Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This regulation establishes tolerances with a regional registration for residues of prohexadione calcium in or on alfalfa forage, alfalfa hay, and field corn forage, grain, and stover. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).
This regulation is effective February 14, 2020. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 14, 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).
The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0785, 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.
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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.
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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-2018-0785 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 April 14, 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-2018-0785, 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 April 19, 2019 (84 FR 16430) (FRL-9991-14), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. Start Printed Page 8458346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 8E8716) by IR-4, IR-4 Project Headquarters, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.547 be amended by establishing tolerances with regional registrations in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania for residues of prohexadione calcium (calcium 3-oxido-5-oxo-4-propionylcyclohex-3-enecarboxylate) in or on the raw agricultural commodities corn, field, forage at 0.10 parts per million (ppm); corn, field, grain at 0.10 ppm; corn, field, stover at 0.10 ppm; alfalfa, forage at 0.10 ppm; and alfalfa, hay at 0.10 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Fine Agrochemicals, Ltd., the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.
EPA is establishing the requested tolerances, although the tolerance values have been adjusted to be consistent with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Rounding Class Practice.
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 prohexadione calcium including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with prohexadione calcium 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.
By the oral route, the most sensitive effect in the prohexadione calcium hazard database is kidney toxicity in dogs for both the subchronic and chronic durations. Minor hematological changes (decreased white blood cell counts in males), and fore-stomach hyperplasia were seen only at very high doses in rodents. No dermal toxicity was observed up to the limit dose of 1000 mg/kg/day.
In rats and rabbits, no increased quantitative or qualitative pre- or postnatal susceptibility was observed. In rats, no maternal or developmental toxicity was observed up to the limit dose (1000 mg/kg/day). Three developmental studies in rabbits are available in the toxicological database for prohexadione calcium. In one study, late abortions occurred during gestational days (GD) 24-29 at 200 mg/kg/day, with increased mortality in maternal animals (GD 15-24) also noted at this dose. In another rabbit developmental study, two premature deliveries (on GD 24 and 26) were noted at the highest-dose tested (350 mg/kg/day) with no developmental effects observed. No maternal or developmental effects were seen in a third rabbit developmental study up to 150 mg/kg/day. In the 2-generation reproductive toxicity study with rats, parental toxicity (minimal mortality) occurred at a dose well below the dose that caused decreases in offspring body weight.
There is no evidence of neurotoxicity in the toxicological database for prohexadione calcium, which includes acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies.
Prohexadione calcium is classified as not likely to be carcinogenic to humans based on lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in rats and mice.
Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by prohexadione calcium 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 the document titled “Prohexadione Calcium. Section 3 Registration for Use on Strawberry and Watercress. Human Health Risk Assessment” on pages 26-28 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0785.
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 no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). 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-pesticide.
A summary of the toxicological endpoints for prohexadione calcium used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III.B. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of July 8, 2015 (80 FR 38976) (FRL-9927-25).
C. Exposure Assessment
1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to prohexadione calcium, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing prohexadione calcium tolerances in 40 CFR 180.547. EPA assessed dietary exposures from prohexadione calcium in food as follows:
i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, Start Printed Page 8459if 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 prohexadione calcium; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.
ii. Chronic exposure. In estimating chronic dietary exposure, EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, the chronic assessment was based on tolerance-level residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT).
iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that prohexadione calcium 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 PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue or PCT information in the dietary assessment for prohexadione calcium. 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 prohexadione calcium in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of prohexadione calcium. 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.
Based on the Pesticide in Water Calculator (PWC), the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of prohexadione calcium for chronic exposures are estimated to be 29 ppb for surface water and 5.1 × 10−7 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 29 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).
Prohexadione calcium is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Residential lawns, ornamentals, athletic fields, parks, and golf courses. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Residential handler exposure is not expected because all registered labels require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and are not intended for application by homeowners. Short-term exposure was assessed for post-application incidental oral exposures of children 1 to less than 2 years old. The Agency assessed hand-to-mouth exposures and incidental soil ingestion from applications to turf for children. Intermediate- and long-term exposures are not expected since there are no registered or proposed uses of prohexadione calcium that result in intermediate- or long-term residential exposures.
Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.
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 prohexadione calcium to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and prohexadione calcium does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that prohexadione calcium 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 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. In rats and rabbits, no increased quantitative or qualitative pre- or postnatal susceptibility was observed. In the 2-generation reproductive toxicity study with rats, parental toxicity (minimal mortality) occurred at a dose well below the dose that caused decreases in offspring body weight.
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 prohexadione calcium is complete.
ii. There is no indication that prohexadione calcium is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.
iii. There is no evidence that prohexadione calcium 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 assessment was 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 prohexadione calcium in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by prohexadione calcium.
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 Start Printed Page 8460estimated 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, prohexadione calcium 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 prohexadione calcium from food and water will utilize 17% of the cPAD for children 1 to 2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of prohexadione calcium is not expected.
3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).
Prohexadione calcium is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to prohexadione calcium.
Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in an aggregate MOE of 2,300 for children 1 to less than 2 years old. Because EPA's level of concern for prohexadione calcium is an MOE below 100, this MOE is not of concern.
4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).
An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, prohexadione calcium is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no 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 intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating intermediate-term risk for prohexadione calcium.
5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, prohexadione calcium is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.
6. 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 prohexadione calcium residues.
IV. Other Considerations
A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology
Adequate enforcement methodology (gas chromatography/mass-selective detector (GC/MSD) and 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 MRLs on alfalfa or corn for prohexadione calcium.
Therefore, tolerances with regional registration are established for residues of prohexadione calcium in or on alfalfa, forage at 0.1 ppm; alfalfa, hay at 0.1 ppm; corn, field, forage at 0.1 ppm; corn, field, grain at 0.1 ppm; and corn, field, stover at 0.1 ppm.
VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
This action establishes and modifies 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 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 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 Start Printed Page 8461power 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).
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- Environmental protection
- Administrative practice and procedure
- Agricultural commodities
- Pesticides and pests
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Dated: December 30, 2019.
Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
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: End Amendment Part
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2. In § 180.547, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows: End Amendment Part
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Prohexadione calcium; tolerances for residues.
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(c) Tolerances with regional registrations. Tolerances with regional registration are established for residues of the plant growth regulator, prohexadione calcium, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in table 2 in this paragraph (c). Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in table 2 in this paragraph (c) is to be determined by measuring only prohexadione calcium (calcium 3-oxido-5-oxo-4-propionylcyclohex-3-enecarboxylate) in or on the following commodities.
Table 2 to Paragraph (c)
|Commodity||Parts per million|
|Corn, field, forage||0.1|
|Corn, field, grain||0.1|
|Corn, field, stover||0.1|
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[FR Doc. 2020-02036 Filed 2-13-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P