Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 24-epibrassinolide in or on all food commodities when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices. Suntton International Inc., submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of 24-epibrassinolide under FFDCA.
This regulation is effective June 17, 2019. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before August 16, 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-2017-0487, is available at http://www.regulations.gov 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 http://www.epa.gov/dockets.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: BPPDFRNotices@epa.gov.
End Further Info
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 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Publishing 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(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-2017-0487 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 August 16, 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 Start Printed Page 27967notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0487, 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.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.
In the Federal Register of December 15, 2017 (82 FR 59604) (FRL-9970-50), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide tolerance petition (PP 7F8599) by Suntton International Inc., 901 H St., Suite 610, Sacramento, CA 95814. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 24-epibrassinolide in or on all food commodities. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner Suntton International Inc., which is available in the docket via http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.
III. Final Rule
A. EPA's Safety Determination
Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(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. Pursuant to FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(B), in establishing or maintaining in effect an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance, EPA must take into account the factors set forth in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C), which require EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance or tolerance exemption, 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 . . . .” Additionally, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D) requires that EPA consider “available information concerning the cumulative effects of [a particular pesticide's] . . . residues and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”
EPA evaluated the available toxicity and exposure data on 24-epibrassinolide and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability, as well as the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.
24-epibrassinolide (24-Epi) is a naturally occurring brassinosteroid, which belongs to a class of plant steroid hormones. 24-epibrassinolide has been recently found to regulate seed germination, seedling growth, root development, and photosynthesis, and to enhance immune response against biotic and abiotic stressors. Like other brassinosteroids, 24-epibrassinolide is ubiquitously distributed in the plant kingdom at low concentrations in a variety of plant organs, including pollens, anthers, seeds, leaves, stems, roots, flowers and grains, and as a result, humans are exposed to this substance.
As a pesticide, 24-epibrassinolide is a synthetically produced brassinosteroid that is structurally similar to naturally occuring brassinsteroids and that is intended for use as a plant growth regulator (PGR) to improve crop quality and yield by promoting plant growth, defense, and development. Based on proposed label application rates, 24-epibrassinolide is applied at low concentrations, which is typical of a PGR.
Based on the data submitted in support of this petition and the comprehensive risk assessment conducted by the Agency (included in the Docket for this action), EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposures to 24-epibrassinolide, including dietary exposures from the consumption of food treated with this active ingredient in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices, or food containing naturally occurring residues of 24-epibrassinolide, residues in drinking water, and other non-occupational exposures. EPA has made this determination because available toxicology data indicate that the active ingredient is not acutely toxic and, based upon a weight of the evidence (WOE) approach, it has been determined not to be a developmental toxicant, a mutagen, or toxic via repeat oral exposure (i.e. not subchronically toxic via the oral route). As such the Agency has not identified any endpoints of concern for 24-epibrassinolide and has conducted a qualitative assessment of exposure. The Agency has determined that residues of 24-epibrassinolide in drinking water are expected to be negligible since significant residues are not expected due to low application rates and currently proposed use patterns. Non-occupational exposures are anticipated because 24-epibrassinolide may be used in residential settings, such as turf, however, no toxicological endpoints have been identified. Therefore, a residential assessment was not conducted for 24-epibrassinolide. An explanation of the data upon which EPA relied and its risk assessment based on those data can be found within the April 15, 2019, document entitled “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) Safety Assessment for 24-epibrassinolide.” This document, as well as other relevant information, is available in the docket for this action as described under ADDRESSES.
Based on its safety determination, EPA is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 24-epibrassinolide.
B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology
An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes due to lack of concern for exposures, which supports the establishment of an exemption for residues of 24-epibrassinolide.
IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
This action establishes a tolerance exemption under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to EPA. 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 Start Printed Page 27968Executive 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, April 23, 1997), nor is it a regulatory action under Executive Order 13771, entitled “Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs” (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017). 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 exemption in this action, 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. As a result, this action does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, EPA 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, EPA 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 EPA's 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).
V. 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
End List of Subjects
- Environmental protection
- Administrative practice and procedure
- Agricultural commodities
- Pesticides and pests
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Dated: June 4, 2019.
Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.
Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:
Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
Start Amendment Part
2. Add § 180.1366 to subpart D to read as follows: End Amendment Part
End Supplemental Information
24-Epibrassinolide; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.
Residues of the plant growth regulator 24-epibrassinolide in or on all food commodities are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance, when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices.
[FR Doc. 2019-12743 Filed 6-14-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P