group 12-12) at 0.30 ppm; nut, trees (crop group 14-12) at 0.50 ppm; and soybean, hulls at 10 ppm.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This action 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 action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action 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, Start Printed Page 21708April 23, 1997). This action 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 action 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 action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (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 (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
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: April 3, 2019.

Donna Davis,

Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

End Signature

Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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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 § 180.473, revise the entries “Fruit, stone, group 12-12”; “Nut, tree, group 14-12”; “Olive”; and “Soybean, hulls” in the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Glufosinate ammonium; tolerances for residues.

(a) * * *

CommodityParts per million
*    *    *    *    *
Fruit, stone, group 12-120.30
*    *    *    *    *
Nut, tree, group 14-120.50
*    *    *    *    *
Soybean, hulls10
* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-10054 Filed 5-14-19; 8:45 am]