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cyanazine (Bladex) Terms and Conditions of Registration 1/99

[Federal Register: January 22, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 14)]
[Page 3511-3513]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[OPP-30000/60C; FRL-6058-1]

Cyanazine; Notice of Amendment to Terms and Conditions of 
Registration, Response to Comment

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: This Notice announces the Agency's decision to amend the terms 
and conditions of the cyanazine registrations held by DuPont 
Agricultural Products ("DuPont") and Griffin Corporation 
("Griffin"). The registrations are currently being phased out 
according to the terms and conditions proposed by DuPont and 
subsequently agreed to by Griffin and accepted by EPA. These terms and 
conditions were the basis for concluding the Special Review of cyanazine. This 
notice announces EPA's decision to grant the registrants' request to further 
amend the terms and conditions of their cyanazine registrations and voluntary 
cancellation orders to allow a maximum use rate of 3.0 lb/acre in 1999, 
instead of 1.0 lb/acre, as currently required. EPA's decision to grant 
this request is subject to 40 CFR 154.35 because the agreement to phase 
out cyanazine usage and ultimately cancel the registrations was the 
basis for the Agency's conclusion of the Special Review. EPA is 
granting this request because it is a proper response to special 
weather conditions, it will not disturb the original cancellation order 
that phases out cyanazine use by 2002 since there will be no extension 
of the time for phasing out use, and, because the Agency finds that the 
balance between risks and benefits of cyanazine will continue to 
justify allowing use under the terms of the phase-out.
Pesticide Programs (7508C), Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., 
SW., Washington, DC 20460. Office location for commercial courier 
delivery, telephone number, and e-mail address: Rm. 679, Crystal Mall 
1B2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA, (703) 308-8008,


I. Introduction

A. Regulatory Background

    Cyanazine is the common name for [2-((4-chloro-6-(ethylamino)-s-
triazine-2-yl)amino)-2-methylpropionitrile], an herbicide.
    A Special Review of cyanazine was initiated in November 1994 (58 FR 
60412, November 23, 1994) (FRL-4919-5), based on cancer risk concerns 
to humans. In August 1995, DuPont voluntarily proposed to amend its 
cyanazine registrations to effectively phase out all use of cyanazine 
products by December 31, 2002. DuPont modified the labels of cyanazine 
formulated end use products released for shipment by the registrant 
after July 25, 1996, to specify the maximum application rates during 
the phase out and to inform the public of the existing stocks 
provisions. After EPA initiated the Special Review of cyanazine, 
Griffin filed an application to register certain cyanazine pesticide 
products and subsequently agreed to the same terms and conditions of 
registration that were proposed by DuPont. In August, 1995, EPA 
accepted DuPont's proposal, and Griffin's agreement, to amend their 
cyanazine registrations, including voluntary cancellation effective 
December 31, 1999. EPA subsequently concluded the Special Review of 
cyanazine (61 FR 39023, July 25, 1996) (FRL-5385-7) because all 
registrations were being phased out and ultimately canceled, and 
because EPA determined that the risks from additional use during the 
phase-out period did not outweigh the benefits of use during that time.
    On September 23, 1998, DuPont requested a change to the terms and 
conditions of its cyanazine registration (as established in the 
cancellation order, 61 FR 39023), in order to allow use at a rate of 
3.0 lbs/acre during the 1999 growing season. Subsequently, Griffin 
submitted the same request.
    On October 21, 1998, EPA issued a Notice of Receipt of the 
registrants' requests (63 FR 56178, October 21, 1998) (FRL-6040-2), and 
also announced the Agency's proposed decision to grant the registrants' 
request. The Agency explained that it believes that DuPont's request 
for a change in use rate for the 1999 growing season will not disturb 
the Agency's conclusion in 61 FR 39023 that risks associated with the 
voluntary phase out and cancellation are outweighed by its benefits. 
The Notice also solicited public comment pursuant to 40 CFR 154.35 on 
its proposed decision.

II. Response to Public Comments

    EPA received one set of comments in response to its Notice of 
Receipt of the registrants' request to amend the terms and conditions 
of the cyanazine registrations (63 FR 56178), from the Vermont 
Department of Agriculture ("Vermont").

A. Impact of Agency's Decision on Applicator Training

    1. Comment. "The publication and distribution of training 
materials and use recommendations for the 1999 growing season has 
already begun. The Agency should not permit the distribution of 
labeling with directions for use that contradicts material provided to 
commercial applicators and growers through our cooperative training 
program with the University Extension System and the Natural Resource 
Conservation Districts."
    2. Response. EPA recognizes the importance of accurate training and 
enforcement materials, and is willing to aid any state that needs 
further clarification on the terms and conditions of this amendment, as 
well as in dispersing information about the amended terms. Further, the 
supplemental labels clearly identify the change in the allowable use 
rate for only the 1999 growing season, and could be added to the 
training package. If training materials have already been distributed, 
it may be possible to distribute the supplemental labels as an addendum 
or through some other communications package. However, because this 
amendment is increasing, rather than decreasing, the maximum allowable 
use rate, there will be no additional risk if any growers, such as 
those in Vermont, do not receive the supplemental labels and continue 
to use the products at the original 1999 rate of 1 pound per acre.

B. Impact of Agency's Decision on Enforcement Program

    Comment. "The determination of appropriate labeled use by the 
Enforcement Program field staff is complicated by two factors. One is 
the distinction between original and amended labels as far as rate per 
acre directions. The second is between labeled rates for sweet corn 
versus field corn. Having these two discrepancies on labeled products 
in the field at the same time will make the determination of use in 
accordance with label directions impossible on a practical basis for 
the enforcement program."
    Response. EPA acknowledges that the supplemental labels may impose 
difficulties on Vermont's and other states' enforcement efforts. States 
may choose to address this in various ways, including a restriction 
under state law against use of cyanazine products labeled with the 3.0 
lbs./acre application rate.
    However, EPA believes it is likely that not all growers will choose 
to use the product at the maximum allowable rate and, if they do, they 
must have in their possession the supplemental label that allows the 
higher rate. Enforcement officials may require the grower who is found 
applying cyanazine at the 3.0 lbs/acre rate to produce the supplemental 
    EPA routinely requires re-labeling with supplemental labels as part 
of its risk management practices and generally, enforcement officials 
have been able to effectively implement these supplemental labels. 
However, the Agency is willing to aid any state that needs further 
clarification of this amendment and is willing to work with enforcement 
personnel if specific enforcement issues arise.
    As for Vermont's second concern, the amended use rate of 3.0 lbs/
acre in 1999 applies to all crops previously registered at this use 
rate on the cyanazine labels, not just sweet corn. If growers find that 
applying cyanazine at the higher rate is effective on their crops, then they 
may use cyanazine at that rate.

C. Impact of Agency's Decision on Applicator Exposure

    1. Comment. Vermont also asserts that, because "...the original 
cancellation decision was based in part on concern for applicator 
exposure,...postponing reductions in the use rate sends a contradictory 
message that the concern for applicator health and safety may not have 
been such an important issue in the first place. [Vermont] is fully 
aware of the argument that cumulative exposure over the entire phase-
out period would not be changed. That justification does not serve the 
objective of encouraging pesticide applicators to change their 
pesticide use behaviors and crop management practices on a day-to-day 
    2. Response. EPA remains concerned for applicator health and 
safety. The phase-out required that closed cab application equipment be 
used by all cyanazine mixer/loaders and applicators beginning in 1998 
(61 FR 39023). This requirement remains unchanged, and demonstrates the 
Agency's commitment to reducing exposure to workers during the phase-
out period. Both DuPont and Griffin have ceased production of 
cyanazine. Therefore, although the allowable maximum application rate 
will be three times what it would have been under the original terms of 
the phase-out, no more cyanazine than what was originally anticipated 
to be applied will actually be applied between 1998 and 2002.
    The cyanazine phase-out was intended to reduce exposure to 
cyanazine and to eliminate cyanazine use by 2002. It was not 
specifically intended to encourage pesticide applicators to change 
their pesticide use behaviors and crop management practices on a day-
to-day basis. However, this is a valid objective that the State of 
Vermont can pursue under state law if it chooses.

D. Existing Stocks; Atypical Weather Patterns

    1. Comment. Although Vermont understands the concerns regarding the 
level of existing stocks remaining at the end of the cancellation 
period, it points out that "managing the inventory of cyanazine is not 
the Agency's responsibility. The issue of existing stocks would be a 
reasonable consideration if the Agency had any indemnity liability 
under FIFRA Section 15. As that is not the case with cyanazine, the 
Agency should not concern itself with the question of existing 
    2. Response. The Agency disagrees with Vermont that EPA should not 
concern itself with the question of existing stocks. Existing stocks of 
pesticides can pose risks which may not be adequately mitigated by 
hazardous waste regulatory provisions. Hence, the Agency believes that 
it is proper to consider existing stock concerns when implementing 
cancellation orders, especially so when the overall risk-benefit 
balance will not be disturbed.
    3. Comment. Citing that the amended terms were requested in 
response to atypical weather patterns during the 1998 growing season 
(63 FR 56178), Vermont comments that, "managing environmental policy 
based on the weather is also not the Agency's mandate or 
responsibility. The weather is far too variable a factor to serve as a 
valid criteria for setting national environmental policy ..."
    4. Response. Weather patterns often have significant effects on 
agriculture and pest control situations which form the basis for 
national pesticide regulatory policy. The atypical weather patterns of 
the 1998 growing season are only one factor in EPA's evaluation of the 
registrants' requested amendment. EPA also takes into consideration the 
concerns of growers, as well as registrants and applicators, when 
making decisions. In this case, the Agency received calls from sweet 
corn growers requesting permission to use cyanazine at the higher rate 
of 3.0 lbs/acre until the end of the phase-out period and information 
from the registrants noting that less cyanazine was used than 
originally anticipated. EPA balanced the growers' and registrants' 
concerns with the risks posed by allowing the 3.0 lbs/acre use rate to 
stay in place for one more growing season, and concluded that the 
overall risk will not be disturbed.

III. References

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Notice of Receipt of 
Request to Amend the Terms and Conditions of Cyanazine Registrations." 
Federal Register Notice (63 FR 56178). October 21, 1998.
    2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Notice of Preliminary 
Determination to Terminate Special Review; Notice of Receipt of 
Requests for Voluntary Cancellation." Federal Register Notice (61 FR 
8185). March 1, 1996.
    3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Cyanazine; Notice of 
Final Determination to Terminate Special Review of Cyanazine; Notice of 
Voluntary Cancellation and Cancellation Order of Cyanazine Product 
Registrations." Federal Register Notice (61 FR 39023). July 25, 1996.
    4. Communications between DuPont Agricultural Products and USEPA. 
Confidential Business Information.
    5. Communications between Griffin Corporation and USEPA. 
Confidential Business Information.

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection.

    Dated: January 15, 1999.

Jack E. Housenger,

Acting Director, Special Review and Reregistration Division, Office of 
Pesticide Programs.

[FR Doc. 99-1476 Filed 1-21-99; 8:45 am]