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sodium bicarbonate/potassium bicarbonate Tolerance Exemption 12/97

[Federal Register: January 6, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 3)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 417-418]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



40 CFR Part 180


Technical Amendments to Sodium Bicarbonate and Potassium
Bicarbonate; Tolerance Exemptions: Correction of Effective Date Under
Congressional Review Act (CRA)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule; correction of effective date under CRA.


SUMMARY: On December 23, 1996 (61 FR 67472), the Environmental
Protection Agency published in the Federal Register a final rule under
the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) that exempted from the
requirement of a tolerance residues of the biochemical pesticides
sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate in or on all raw
agricultural commodities, when applied as fungicides or post-harvest
fungicides. The rule established an effective date of December 23,
1996. This document corrects the effective date of that rule to January
6, 1998, to be consistent with sections 801 and 808 of the
Congressional Review Act (CRA), enacted as part of the Small Business
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.

DATES: This rule is effective January 6, 1998. Objections and requests
for hearings must be received by EPA on or before March 9, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Written objections and hearing requests, identified by the
docket number, [OPP-300440A], may be submitted to: Hearing Clerk
(1900), Environmental Protection Agency, Room M3708, 401 M Street, SW.,
Washington, DC 20460.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Hofmann, Director, Regulatory
Coordination Staff, Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxics,
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW, Washington, DC 20460.
Telephone: (202) 260-2922.


A. Background

    Section 801 of the CRA precludes a rule from taking effect until
the agency promulgating the rule submits a rule report, which includes
a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the
Comptroller General of the General Accounting Office (GAO). EPA
recently discovered that it had inadvertently failed to submit the
above rule as required; thus, although the rule was promulgated on
December 23, 1996, by operation of law, the rule did not take effect on
December 23, 1996 as stated. After EPA discovered its error, the rule
was submitted to both Houses of Congress and the GAO on December 11,
1997. This document amends the effective date of the rule consistent
with the provisions of the CRA.
    Section 408(e)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21
U.S.C. 346a(e)(2), provides that the Administrator, before issuing a
final rule under subsection 408(e)(1), shall issue a proposed rule and
allow 60 days for public comment unless the Administrator for good
cause finds that it would be in the public interest to provide a
shorter period. EPA has determined that there is good cause for making
today's rule final without prior proposal and opportunity for comment
because EPA merely is correcting the effective date of the promulgated
rule to be consistent with the congressional review requirements of the
Congressional Review Act as a matter of law and has no discretion in
this matter. Thus, notice and public procedure are unnecessary. The
Agency finds that this constitutes good cause under section408(e)(2).
Moreover, since today's action does not create any new regulatory
requirements and affected parties have known of the underlying rule
since December 23, 1996, EPA finds that good cause exists to provide
for an immediate effective date pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) and
808(2). Under section 408(g)(1) of FFDCA, today's rule is effective
upon publication.
    Because the delay in the effective date was caused by EPA's
inadvertent failure to submit the rule under the CRA, EPA does not
believe that affected entities that acted in good faith relying upon
the effective date stated in the December 23, 1996 Federal Register
should be penalized if they were complying with the rule as

B. Administrative Requirements

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this
action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' and is therefore not
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. In addition,
this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any
unfunded mandate as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of
1995 (Pub. L. 104-4), or require prior consultation with State
officials as specified by Executive Order 12875 (58 FR 58093, October
28, 1993), or involve special consideration of environmental justice
related issues as required by Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629,
February 16, 1994). Because this action is not subject to notice-and-
comment requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any
other statute, it is not subject to the regulatory flexibility
provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
EPA's compliance with these statutes and Executive Orders for the
underlying rule is discussed in the December 23, 1996, Federal Register
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), as added by the Small Business
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, EPA will submit a report
containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate,
the U.S. House of Representatives and the Comptroller General of the
General Accounting Office; however, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 808(2),
this rule is effective on January 6, 1998. This rule is not a ``major
rule'' as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
    This final rule only amends the effective date of the underlying
rule; it does not amend any substantive requirements contained in the
rule. Accordingly, objections, hearing requests, and judicial review
are limited to the amended effective date. Procedures for filing
objections to and requests for hearings on this amendment are described
in the December 23, 1996, Federal Register document.

[[Page 418]]

    Dated: December 30, 1997.
Carol M. Browner,
[FR Doc. 98-258 Filed 1-2-98; 12:20 pm]