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Calcium Hypochlorite - Proposed Tolerance Exemption 7/94

40 CFR Part 180
[OPP-300353; FRL-4902-7]
RIN No. 2070-AC18
Calcium Hypochlorite; Exemption From Tolerance
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Proposed rule.
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SUMMARY: EPA proposes to establish an exemption from the requirement
of a tolerance for residues of chlorine gas in or on grapes
when applied as a fumigant postharvest by means of a chlorine
generator pad in accordance with good agricultural practices.
Chiquita Frupac requested this proposed expansion of the tolerance
exemption.

DATES: Written comments, identified by the document control
number, [OPP-300353], must be received on or before September
2, 1994.

ADDRESSES: By mail, submit comments to: Public Docket and Freedom
of Information Section, Field Operations Division (7506C), Office
of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 401
M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460. In person, bring comments
to: Rm. 1132, CM #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA
22202. Information submitted as a comment concerning this document
may be claimed confidential by marking any part or all of that
information as "Confidential Business Information" (CBI).
Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance
with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. A copy of the comment
that does not contain CBI must be submitted for inclusion in
the public record. Information not marked confidential may be
disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. All written
comments will be available for public inspection in Rm. 1132
at the address given above, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through
Friday, excluding legal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: By mail: Ruth Douglas, Product
Manager (PM) 32, Registration Division (7505C), Office of Pesticide
Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW., Washington
DC 20460. Office location and telephone number: Rm. 278, CM
#2, Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202, (703) 305-7964.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 408(e) of the Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 346a(e), EPA proposes
to exempt from the requirement of a tolerance residues of chlorine
gas in or on grapes when applied as a fumigant postharvest by
means of a chlorine generator pad. The fumigation process uses
polyethylene-lined paper pads containing calcium hypochlorite
that are packed in grape containers during shipment. Under conditions
of normal use, the pads are not in direct contact with the grapes.
The moisture from inside the box and the carbon dioxide produced
by the metabolic process of the fruit permeate the pad, activating
the release of chlorine gas. The chlorine gas released in the
pad diffuses through the paper and the polyethylene liner before
depositing on the grapes. The exemption for chlorine generators
would not apply to the use of chlorine gas during food processing
or as a food-contact surface sanitizer since these uses are
under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.
   Several clearances already exist for the calcium salt of
hypochlorite used as the precursor of the chlorine gas. Calcium
hypochlorite is exempted from the requirement of a tolerance
when used preharvest or postharvest in solution on all raw agricultural
commodities (40 CFR 180.1054). Calcium hypochlorite is an approved
inert ingredient in pesticide products when added to a formulation
as a sanitizing and bleaching agent (40 CFR 180.1001). Calcium
hypochlorite is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration
when used as a rinse on food-contact surfaces (21 CFR 178.1010).
Chlorine gas is exempted from the requirement of a tolerance
when used preharvest or postharvest in solution on all raw agricultural
commodities (40 CFR 180.1095).
   When added to water, chlorine gas reacts to form hypochlorous
acid, a pesticidally active chemical which kills microorganisms
on the surface of the commodity to which it is applied. Hypochlorous
acid is consumed when it reacts with bacteria, fungi, and other
organic matter. Because of the rapidity with which chlorine
gas degrades, there is no reasonable expectation that residues
of chlorine gas will remain in eggs, meat, milk, or poultry
in accordance with 40 CFR 180.3. The residues that do remain
are not of toxicological significance.
   Based upon the above information and review of its use, EPA
has found that, when used in accordance with good agricultural
practice, this active ingredient is useful and a tolerance is
not necessary to protect the public health. Therefore, EPA proposes
that the exemption from the requirement of a tolerance be established
as set forth below.
   Any person who has registered or submitted an application
for registration of a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide,
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as amended that contains
any of the ingredients listed herein may request within 30 days
after publication of this document in the Federal Register that
this rulemaking proposal be referred to an Advisory Committee
in accordance with section 408(e) of the Federal Food, Drug
and Cosmetic Act.
   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments
on the proposed regulations. Comments must bear a notation indicating
the document control number, [OPP-300353]. All written comments
filed in response to this petition will be available in the
Public Information Branch, at the address given above, from
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
   Pursuant to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility
Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 94 Stat. 1164, 5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Administrator
has determined that regulations establishing new tolerances,
or raising tolerance levels, or establishing exemptions from
tolerance requirements do not have a significant economic impact
on a substantial number of small entities. A certification statement
to this effect was published in the Federal Register of May
4, 1981 (46 FR 24950).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

   Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure,
Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests.

Dated: July 15, 1994.

Lois Rossi,

Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide

Programs.

   Therefore, it is proposed that part 180 be amended as follows:

PART 180-[AMENDED]

   1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read

as follows:

   Authority: 21 U.S.C. 346a and 371.

   2. Section 180.1054 is revised to read as follows:

sec 180.1054   Calcium hypochlorite; exemptions from the requirement
of a tolerance.

   (a) Calcium hypochlorite is exempted from the requirement
of a tolerance when used preharvest or postharvest in solution
on all raw agricultural commodities.

   (b) Calcium hypochlorite is exempted from the requirement
of a tolerance in or on grapes when used as a fumigant postharvest
by means of a chlorine generator pad.

[FR Doc. 94-18911 Filed 8-2-94; 8:45 am]