Archive for October, 2011
Tier 1 of EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program focuses on pesticides. EPA recently published a Weight of Evidence guidance document to be used in assessing Tier 1 test results from the EDSP. The WoE document is available online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0877-0021 .
EPA has also published Standard Evaluation Procedures to be used during Tier 1 of the EDSP.  The SEPs are available online at http://www.epa.gov/endo/pubs/toresources/seps.htm .
On November 3-4, the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council will meet for the first time to review ecological risk assessment under FIFRA and ESA. EPA, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service are the federal agencies whose risk assessment practices and consultations are being reviewed. The NAS/NRC agenda for the November 3rd public meeting is available online at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/meetingview.aspx?MeetingID=5724&MeetingNo=1
The meeting will be held at:National Academies Keck Center, Room 201 500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting on November 3.
EPA representatives at the October 17, 2011, SFIREG meeting stated that operators covered by EPA’s imminent pesticides general permit will have until January 12, 2012, to file a notice of intent under the PGP. EPA hopes that this grace period will relieve some of the pressured caused by the PGP’s October 31, 2011, court-ordered publication/compliance date. At the meeting, one of the SFIREG members asked EPA to move the court for a six-month extension of the publication/compliance date. The SFIREG member said that in his state there will be many persons unable to comply with the current deadline. The EPA representatives at the meeting responded by saying that EPA does not intend to request that the court extend the deadline.
On November 3 and 4, 2011, the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council will hold its first meetings on EPA’s ESA consultations with FWS and NMFS for pesticides. This NRC project is entitled Ecological Risk Assessment Under FIFRA and ESA. During it, NRC will examine scientific and technical issues related to the methods and assumptions used by EPA, FWS, and NMFS to assess ecological risks to ESA-listed species from FIFRA-registered pesticides. Information on these meetings will be posted at the NAS project website, http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49396 /
The public can comment on this project at anytime by accessing
The California Association of Sanitation Agencies, a state-wide association of publicly owned wastewater treatment agencies, sent a letter dated September 20, 2011, to Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This letter states the public owned treatment works’ opposition to the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, H.R. 872) that is pending before the U.S. Senate. Their letter states in part:
At its October 17, 2011 meeting in Arlington, Virginia, the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group will discuss ESA issues with the National Marine Fisheries Service representatives. After that, SFIREG will discuss ESA Issues with representatives of the United States Fish and Wildlife Services. Later that day, SFIREG will receive an update from EPA on Biological Opinions and ESA lawsuits. These meetings and discussions are open to the public.
Click here for the meeting agenda and details.
On October 3, 2011, a federal court in San Francisco granted the parties’ motion to stay an ESA pesticides case until November 18, 2011. The purpose of the stay is to allow the parties more time to try to settle the case. There is a court status conference on the case scheduled for November 18, 2011. This case involves the NGO plaintiffs’ allegations that EPA has violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to consult with NMFS and FWS on hundreds of pesticides.
The Stay Motion and Order is attached below.
On September 27, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published Federal Register notice of FWS’ partial finding on a 90-day finding to list 404 species in the southeastern United States as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The FWS found that for 374 of the 404 species, the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing may be warranted. FWS is, therefore, initiating a status review of the 374 species to determine if listing is warranted. On October 6, 2011, FWS found that listing another 11 of these species is not warranted. These FWS actions are pursuant to a 2010 petition submitted by Center for Biological Diversity and other groups, and a settlement reached this summer between FWS and the NGO groups. CBD’s website on this petition and settlement can be accessed at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/species_agreement/index.html.
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group has published an issue paper laying out its concerns and providing several recommendations in the area of Endangered Species Act consultations between EPA, NMFS and FWS on pesticides. This paper is entitled, “Endangered Species Act Consultation for Pesticide Registration.” SFIREG sent this paper to EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Director Steven Bradbury on Sept. 6, 2011.
Click here to read SFIREG’s position paper.
The Working Committee on Pesticide Operations Management, a subcommittee of the State FIFRA Issues & Evaluation Group, met on September 20, 2011. At its meeting, the Committee decided to draft a letter to EPA regarding the Agency’s development of a general permit for pesticide discharges under the Clean Water Act. The letter will ask EPA to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit for an additional six months to complete the general permit. Motivating the Committee’s letter is the number of states that aren’t ready to issue their own permits by the Oct. 31 deadline, and the inadequate time for states under direct EPA permitting authority to implement EPA’s general permit. EPA’s draft general permit presents several controversial ESA issues. EPA is still in consultation with NMFS and FWS on these issues.