EPA has proposed revisions to the respirator descriptions when required on pesticide labeling and is requesting comments from regulators, registrants, pesticide users, safety educators and other stakeholders on the changes.
It is EPA’s goal to bring the respirator descriptions on pesticide labels into conformance with the current National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) respirator language, delete outdated statements, and remove descriptions of respirators that no longer exist. Updated label language would ensure that pesticide handlers and their employers can easily obtain the information needed to identify and buy the proper respirator required for needed protection.
After considering comments, EPA will update Chapter 10, “Worker Protection Labeling,” of the Label Review Manual (LRM). After the chapter of the LRM is finalized, EPA will ask registrants submitting labels for other reasons to revise their personal protective equipment (PPE) statements to include the updated descriptions at the same time. Registrants who wish to revise only the PPE statements to incorporate the new respirator descriptions can do so by submitting a fast-track amendment with the changes. For existing products not otherwise updated, EPA will require the submission of labels with the revised descriptions of respirators during the registration review process.
The proposed label revisions can be found at Revised Respirator Section of Label Review Manual Chapter 10. Submit comments on the revised respirator section by email at email@example.com by June 11th, 2018.
The EPA extended the public commenting period for the proposed label revisions to June 11th, 2018 from May 22, 2018.
There has been much discussion among EPA, the states, and registrants on the placement of the First Aid Statement on pesticide product labels. In response, EPA announced the availability of a final guidance document that clarifies where this statement should appear on products labels. The guidance document is available at Docket# EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0545.
In summary, EPA will continue to require that Toxicity Category I products have first aid statements visible on the front panel. EPA may allow certain exceptions when reviewed and approved by the Agency. Products that are considered Toxicity Categories II and III must have these statements on a front, back, side or inside panel (any panel). First Aid statements continue to be optional for Toxicity Category IV products.
EPA announced on February 28, 2018, the availability of three final test guidelines for antimicrobial pesticides:
1. OCSPP 810.2000 – General Considerations for Testing Public Health Antimicrobial Pesticides
2. OCSPP 810.2100 – Sterilants, Sporicides, and Decontaminants
3. OCSPP 810.2200 – Disinfectants for Use on Environmental Surfaces.
This guideline series, Series 810 – Product Performance Test Guidelines: Group B – Antimicrobial Efficacy Test Guidelines provides recommendations on the implementation of laboratory studies used to evaluate the effectiveness of antimicrobial pesticides used to help protect public health. More information and documents about the revision of the product performance guidelines can be found at www.regulations.gov, in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0276.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with Amazon Services LLC to settle allegations that Amazon committed nearly four thousand violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, including selling and distributing imported pesticide products that were not registered for sale in the United States. In addition to paying a penalty of $1,215,700, Amazon will develop a multi-language online training course on pesticide regulations available to the public and marketers. Amazon will require that all marketers that are planning to sell pesticides on their website complete this training course.
For more information go to https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/amazon-services-llc-fifra-settlement.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment period for recently released Neonicotinoid Insecticide Risk Assessments from February 20, 2018, to April 21, 2018. EPA encourages stakeholders and the public to comment on these assessments. EPA may revise them based on information and comments received. It is expected that the Agency plans to release the final pollinator risk assessments for Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam, Dinotefuran in mid-2018.
Telisport W. Putsavage, a Principal in EnviroReg LLCSM and an environmental attorney, has been named to the recently-formed New York State Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee. Mr. Putsavage is a representative of the Environment & Energy Section, where he is on the Executive Committee and Co-Chairs the Pesticide Committee. New York instituted a Medical Marijuana Program in 2016, and as participation has grown, issues have arisen across a wide spectrum of legal matters.
Mr. Putsavage, with the assistance of Ms. Janine Gydus, also a Principal in EnviroReg, is representing one of the Registered Organizations under the New York Medical Marijuana Program with regards to the use of pesticides in the cultivation of cannabis. The cannabis from which the medical products are derived is cultivated in large commercial greenhouses, and growers face pest and disease pressure as would any such operation. Following principles of Integrated Pest Management and practices that would qualify for the National Organic Program, were the crop not cannabis, it is possible to minimize but not eliminate the use of pesticides.
For further information, please contact:
Telisport Putsavage, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which forbids the expenditure of Federal funds to take any enforcement action against compliant state medical marijuana programs, has been continued in the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by Congress and signed on February 9, 2018. The CR expires March 18, 2018, and is intended to provide a window for the drafting of an actual two-year budget.
The Amendment, originally known as Rohrabacher-Farr, has been in effect for several years. It provided the foundation which the Obama then expanded to a hands-off approach to compliant recreational programs as well. There is no guarantee that the Amendment will make it into the two-year budget. The House has been resistant, but recently support has come from Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Gardner (R-CO) to include the Amendment in repeated CRs.
For more information contact:
EPA and manufacturers of dicamba have reached an agreement to further minimize potential spray drift from the use of dicamba formulations that are used to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans. Manufactures of dicamba have voluntarily agreed to make a number of changes to labels that include increasing requirements for “over the top” use of these products and classify products as “restricted use”. Growers will see changes to labeling in time for 2018 growing season.
For more information see EPA’s Press Release, EPA and States’ Collective Efforts Lead to Regulatory Action on Dicamba
On July 28th 2016, President Obama signed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 enacting a national law for the labeling of food products containing genetically-modified organisms. The act was prompted in large part by various state labeling laws which were vehemently opposed by the agriculture industry and many major food producers. Most significantly a Vermont statute took effect July 1, 2016, that was much more comprehensive than the Federal act and was the only state law to actually take effect. In addition, a number of state laws were conditioned on a critical mass of at least four states with a total population of twenty million persons enacting similar laws. New York was actively considering such legislation which if enacted would have triggered the other conditional state laws. Although the Act will not take effect for at least two years while the U.S. Department of Agriculture promulgates regulations, the Vermont law is preempted immediately.
In addition to prohibiting state labeling disclosure laws, the Act also mandates that any GMO disclosure labeling must comply with the Act, which suggests that voluntary disclosures that exceed the requirements of the Act are also prohibited.
The Act defines a limited set of food products and product constituents that would be subject to the labeling requirement. The Act employs the term ‘bioengineered” to delineate the products subject to labeling. As a result, food product or ingredients produced through gene editing will not be subject to labeling.
The Act label statement required by the Act simply states that “more food information” is available without noting that the information relates to the presence of GMOs. The Act provides for communicating the required information through either label text, through a toll-free telephone call or by way a QRC (quick-read code) on the label. Many major producers are expected to utilize the QR code method, which requires a smartphone to read the code and internet access to reach the information. This mode of labeling drew particular opposition from labeling advocates, who contend that this method is not available to many low-income persons.
Despite major industry support for the Act, the legislation prompted schisms within both the major food production industry and the organic food industry. Some major producers continued to oppose any labeling, arguing that ultimately the state laws would not survive judicial review. Disputes among organic interests were prompted by some major players supporting the Act as the best route to nationwide labeling.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with promulgating implementing regulations, which it is given two years to complete.