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Etoxazole; Pesticide Tolerances

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of etoxazole in or on beet, sugar, roots and beet, sugar, leaves. The Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested this tolerance under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective December 5, 2019. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before February 3, 2020 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-2018-0644, 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:

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: 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 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, 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-2018-0644 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 February 3, 2020. 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-2018-0644, 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.

II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

In the Federal Register of March 18, 2018 (84 FR 9737) (FRL-9989-71), 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 8E8701) by IR-4, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W. Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180.593 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the insecticide etoxazole, (2-(2,6-difluorophenyl)-4-[4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-2-ethoxyphenyl]-4,5-dihydrooxazole), in or on the following sugar beet commodities: Roots at 0.02 parts per million (ppm); dried pulp at 0.04 ppm; and leaves at 1 ppm. In addition, the petition requested tolerances for etoxazole residues in or on the leaves of many other commodities at 1 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Valent U.S.A. Corporation, Start Printed Page 66627the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA is establishing tolerances that vary from what the petitioner requested, in accordance with section 408(d)(4)(A)(i). The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.C.

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 etoxazole including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with etoxazole follows.

A. Toxicological Profile

EPA has evaluated the available toxicity database 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.

The effects in the etoxazole database show liver toxicity in all species tested (enzyme release, hepatocellular swelling and histopathological indicators), and the severity does not appear to increase with time. In rats only, there were effects on incisors (elongation, whitening, and partial loss of upper and/or lower incisors). There is no evidence of neurotoxicity or immunotoxicity. No toxicity was seen at the limit dose in a 28-day dermal toxicity study in rats.

No increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibilities were observed following in utero exposure to rats or rabbits in the developmental studies; however, offspring toxicity was more severe (increased pup mortality) than maternal toxicity (increased liver and adrenal weights) at the same dose (158.7 milligram/kilogram/day (mg/kg/day)) in the rat reproduction study indicating increased qualitative susceptibility. Etoxazole is not mutagenic and not likely to be carcinogenic based on the lack of carcinogenicity effects in the database.

Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by etoxazole 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, “Etoxazole: Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review and a Proposed Section 3 Use on Sugar Beets” at pages 33-37 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0644.

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://www2.epa.gov/​pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/​assessing-human-health-risk-pesticides.

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for etoxazole used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Etoxazole for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment

Exposure/scenarioPOD and uncertainty/FQPA safety factorsRfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessmentStudy and toxicological effects
Chronic dietary (All populations)NOAEL= 4.62 mg/kg/day UFA = 10X UFH = 10X FQPA SF = 1XcPAD = cRfD = 0.046 mg/kg/dayChronic Oral Toxicity Study—Dog. LOAEL = 23.5 mg/kg/day based upon increased alkaline phosphatase activity, increased liver weights, liver enlargement (females), and incidences of centrilobular hepatocellular swelling in the liver.
Start Printed Page 66628
Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation)EPA has classified etoxazole as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).

C. Exposure Assessment

1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to etoxazole, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing etoxazole tolerances in 40 CFR 180.593. EPA assessed dietary exposures from etoxazole 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 etoxazole; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment, EPA used the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model software with the Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM-FCID), Version 3.16. This software uses food consumption data from the USDA National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA; 2003-2008). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed tolerance-level residues and 100% crop treated (PCT) for all food commodities. EPA's 2018 default processing factors were used except in cases where adequate processing data were available. In the cases where there was no significant concentration, the default processing factors were set to 1.

iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has classified etoxazole as “not likely” to be carcinogenic 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 etoxazole. 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 etoxazole in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of etoxazole. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/​pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/​about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

Etoxazole residues of concern in drinking water, which were used in the dietary exposure assessment for this new use, include the parent and two major metabolites, R-8 and R-13. Based on the First Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST), and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of etoxazole for chronic exposures are estimated to be 4.761 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and <0.01 ppb for ground water.

Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For the chronic dietary exposure and risk assessment, the water concentration of value 4.761 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).

Etoxazole 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.”

Unlike other pesticides for which EPA has followed a cumulative risk approach based on a common mechanism of toxicity, EPA has not made a common mechanism of toxicity finding as to etoxazole and any other substances and etoxazole does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this action, therefore, EPA has not assumed that etoxazole has 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 website at http://www2.epa.gov/​pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/​cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

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. No increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibilities were observed following in utero exposure to rats or rabbits in the developmental studies. There is evidence of increased qualitative offspring susceptibility in the rat reproduction study, but the concern is low since: (1) The effects in pups are well-characterized with a clear NOAEL; (2) the selected endpoints are protective of the doses where the offspring toxicity is observed; and (3) offspring effects occur in the presence of parental toxicity.

3. Conclusion. Based on the available hazard and exposure database for Start Printed Page 66629etoxazole, EPA recommends that the FQPA SF be reduced to 1X for all exposure scenarios relevant to the current safety assessment.

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 for current exposure scenarios. That decision is based on the following findings:

i. The toxicity database for etoxazole is complete including acceptable developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, a two-generation reproduction study in rats, and acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies in rats.

ii. There is no evidence of neurotoxicity in the etoxazole database including guideline acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies.

iii. There are no residual uncertainties for pre- and/or post-natal toxicity. The observed qualitative postnatal susceptibility is protected for by the selected endpoints.

iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. Adequate data are available to determine the nature and magnitude of the residue in all proposed/registered crops and in livestock. The current dietary exposure analysis assumed 100 PCT, tolerance-level residues, modeled drinking water estimates, and in the absence of empirical data, default processing factors. Therefore, the dietary exposure analysis is conservative and unlikely to underestimate exposure. There are no registered residential uses for etoxazole.

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 acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (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, etoxazole 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 etoxazole from food and water will utilize 3.6% of the cPAD for the U.S. population and 15% of the cPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for etoxazole.

3. Short- and Intermediate term risks. 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 risk is assessed based on short- or intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no short- 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- or intermediate-term risks), no further assessment of short- or intermediate- term risk is necessary. EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating short- and intermediate-term risk for etoxazole.

4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, etoxazole 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 etoxazole residues.

IV. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

Adequate enforcement methodology, Valent Method RM-37, gas chromatography/mass-selective detector (GC/MSD) or GC/nitrogen-phosphorus detector (NPD), is available for enforcing the current plant and livestock tolerances.

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 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.

There are no Codex MRLs for residues of etoxazole in/on sugar beet commodities.

C. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

EPA concluded that a separate tolerance for etoxazole residues in or on Beet, sugar, dried pulp is not needed because available processing data indicate that quantifiable residues of etoxazole are unlikely to occur in sugar beet processed commodities following an application at the maximum use rate. In addition, EPA is not establishing any tolerances for residues on plant leaves (other than the tolerance on beet, sugar, leaves) because the petitioner withdrew its request for those tolerances. At this time, those tolerances are not necessary.

V. Conclusion

Therefore, a tolerance is established for residues of etoxazole, (2-(2,6-difluorophenyl)-4-[4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-2-ethoxyphenyl]-4,5-dihydrooxazole), in or on Beet, sugar, leaves at 1 ppm and Beet, sugar, roots at 0.02 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, April 23, 1997), nor is it considered a regulatory action under Executive Order Start Printed Page 6663013771, 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 tolerances 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: November 21, 2019.

Daniel Rosenblatt,

Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

End Signature

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 the table in paragraph (a) of § 180.593, add alphabetically the commodities “Beet, sugar, leaves” and “Beet, sugar, roots” to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Etoxazole; tolerances for residues.

(a) * * *

CommodityParts per million
*    *    *    *    *
Beet, sugar, leaves1
Beet, sugar, roots0.02
*    *    *    *    *
* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-26158 Filed 12-4-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P