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Rule

Trichoderma asperellum, Strain T34; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 60366

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 in or on all food commodities when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices. Biocontrol Technologies S.L. 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 Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 under FFDCA when used in accordance with this exemption.

DATES:

This regulation is effective September 25, 2020. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before November 24, 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-2019-0324, 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.

Due to the public health concerns related to COVID-19, the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) and Reading Room is closed to visitors with limited exceptions. The staff continues to provide remote customer service via email, phone, and webform. For the latest status information on EPA/DC services and docket access, visit https://www.epa.gov/​dockets.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Anne Overstreet, 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 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 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-2019-0324 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 November 24, 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-2019-0324, 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. Background

In the Federal Register of August 2, 2019 (84 FR 37818) (FRL-9996-78), 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 9F8735) by Biocontrol Technologies, S.L. Avgda. Madrid, 215-217, entresòl A 08014 Barcelona, Spain (c/o Wagner Regulatory Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 640, Hockessin, DE 19707). The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 in or on all food commodities. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner Biocontrol Technologies, S.L., 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 Start Printed Page 60367reasonable 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 making a safety determination to establish 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 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 Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability, as well as the relationship of this information to human risk. A full explanation of the data upon which EPA relied and its risk assessment based on that data can be found within the document entitled “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) Safety Determination for Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34.” This document, as well as other relevant information, is available in the docket for this action as described under ADDRESSES.

The available data demonstrated that, with regard to humans, Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 is not toxic, pathogenic, or infective via any reasonably foreseeable route of exposure. The submitted acute oral toxicity/pathogenicity and acute pulmonary toxicity/pathogenicity studies demonstrated no signs of toxicity, infectivity, or pathogenicity. Although the first submitted acute injection toxicity/pathogenicity study caused mortality to the test animals, the mortality was attributed to high spore concentration, not due to toxin production, as demonstrated by data and information required by EPA to address the mortality. A second injection toxicity/pathogenicity study was performed at a lower dose and only two of the 24 test animals died. Additional acute injection toxicity/pathogenicity studies were required as a term of registration to address a concern relating to culture filtrates and killed cultures. The studies demonstrated no toxicity to the test animals when injected with either Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 spores or culture filtrate. Furthermore, acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity studies and acute eye and primary dermal irritation studies conducted with a mixture containing Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 demonstrated no toxic or irritant effects. Although there may be dietary and non-occupational exposure to residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 when it is used on food commodities, there is not a concern due to the lack of potential for adverse effects. EPA also determined that retention of the Food Quality Protection Act safety factor was not necessary as part of the qualitative assessment conducted for Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34.

Based upon its evaluation, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34. Therefore, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established for residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 in or on all food commodities when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices.

B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

An analytical method for enforcement purposes is not required because EPA has determined that reasonably foreseeable exposure to residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 from use of the pesticide will be safe, due to lack of toxicity, pathogenicity, and infectivity. Under those circumstances, it is unnecessary to have an analytical method to monitor for residues.

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 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 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. Start Printed Page 60368Senate, 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: September 2, 2020.

Edward Messina,

Acting Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

End Signature

Therefore, for the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA is amending 40 CFR chapter I as follows:

Start Part

PART 180—TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD

End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add § 180.1379 to subpart D to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

An exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established for residues of Trichoderma asperellum, strain T34 in or on all food commodities when used in accordance with label directions and good agricultural practices.

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-20653 Filed 9-24-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P