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Phosmet - Availability of Interim Risk Management Decision Documents 11/01

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[OPP-34249; FRL-6813-9]
Organophosphate Pesticides; Availability of Azinphos-Methyl and
Phosmet Interim Risk Management Decision Documents
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice.
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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the interim risk
management decision documents for azinphos-methyl and phosmet. In
addition, this notice starts a 60-day public participation period
during which the public is encouraged to submit comments on the
azinphos-methyl and phosmet interim risk management decision documents.
These decision documents have been developed as part of the public
participation process that EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) are now using for involving the public in the reassessment of
pesticide tolerances under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), and
the reregistration of individual organophosphate pesticides under the
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

DATES: Comments, identified by docket control number OPP-34131D for
azinphos-methyl and by docket control number OPP-34173C for phosmet
must be received by EPA on or before January 28, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by mail, electronically, or in
person. Please follow the detailed instructions for each method as
provided in Unit III. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. To ensure
proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify the docket
control number OPP-34131D for azinphos-methyl and the docket control
number OPP-34173C for phosmet in the subject line on the first page of
your response.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on azinphos-methyl
contact: Veronique LaCapra, Special Review and Reregistration Division
(7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency,
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number:
(703) 605-1525; e-mail address: lacapra.veronique@epa.gov.
    For information on phosmet contact: Diane Isbell, Special Review
and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs,
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.,
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 308-8154; e-mail address:
isbell.diane@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Does this Action Apply to Me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, nevertheless, a

wide range of stakeholders will be interested in obtaining the
azinphos-methyl and/or the phosmet interim risk management decision
documents and submitting comments on azinphos-methyl and/or phosmet,
including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the
chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public
interested in the use of pesticides on food. As such, the Agency has
not attempted to specifically describe all the entities potentially
affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the
applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the
persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

II. How Can I Get Additional Information, Including Copies of this
Document or Other Related Documents?

    A. Electronically. You may obtain electronic copies of this
document and other related documents from the EPA Internet home page at
http://www.epa.gov/. To access this document, on the home page select
"Laws and Regulations," "Regulations and Proposed Rules," and then
look up the entry for this document under the "Federal Register--
Environmental Documents." You can also go directly to the Federal
Register listings at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/.
    To access information about organophosphate pesticides and obtain
electronic copies of the revised risk assessments and related documents
mentioned in this notice, you can also go directly to the home page for
the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/.
    B. In person. The Agency has established an official record for
this action identified by docket control number OPP-34131D for
azinphos-methyl and by docket control number OPP-34173C for phosmet.
The official record consists of the documents specifically referenced
in this action, any public comments received during an applicable
comment period, and other information related to this action, including
any information claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI).
This official record includes the documents that are physically located
in the docket, as well as the documents that are referenced in those
documents. The public version of the official record does not include
any information claimed as CBI. The public version of the official
record, which includes printed, paper versions of any electronic
comments submitted during an applicable comment period, is available
for inspection in Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy.,
Arlington, VA, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday,
excluding legal holidays. The Public Information and Records Integrity
Branch (PIRIB) telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

III. How Can I Respond to this Action?

A. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?

    You may submit comments through the mail, in person, or
electronically. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that
you identify docket control number OPP-34131D for azinphos-methyl and/
or docket control number OPP-34173C for phosmet in the subject line on
the first page of your response.
    1. By mail. Submit comments to: Public Information and Records
Integrity Branch, Information Resources and Services Division (7502C),
Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.
    2. In person or by courier. Deliver comments to: Public Information
and Records Integrity Branch, Information Resources and Services
Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection
Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington,
VA. The PIRIB is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday,
excluding legal holidays. The PIRIB telephone number is (703) 305-5805.
    3. Electronically. Submit electronic comments by e-mail to: opp-docket@epa.gov, or you can
submit a computer disk as described in this
unit. Do not submit any information electronically that you consider to
be CBI. Electronic comments must be submitted as an ASCII file, avoiding
the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Comments and data
will also be accepted on standard computer disks in WordPerfect 6.1/8.0
or ASCII file format. All comments in electronic form must be
identified by docket control number OPP-34131D for azinphos-methyl and/
or docket control number OPP-34173C for phosmet. Electronic comments
may also be filed online at many Federal Depository Libraries.

B. How Should I Handle CBI Information that I Want to Submit to the
Agency?

    Do not submit any information electronically that you consider to
be CBI. You may claim information that you submit to EPA in response to
this document as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as
CBI. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance
with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. In addition to one complete
version of the comment that includes any information claimed as CBI, a
copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as
CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public version of the
official record. Information not marked confidential will be included
in the public version of the official record without prior notice. If
you have any questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI,
please consult the persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
CONTACT.

C. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

    You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your
comments:

    1. Explain your views as clearly as possible.
    2. Describe any assumptions that you used.
    3. Provide copies of any technical information and/or data you used
that support your views.
    4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you
arrived at the estimate that you provide.
    5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
    6. Offer alternative ways to improve the notice or collection
activity.
    7. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline in this
notice.
    8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket
control number assigned in the subject line on the first page of your
response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal Register
citation.

IV. What Action is EPA Taking in this Notice?

    EPA has assessed the risks of azinphos-methyl and phosmet and has
reached an interim risk management decision for these organophosphate
pesticides. For azinphos-methyl, 28 crop uses are being canceled, 7
crop uses are being phased-out over 4 years, and 8 crop uses will be
allowed to continue as "time-limited" registrations for another 4
years. Prior to the expiration of the 4-year period, EPA will conduct a
comprehensive review of these 8 crop uses, based on the latest
scientific information, to determine if they should continue; the crops
with time-limited registrations include: Apples/crabapples,
blueberries, brussels sprouts, caneberries, pears, pine seed orchards,
sweet cherries, and the use of azinphos-methyl by nurseries for
quarantine requirement. The crop uses being phased out in 4 years
include those for: Almonds, cotton, cranberries, peaches, pistachios,
tart cherries, and walnuts.
    For the 28 crop uses being canceled for azinphos-methyl, there will
be no phase-out period since there are viable alternatives. Seven crops
are being allowed to continue for 4 years to facilitate transition to
viable alternatives. Also, the Agency will allow a time-limited
registration for 4 years for 8 specific uses of azinphos-methyl.
    For phosmet, 3 uses are being voluntarily canceled, 9 crops are
being authorized for use under specific terms for 5 years, and 33 crops
are being approved for continued use. The new measures on phosmet are
being implemented under an agreement with the registrant. The 3
voluntary cancellations include use on: Domestic pets, household
ornamentals, and household fruit trees. A group of 9 crops will be
authorized for use for 5 years under specific terms: Apples, apricots,
blueberries, crabapples, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums/
dried plums.
    To enhance protection of agricultural workers from azinphos-methyl
and phosmet during the phase-out and time-limited registration periods,
a variety of stringent new precautions are being implemented to reduce
exposure, including longer periods before a worker can enter a treated
area, limiting the number of applications, and prohibiting aerial
application for almost all azinphos-methyl uses.
    Provided that risk mitigation measures are adopted, azinphos-methyl
and phosmet fit into their own risk cup; their individual, aggregate
risks are within acceptable levels.
    EPA has been evaluating azinphos-methyl and phosmet as part of the
Agency's ongoing process to individually review the organophosphate
pesticides and take necessary risk reduction measures as required under
the FQPA and FIFRA.
    The interim risk management decision documents for azinphos-methyl
and phosmet were developed as part of the organophosphate pesticide
pilot public participation process, which increases transparency and
maximizes stakeholder involvement in EPA's development of risk
assessments and risk management decisions. The pilot public
participation process was developed as part of the EPA-USDA Tolerance
Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC), which was established in April
1998, as a subcommittee under the auspices of EPA's National Advisory
Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. A goal of the pilot
public participation process is to find a more effective way for the
public to participate at critical junctures in the Agency's development
of organophosphate pesticide risk assessments and risk management
decisions. EPA and USDA began implementing this pilot process in August
1998, to increase transparency and opportunities for stakeholder
consultation. EPA worked extensively with affected parties to reach the
decisions presented in the interim risk management decision document
for azinphos-methyl and phosmet.
    In addition, this notice starts a 60-day public participation
period during which the public is encouraged to submit written comments
on the interim risk management decision document for azinphos-methyl
and/or phosmet. Failure to participate or comment as part of this
opportunity will in no way prejudice or limit a commenter's opportunity
to participate fully in any later notice and comment processes.
Comments submitted will become part of the Agency record for azinphos-
methyl and phosmet.
    The preliminary risk assessments for azinphos-methyl were released
to the public on August 12, 1998 (63 FR 43175) (FRL-6024-3) through a
notice published in the Federal Register. The revised risk assessments
for azinphos-methyl were released to the public on May 19, 1999 (64 FR
27258) (FRL-6082-3) through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    The preliminary risk assessments for phosmet were released to the
public on January 15, 1999 (64 FR 2644) (FRL-6056-9) through a notice
published in the Federal Register. The revised risk assessments for
phosmet were released
to the public on March 20, 2000 (65 FR 14967) (FRL-6499-2) through a
notice published in the Federal Register.
    The phosmet partial interim reregistration eligibility decision
document and the benefits assessments for azinphos-methyl and phosmet
were released to the public on September 13, 2001 (66 FR 47657) (FRL-
6802-7) through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    EPA's next step under FQPA is to consider the cumulative risks of
the organophosphate pesticides, which share a common mechanism of
toxicity. The interim risk management decision documents on azinphos-
methyl and phosmet cannot be considered final until this consideration
of organophosphate cumulative risks is complete.
    When the cumulative risks of the organophosphate pesticides have
been considered, EPA will issue its final tolerance reassessment
decision for azinphos-methyl and phosmet and further risk mitigation
measures may be needed.

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Pesticides and pests.

    Dated: November 20, 2001.
Jack E. Housenger,
Acting Director, Special Review and Reregistration Division, Office of
Pesticide Programs.

[FR Doc. 01-29558 Filed 11-27-01; 8:45 am]