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The news releases, reports, and other documents listed below have been selected by the Ag Center because they are of direct importance to the environmental compliance efforts of the agricultural community. The items are in chronological order, with the most recent listed first.

May 6, 2015
EPA Announces Availability of Clean Diesel Grants for Communities Across the Country/Local governments, tribal agencies and nonprofits can win grants up to $2.14 million
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of $13.5 million in grant funding to help governments and nonprofit organizations switch to cleaner diesel engines. Local governments, tribal agencies and nonprofits can win grants up to $2.14 million each. Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, and port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or if their principal purpose is promoting clean transportation or air quality.

May 5, 2015
EPA Identifies Misbranded Pesticide at Kansas City, Kan., Pesticide Distributor
Auto-Chlor System, LLC, a pesticide registrant and distributor headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., has agreed to pay a $6,750 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations related to the sale and distribution of a misbranded pesticide. The violation occurred at a dealer facility located at 310 Kansas Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.

May 1, 2015
Dairy Company Owner Sentenced to Six Months of Home Detention and Ordered to Pay $15,000 Fine for Discharging 11,000 Gallons of Cow Feces into the French Broad River
The owner of one of North Carolina’s largest dairy farms located in Fletcher, N.C., was sentenced Thursday to four years of probation, six months of which he has to spend in home detention, for his role in the discharging of cow feces into the French Broad River, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell also ordered him to pay a $15,000 fine. The dairy company, Tap Root Dairy, LLC (Tap Root), was also fined $80,000 and was placed on a four-year probationary term. The company is also required to abide by a comprehensive environmental compliance plan.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

April, 2015
April 2015 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

The April installment reminds about the webinar on manure & tile drainage. We also take a look at farming systems - especially on grazing strategies. Many minds are on spring manure application and nutrient management as well as the finalized "Waters of the U.S. Rule". Check out the Events section for many great gathering opportunities. More...

April 30, 2015
EPA Issuing Interim Guidance Concerning Antimicrobial Data Requirements
Today, EPA is issuing interim guidance that clarifies EPA’s toxicology data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides used on food contact surfaces. In general, if pesticide residues in food resulting from use on food contact surfaces are 200 parts per billion (ppb) or less, EPA requires certain toxicology data. If residues are greater than 200 ppb, additional data may be required, depending on other conditions such as test results. The interim guidance clarifies that the 200 ppb trigger is based on total estimated daily dietary intake for an individual and not on the amount of residue present on a single food. This interpretation is consistent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) policy.

April 29, 2015
Keeping Your School Free of Stinging Insects – EPA Webinar, May 19
EPA’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will host a webinar, “Keeping Your School Free of Stinging Insects,” on May 19 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will teach you how to identify these pests and will present the steps you can take to manage them as part of an IPM program. The webinar will feature:

April 24, 2015
EPA Solicits Proposals for the National Farmworker Training Cooperative Agreement
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement that supports national farmworker training aimed at reducing exposure to pesticides for agricultural workers, their families and the agricultural community. This training will help ensure that farmworkers are aware of the strengthened protections they are afforded under the final worker protection standards that EPA expects to release in September 2015. To implement the program, EPA expects to provide up to $500,000 annually, depending on the Agency’s budget, for a total of five years.

April 23, 2015
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting May 14 -15, 2015
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will hold a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on Thursday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday, May 15, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be held in EPA’s first floor conference center at One Potomac Yard South, 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. A draft agenda will be available prior to the meeting on the PPDC webpage.

April 21, 2015
DOI, EPA, NOAA announce Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change
The Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today recognized four collaborative landscape partnerships across the country where Federal agencies will focus efforts with partners to conserve and restore important lands and waters and make them more resilient to a changing climate. Building on existing collaborations, these Resilient Lands and Waters partnerships – located in southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region – will help build resilience in regions vulnerable to climate change and related challenges. They will also showcase the benefits of landscape-scale management approaches and help enhance the carbon storage capacity of these natural areas.

April 20, 2015
Settlements Emphasize that Pesticides Need to be Labeled Correctly, Protecting Public and Environment from Misbranded Products

EPA has reached three settlements with companies that produce and/or market pesticides, resolving EPA allegations that the companies or their agents distributed and sold pesticide products which lacked required labels or were missing critical information required by the EPA-approved labels, in violation of the federal law regulating pesticide use in the United States (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, aka “FIFRA”). The settlements are between EPA and Bayer CropScience LP of Research Triangle Park, N.C., for an $85,500 penalty; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. of Wilmington, Del., for a $22,200 penalty; and with Dow AgroSciences LLC of Indianapolis, Ind., which will pay a civil penalty of $182,640 and implement an environmentally-beneficial project worth about $231,000. The supplemental project requires that Dow develop a widely-available, web-based FIFRA training with a focus on “supplemental distribution,” which will assist entities that make, import, sell or distribute pesticide products, and other stakeholders to understand FIFRA requirements and ensure full compliance.

April 17, 2015
EPA Seeks Comment on Change to XML Format for Pesticide Product Information System
Beginning in March 2015, EPA began converting the format of the Pesticide Product Information System (PPIS) flat files to Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML is one of today’s modern standards for making large amounts of data available for reuse by others. It provides a simple and common format that facilitates accessing and using data in applications built by outside parties. XML files are readable by both computers and people.

April 15, 2015
EPA Mobile Lab Screens Austin Residents’ Soil

Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used a mobile lab facility to screen soil samples from Austin residences recently. Participants were able to bring soil from their garden or yard and have it assessed for heavy metals. Scientists from EPA’s lab facility in Houston worked with representatives from Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service and the city of Austin to provide the service. The mobile lab accepted 79 soil samples for analysis during the day-long event, as part of Austin’s Fusebox Festival. The city of Austin continued the screening for two more days with help from a technical grant from EPA’s Brownfields program, which helps communities restore blighted or contaminated properties to more productive use.

April 13, 2015
Major Egg Producer to Reduce Water Pollution Discharges at Mississippi Facility
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced today a settlement with Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., one of the nation’s largest egg producers, that resolves Clean Water Act violations at the company’s poultry egg production facility in Edwards, Miss. Under the settlement, Cal-Maine will bring the facility into compliance with its state-issued water discharge permit, significantly reduce nutrient pollution discharges, and improve environmental data collection and reporting practices. The company will also pay a $475,000 penalty to be split evenly between the U.S. Federal and Mississippi governments.

April 9, 2015
EPA Takes Action to Protect the Public from an Unregistered Pesticide/EPA issues order to stop the sale of OxiTitan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an order to EcoActive Surfaces, Inc. in Pompano Beach, Fla.; WellShield, LLC in Boca Raton, Fla.; and, BioRelief, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to stop the sale, use or removal of “OxiTitan.” The order includes other trade names such as “Bio Defender OxiTitan Anti-Microbial Treatment,” and any related products containing the same formulation. OxiTitan is being marketed by these companies for use in sites that include hospitals and schools.

April 7, 2015
EPA Solicits Applications for Technical Support for the Tribal Pesticide Program Council
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications to provide technical support for the Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) as it works to strengthen tribal pesticide programs. The TPPC informs member tribes of pesticide issues, promotes pesticide education and awareness, and assists in the establishment, development, and implementation of comprehensive tribal pesticide programs. The TPPC also is a forum for tribal pesticide and environmental officials to raise tribal pesticide program implementation issues to EPA, offer input on national pesticide policy that affects tribes and offer a network for officials to share information.

South Carolina and Missouri Pesticide Companies to Pay Civil Penalties for Selling Antimicrobial Pesticide with Unapproved Claims
Integrated Environmental Technologies (IET), a South Carolina based pesticide registrant, and Seriously Clean, Ltd., of Nixa, Mo., a firm that served as an authorized distributor of IET’s product under a different brand name, have agreed to pay civil penalties of $87,344 and $91,829, respectively, to settle alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

EPA, NASA, NOAA and USGS Creating Early Warning System to Detect Harmful Algal Blooms
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is developing an early warning indicator system using historical and current satellite data to detect algal blooms. EPA researchers will develop a mobile app to inform water quality managers of changes in water quality using satellite data on cyanobacteria algal blooms from three partnering agencies-- NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

EPA Recognizes National Healthy Schools Day; Encourages Smart, Sensible, Sustainable Approach to School Pest Control
Protecting children’s health where they live, learn, and play is a top priority for the EPA. Today, April 7, 2015, is National Healthy Schools Day, a day dedicated to promoting healthy school environments for children. Today and throughout the year, EPA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a safer, healthier and usually less costly option for effective pest management in schools. Children in the United States face risks from exposure to pests and pesticides in schools. EPA encourages the use of IPM, a smart, sensible and sustainable approach to pest control that focuses on addressing the underlying issues that make schools attractive to pests. Schools that practice IPM may see a noticeable improvement in attendance and academic performance.

April 3, 2015
Distribution of Certain Mouse and Rat Control Products Ends
On April 1, 2015, Reckitt Benckiser ceased all distribution of 12 d-CON products that do not meet EPA’s current safety standards. EPA reached an agreement with Reckitt, the manufacturer, to cancel these products because they are sold without a protective bait station and pose risks to children and pets. Additionally, eight of the 12 products pose unacceptable risks to certain wildlife. Retailers may sell and consumers may buy these products according to the label until stocks are exhausted. Users of these d-CON products must read and follow the product label instructions.

April 2, 2015
Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides – 4th Interagency Workshop on Joint Interim Approaches to NAS Recommendations
On April 15, 2015, EPA and its federal partners, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, will hold a one-day workshop. This workshop will provide a forum for stakeholders to offer scientific and technical feedback on the ongoing efforts to develop draft Biological Evaluations (BEs) for three pilot chemicals (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion) by EPA, FWS, NMFS and USDA in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.”

EPA Announces It Is Unlikely to Approve New Outdoor Neonicotinoid Pesticide Uses
As part of EPA's ongoing effort to protect pollinators, the Agency has sent letters to registrants of neonicotinoid pesticides with outdoor uses informing them that EPA will likely not be in a position to approve most applications for new uses of these chemicals until new bee data have been submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete. The letters reiterate that the EPA has required new bee safety studies for its ongoing registration review process for the neonicotinoid pesticides, and that the Agency must complete its new pollinator risk assessments, which are based, in part, on the new data, before it will likely be able to make  regulatory decisions on imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran that would expand the current uses of these pesticides.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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March 30, 2015
EPA Takes Action to Protect the Public from an Unregistered Pesticide / EPA issues order to stop the sale of BioStorm and NanoStrike
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an order to Nano Defense Solutions, Inc. in Saint Augustine, Fla. to stop the sale of “BioStorm” and “NanoStrike.” BioStorm and NanoStrike are products that are being marketed by the company for use in sites that include hospitals and athletic facilities.

March 25, 2015
EPA Responds to Petition on Nanoscale Silver Regulation
EPA is granting some of the requests of the petition for Rulemaking on Nanoscale Silver filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) and 13 other organizations and denying others. The petition requested that EPA regulate products containing nanoscale silver as pesticides and assess them as new and different from macrosilver products.

March, 2015
March Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Newsletter
The March issue features our April webinar on manure application over tile drainage. There is also a final registration reminder for the Waste to Worth conference. "Around the Horns" features information on regulations, nutrient management, pathogens and pharmaceuticals, and much more.

March 20, 2015
Pesticide News Story: Contending with Vertebrate Pests around Schools – EPA Webinar, March 31
EPA’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will host a webinar, “Contending with Vertebrate Pests around Schools,” on March 31 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will present the challenges that large vertebrate pests present, followed by a discussion on tried-and-true ways to deter pests such as squirrels, raccoons, foxes, deer, and feral cats from school grounds. The webinar will feature: Stephen Van Tassel, Ph.D., Author, Consultant, and Wildlife Expert, University of Nebraska Mark Hardin, IPM Specialist, Howard County (Maryland) Public School System Marcia Anderson, Ph.D., EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM

March 19, 2015
Pesticide News Story: Poison Prevention Starts with You – Protect Your Kids and Pets
In honor of Poison Prevention Week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Elliot Kaye have co-authored a blog post to remind us of how easy it is to prevent poisonings at home. With an estimated 80,000 children going to the emergency room each year due to poisons, these simple steps to poison-proof your home are real life savers. Help spread the word about Poison Prevention Week by sharing our blog post and messages through social media, listservs, and other outreach opportunities: Read the blog: http://blog.epa.gov/epaconnect/2015/03/poison-prevention-starts-with-you-protect-your-kids-and-pets/

March 17, 2015
Pesticide News Story: EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Framework to Prevent Corn Rootworm Resistance
Today EPA is extending for 30 days the comment period on a proposed framework intended to delay the corn rootworm from becoming resistant to Bt pesticides produced by genetically engineered corn. This extension is in response to several stakeholders’ requests for additional time to develop comments. By extending the comment period EPA hopes to ensure that all stakeholders have ample opportunity to participate.
The proposed framework includes requirements on the manufacturers of Bt corn including:

March 16, 2015
EPA Issues Report on Virginia Animal Agriculture Programs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has completed an evaluation of Virginia’s animal agriculture programs. The assessment is one of six that the agency is conducting of state animal agriculture programs within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. EPA conducts periodic reviews of state programs as part of its oversight responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. EPA’s assessment evaluated Virginia’s implementation of programs to ensure reductions in the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution going to waterways within the Bay Watershed, as called for under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL. The assessment looked at Virginia’s implementation of federal and state regulatory programs, as well as voluntary incentive-based programs to meet the nutrient and sediment reduction commitments in its TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

EPA Issues Report on Pennsylvania Animal Agriculture Programs
March 16, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has completed an evaluation of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture programs. The assessment is one of six that the agency is conducting of state animal agriculture programs within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. EPA conducts periodic reviews of state programs as part of its oversight responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. EPA’s assessment evaluated Pennsylvania’s implementation of programs to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution going to waterways within the Bay Watershed, as called for under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL. The assessment looked at the Commonwealth’s implementation of federal and state regulatory programs, as well as voluntary incentive-based programs to meet the nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reduction commitments in its TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

Data Sharing Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and FDA
EPA and the Food and Drug Administration are pleased to announce a Memorandum of Understanding to share data on pesticides and toxic substances. This sharing of information will better inform both agencies’ assessments of the risks to the public and the environment. FDA and EPA have complementary roles in their regulatory authority for some substances incorporated into food (including animal food and feed), animal drugs, and cosmetics. FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting the public health by ensuring, among other things, the safety of food (including animal food and feed), animal drugs, and cosmetics by enforcing the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and several related public health laws. EPA is responsible for managing the pesticides and toxic substances programs under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the FD&C Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. The MOU establishes a process of disclosure and sharing of their respective databases that will facilitate the decisions of each agency related to food safety, veterinary medications, and cosmetics. This data sharing will provide the most up-to-date information and assist in coordinating reviews between agencies.

March 13, 2015
Pesticide News Story: EPA Extending Comment Period on Chlorpyrifos Risk Assessment until April 30, 2015
EPA is extending the comment period on the revised human health risk assessment on chlorpyrifos by 45 days. The comment period will now close on April 30, 2015. To submit comments, go to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850 at www.regulations.gov.
A number of commenters requested an extension to the comment period. EPA agreed to extend the comment period because of the complexity and length of the risk assessment. This revised human health risk assessment is one of the first assessments informed by physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) model  and a new drinking water watershed approach. More information about the risk assessment can be found: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/6B1D8A363E75A61E85257DC4006B1524.

March 12, 2015
EPA Registers New Miticide to Combat Varroa Mites in Bees
EPA is registering a new miticide, oxalic acid, to combat the devastating effects of the Varroa mite on honey bee colonies. Oxalic acid is currently registered for this use in Canada and Europe. Recognizing beekeepers’ need for additional registered tools to combat the Varroa mite in U.S. honey bee colonies, the EPA collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the registration. 
Consistent with President Obama’s 2014 initiative on pollinator health, which instructed the EPA to expedite review of registration applications for new products targeting pests harmful to pollinators, OPP expedited the review of the application. EPA was able to expedite its evaluation in part due to a NAFTA “work share” agreement, which allowed Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to share their data reviews with EPA risk assessors and risk managers. Oxalic acid was registered in Canada for in-hive control of Varroa mites in 2010. EPA also had an established database of oxalic acid studies from its previous registration as an antimicrobial pesticide.

EPA Administrator to Speak at National Farmers Union Convention in Wichita, Kan.
On Monday, March 16, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will speak at the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention in Wichita, Kan., about the need to protect the waters that matter most and the important outreach and feedback we’ve received from NFU. From manufacturing and brewing to farming and ranching, American businesses can’t function without clean water and one in three Americans get their drinking water from streams and wetlands that lack clear protection from pollution. EPA is committed to finalizing a Clean Water Rule that keeps the exclusions and exemptions for agriculture and reflects the input from our public comment period.

March 10, 2015
Nominations to the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Open until April 16, 2015
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is currently accepting nominations for the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). A federal advisory committee, PPDC provides advice and recommendations to the EPA on issues associated with pesticide regulatory development and reform initiatives, evolving public policy and program implementation issues, and science issues associated with evaluating and reducing risks from use of pesticides.

March 9, 2015
EPA Reaches Settlement on Legal Challenge to Updated Data Requirements for Registration of Antimicrobial Pesticides
EPA and the American Chemistry Council have reached a settlement agreement that addresses ACC’s petition for judicial review of EPA’s updated 40 CFR Part 158W data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides. Among the provisions of the settlement agreement, EPA will issue a proposed guidance document, “Antimicrobial Pesticide Use Site Index,” for public comment on the schedule included in the settlement agreement. The site index will include a compilation of existing antimicrobial pesticide use sites and identify how each use site fits within the 12 use patterns established in the regulation. This guidance document will help prospective registrants by making it easier for them to identify which data are necessary to register their product(s).

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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