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fomesafen
NYSDEC Letter - Specific Exemption Request to Control Broadleaf Weeds in Snap and Dry Beans Grown in NY State-2005 12/04

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials

Bureau of Pesticides Management, 9th Floor
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-7254
Phone: (518) 402-8788     FAX: (518) 402-9024
Website: www.dec.state.ny.us

December 9, 2004

CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED


Mr. Dan Rosenblatt
Team Leader
USEPA/Office of Pesticide Programs
Emergency Response Team (7505C)
Document Processing Desk
Crystal Mall 2--2nd Floor 1801 Bell St.
Arlington, Virginia 22202

Dear Mr. Rosenblatt:

Re: Specific Exemption Request for Use of Fomesafen (Reflex 2LC Herbicide, EPA Reg. No. 100-993) to Control Broadleaf Weeds in Snap and Dry Beans Grown in New York State in 2005

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as the State lead agency for pesticide matters, hereby requests approval of the referenced application (see enclosure) under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, as amended. The enclosed application includes the information required in 40 CFR, Part 166, Subpart B (166.20). Also enclosed is the use report from the 2004 Section 18 use.

    This is the seventh year that we are requesting fomesafen (Reflex 2LC) at the 1999 reduced rates for emergency use to control a complex of broadleaf weeds, including redroot pigweed, common ragweed, nightshade spp, mustard spp., and velvetleaf in the major snap and dry bean production areas of New York State. In 2003, Raptor (imazamox) was registered for use in NY for postemergent control and/or suppression of some broadleaf weeds on dry beans only. Sandea (halosulfuron) was registered for use in NY as a preemergence herbicide on both dry and snap beans. Both products have strengths and weaknesses that can enhance IPM efforts, but neither can be considered more than an additional tool that growers can use (Appendix A).

    The other currently registered preplant and preemergent herbicides often fail to provide adequate control of troublesome broadleaf weeds due to their dependency on rainfall for activation or placement in the soil for optimum activation. Even the postemergent herbicide, Basagran, provides only erratic control at the highest recommended rate (1.0 lb ai/acre) and is subject to strict temperature and humidity conditions. Contamination of the harvest by nightshade berries can cause significant economic loss through rejection of harvested loads and field "by-pass" (Appendix D).

    Research consistently shows that Reflex 2LC provides superior control of numerous broadleaf weeds at very low doses (Appendix A 1-3). With Reflex 2LC, growers are able to decrease the use of soil-applied, residual herbicides because they will be able to selectively control weeds after they know where and which weeds they have. Reflex 2LC can be used on an as-needed basis, postemergence, over an extended period of time.

    The use of 0.08 to 0.313 lb ai/acre (0.32 to 1.25 pints) of Reflex 2LC is requested. Application will be made with ground equipment using ten to 40 gallons of water per acre. A maximum of one application per season is requested. Application will occur between the first and third trifoliate leaf stages depending on the time of weed emergence. It is estimated that 50% of the 32,000 acres of snap beans and 25,500 acres of dry beans, expected to be grown in New York State in 2005, may need to be treated with the requested material.

    According to the 2004 Use report enclosed, the average rate of application used last season was 0.75 pints/acre (0.175 and 0.2 lb ai/acre) for both snap and dry bean. This rate reflects the application rate of concern (0.188 lb ai/acre) specified in the 2003 approval letter from USEPA. See Appendix A 1-3, 8, for dose response and efficacy information.

    Snap beans are planted from May 1 to August 7 and dry beans are planted from May 17 to July l . The expected use season for Reflex 2LC will be from June 1 to August 30. Proposals to mitigate risks to applicators and the environment include Personal Protective Equipment for the certified applicators and a 50-foot, treatment-free, set-back from all water sources will be required for growers in Suffolk County.

    Sygenta Crop Protection, Inc., the manufacturer of Reflex 2LC, fully supports our efforts to obtain an emergency exemption for the use of Reflex on snap and dry beans in New York State. The IR-4 group at Rutgers University continues to work to establish a tolerance for fomesafen. The completed IR-4 registration package for fomesafen on snap beans was submitted in 1998, and is currently being considered for the 2005 Work Plan. The registration package for dry beans was submitted to the Agency on October 11, 2000 and amended in February 2001 (Appendix G). Concerns have been mounting among grower groups regarding the length of time (over ten years in New York) a specific exemption has been requested for Reflex on beans. These concerns have resulted in the growers joining with researchers and the manufacturer to request a TRED evaluation by EPA (Appendix B).

    Please contact Robin Hackett, of our Pesticide Product Registration Section, at (518) 402-8768, if you require further assistance on this request.

Sincerely,

Maureen P. Serafini
Director
Bureau of Pesticides Management

Enclosure
cc: w/enc. - A. Enache, USEPA Region II
cc: w/o enc. - W. Smith, Cornell University, PSUR
R. Zimmerman\R. Mungari, New York State Dept. Of Ag. & Mkts.