Archive for September, 2011
PPDC Meets on October 12-13, 2011
The Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee will hold a public meeting on October 12-13, 2011. A draft agenda will be posted by September 26, 2011, at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ppdc/.
Four PPDC workgroup meetings are also scheduled for October 11, 2011: Integrated Pest Management, Comparative Safety Statements, Pollinator Protection, and the 21st Century Toxicology/Integrated Testing Strategies Workgroup’s Workshop on Diagnostic Tools and Biomarkers in Pesticide Medical Management, Exposure Surveillance, and Epidemiologic
Research. The PPDC Public Health Work Group is planning to meet on October 13, 2011, following the PPDC meeting.
EPA Sends Pesticides General Permit ICR to OMB
On September 22, 2011, EPA published Federal Register notice that EPA has submitted to the office of Management and Budget an Information Collection Request for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits for Point Source Discharges from the Application of Pesticides to Waters of the United States. This ICR is submitted for OMB review and approval under the federal Paperwork Reduction Act. This ICR calculates the burden and costs associated with information collection and reporting activities from EPA and State NPDES general permits
Court Approves ESA Settlement Agreements between FWS, CBD and WildEarth Guardians
A previous article reported that the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians had filed separate lawsuits in different courts against the Fish and Wildlife Service, alleging that FWS failed to comply with statutory deadlines for listing various species under the Endangered Species Act. All the CBD and WEG lawsuits were consolidated in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. On September 9, 2011, the court issued separate orders approving settlements between CBD and FWS, and between WildEarth Guardians and FWS.
The key documents are attached below.
NAS Convenes Expert Committee on ESA Pesticides
On September 8, 2011, EPA published a press release announcing that the National Academy of Sciences has convened an Expert Committee to address scientific issues in developing biological opinions for pesticides under the Endangered Species Act. EPA’s press release explains:
This spring EPA and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior requested the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council convene a committee of independent experts to review scientific and technical issues that have arisen as the federal agencies carry out their joint responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The NAS has now selected the committee members. The NAS committee is expected to begin meetings this fall.
EPA Settles Historic Pesticides Discrimination Case
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated in a recent settlement agreement that California pesticide regulators discriminated against Latino schoolchildren when they annually approved a pesticide used near their schools. The settlement includes the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
EPA made this discrimination finding as part of a settlement stemming from a civil rights complaint filed in 1999. According to the complaint, the California Department’s annual renewal of methyl bromide registration had a disproportionately adverse impact on Latino children because their schools were often close to farm fields. Under the settlement, the state will expand monitoring of methyl bromide levels in Watsonville, the area of highest risk.
SFIREG Meeting on Pesticides, ESA and Nanotechnology
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Environmental Quality Issues (EQI) Working Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on October 17, 2011 and ending October 18, 2011. The meeting will be held on Monday, October 17, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Tuesday October 18, 2011. The meeting will be held at EPA, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.) 2777 Crystal Dr., Arlington VA, 1st Floor South Conference Room.
The meeting agenda includes the following topics:
DoD Wants Pesticides GP and BiOp Clarified to Clearly State That its ESA Measures Don’t Apply to DoD
The Department of Defense filed comments on the draft Biological Opinion by the National Marine Fisheries Service for EPA’s Pesticide General Permit under the Clean Water Act. NMFS’ draft BiOp concludes that the GP is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered and threatened species and result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat that has been designated for such species, absent the implementation of a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA). DoD’s comments argue that DoD facilities should be exempt from these RPAs.
State Agencies Ask Senate to Exempt Pesticides from CWA Permit Requirements
On August 12, 2011, several state environmental and public health organizations sent a letter to Congress urging “the full Senate to join the House of Representatives and take legislative action on H.R. 872 to avoid what a great majority of states view as duplicative environmental permitting requirements for certain applications of pesticides on or near water.”
The organizations signing the letter are
● The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials;
● The Aquatic Plant Management Society;
●The Association of State & Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators;
● The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; and