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fomesafen (Reflex) NYS DEC Section 18 Request Letter 12/01

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

December 10, 2001


Ms. Meredith Laws
Team Leader
USEPA/Office of Pesticide Programs
Emergency Response Team (7505C)
Document Processing Desk
Crystal Mall 2--2nd Floor
1921 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, Virginia 22202

Dear Ms. Laws:

Re: Specific Exemption Request for Use of Fomesafen (Reflex 2LC Herbicide, EPA Reg. No. 10182-83) to Control Broadleaf Weeds in Snap and Dry Beans Grown in New York State in 2002

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department), 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 2001 Section 18 use.

    This is the fourth 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. The 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 one 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 F).

    Research consistently shows that Reflex 2LC provides superior control of numerous broadleaf weeds at very low doses (Appendix A). 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 37,600 acres of snap beans and 25,000 acres of dry beans, expected to be grown in New York State in 2002, may need to be treated with the requested material.

    Snap beans are planted from May 1 to August 7 and dry beans are planted from May 17 to July 1. 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. (formerly Zeneca Ag Products), 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 December 1998 and is currently under review. The registration package for dry beans was submitted to the Agency on October 11, 2000 (Appendix E).

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


Maureen P. Serafini
Director, Bureau of Pesticides Management
Division of Solid & Hazardous Materials

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