Thifensulfuron methyl; Tolerances Actions

Summary:

EPA is taking direct final action to reinstate corn tolerances for the herbicide thifensulfuron methyl. These corn tolerances were previously established but inadvertently removed shortly thereafter. Registrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use of thifensulfuron methyl on corn currently exist and have existed for more than 9 years.

Table of Contents

Dates:

This direct final rule is effective on May 13, 2004, without further notice, unless EPA receives a relevant adverse comment by April 13, 2004. If, however, EPA receives a relevant adverse comment during the comment period, then EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final rule will not take effect.

Addresses:

Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. Follow the detailed instructions as provided in Unit I. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

For further information contact:

Joseph Nevola, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.,Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8037; e-mail address:nevola.joseph@epa.gov.

Supplementary information:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

•Crop production (NAICS 111)

•Animal production (NAICS 112)

•Food manufacturing (NAICS 311)

•Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS 32532)

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. To determine whether you or your business may be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in Unit III. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. How Can I Get Copies of this Document and Other Related Information?

1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number OPP-2003-0363. The official public docket consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments received, and other information related to this action. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA. This docket facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The docket telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

2. Electronic access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/. A frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 is available at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfrhtml_00/Title_40/40cfr180_00.html/, a beta site currently under development.

An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may use EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket/ to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facility identified in Unit I.B.1. Once in the system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID number.

Certain types of information will not be placed in the EPA Dockets. Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, which is not included in the official public docket, will not be available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. To the extent feasible, publicly available docket materials will be made available in EPA's electronic public docket. When a document is selected from the index list in EPA Dockets, the system will identify whether the document is available for viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facility identified in Unit I.B.1. EPA intends to work towards providing electronic access to all of the publicly available docket materials through EPA's electronic public docket.

For public commenters, it is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. When EPA identifies a comment containing copyrighted material, EPA will provide a reference to that material in the version of the comment that is placed in EPA's electronic public docket. The entire printed comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket.

Public comments submitted on computer disks that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's electronic public docket. Public comments that are mailed or delivered to the Docket will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public docket. Where practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the photograph will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with a brief description written by the docket staff.

C. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?

You may submit comments electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket ID number in the subject line on the first page of your comment. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments. If you wish to submit CBI or information that is otherwise protected by statute, please follow the instructions in Unit I.D. Do not use EPA Dockets or e-mail to submit CBI or information protected by statute.

1. Electronically. If you submit an electronic comment as prescribed in this unit, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing address, and an e-mail address or other contact information in the body of your comment. Also include this contact information on the outside of any disk or CD ROM you submit, and in any cover letter accompanying the disk or CD ROM. This ensures that you can be identified as the submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your comment. EPA's policy is that EPA will not edit your comment, and any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment.

i. EPA Dockets. Your use of EPA's electronic public docket to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Go directly to EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once in the system, select “search,” and then key in docket ID number OPP-2003-0363. The system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, e-mail address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment.

ii. E-mail. Comments may be sent by e-mail to opp-docket@epa.gov, Attention: Docket ID Number OPP-2003-0363. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system is not an “anonymous access”system. If you send an e-mail comment directly to the docket without going through EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system automatically captures your e-mail address. E-mail addresses that are automatically captured by EPA's e-mail system are included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.

iii. Disk or CD ROM. You may submit comments on a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the mailing address identified in Unit I.C.2. These electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect or ASCII file format. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption.

2. By mail. Send your comments to: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB) (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001, Attention: Docket ID Number OPP-2003-0363.

3. By hand delivery or courier. Deliver your comments to: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA, Attention: Docket ID Number OPP-2003-0363. Such deliveries are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation as identified in Unit I.B.1.

D. How Should I Submit CBI to the Agency?

Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI electronically through EPA's electronic public docket or by e-mail. You may claim information that you submit to EPA as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI (if you submit CBI on disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is 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 docket and EPA's electronic public docket. If you submit the copy that does not contain CBI on disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM clearly that it does not contain CBI. Information not marked as CBI will be included in the public docket and EPA's electronic public docket without prior notice. If you have any questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI, please consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

E. 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 rule or collection activity.

7. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline in this document.

8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket ID number assigned to this action in the subject line on the first page of your response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal Register citation.

II. Authority

A. What is the Agency's Authority for Taking this Action?

This direct final rule is issued under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).

B. Why is EPA Issuing this as a Direct Final Rule?

EPA is issuing this action as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency believes that this action is not controversial and is not likely to result in any adverse comments, inasmuch as this action reinstates corn tolerances that were previously established by rulemaking in the Federal Register and that were inadvertently removed from 40 CFR 180.439.

If, however, EPA receives a relevant adverse comment during the comment period, then EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final rule will not take effect, publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in a future issue of the Federal Register, and address the comments on the direct final rule as part of that notice of proposed rulemaking.

III. Summary of this Action

On May 18, 1994 (59 FR 25821) (FRL-4778-9), EPA published a Notice of Final Rulemaking in the Federal Register in which the Agency established tolerances for residues of the herbicide thifensulfuron methyl in 40 CFR 180.439 for field corn fodder, forage and grain at 0.1 parts per million (ppm), 0.1 ppm and 0.05 ppm, respectively, all with an effective date of May 18, 1994.

Not long after, on June 22, 1994 (59 FR 32085) (FRL-4868-8), EPA published a Notice of Final Rulemaking in the Federal Register in which the Agency established tolerances for residues of the herbicide thifensulfuron methyl in 40 CFR 180.439 for oat, grain and oat, straw with an effective date of June 22, 1994. However, the codification section of that June 22nd final rule inadvertently left out the corn tolerances that were newly established on May 18, 1994. In the preamble text of the June 22nd final rule, no action was directed toward the corn tolerances established on May 18th. The establishment of the three corn tolerances on May 18th was inadvertently missed in the final rule of June 22nd. Consequently, the three corn tolerances established on May 18th did not appear in § 180.439 of the July 1, 1994 version of 40 CFR nor in subsequent annual versions.

Currently, there are active products registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which list corn as a use site for thifensulfuron methyl application. These registrations have existed since 1994 with associated tolerances established in May 1994. Because deletion of the corn tolerances from the 40 CFR was both inadvertent and improper; i.e., there was no cause for removal, there was no mention made of their revocation in the June 22, 1994 final rule (nor in the proposed rule of April 14, 1994; (59 FR 17751) (FRL-4759-4) and therefore no opportunity for public comment on their removal was possible, contrary to FFDCA section 408(e)(2), EPA is correcting the error via this direct final rule.

Also, in accordance with current Agency practice, the commodity terminologies for the tolerances should be revised from “corn forage, field” to “corn, field, forage”; “corn grain, field” to “corn, field, grain”; and “corn fodder, field” to “corn, field, stover.”

Therefore, EPA is reinstating the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.439 for residues of thifensulfuron methyl in or on corn, field, forage at 0.1 ppm; corn, field, stover at 0.1 ppm; and corn, field,grain at 0.05 ppm. The Agency will reassess these tolerances according to FQPA standards in the near future.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This direct final rule reinstates tolerances previously established under section 408 of the FFDCA. Since this direct final rule does not impose any new requirements, it is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review(58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this direct final rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this direct final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This direct final rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501et seq., or impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Public Law 104-4). Nor does it require any special considerations as required by Executive Order 12898, entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations(59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994); or OMB review or any other Agency action under Executive Order 13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks(62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note). Since this action merely reinserts into the CFR tolerances that were never properly deleted, EPA certifies in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601et seq.) that there is no adverse impact resulting from this action. In addition, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled Federalism(64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.” This direct final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers and food retailers, not States. This action does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of section 408(n)(4) of the FFDCA. For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this rule does not have any “tribal implications” as described in Executive Order 13175, entitled Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments(65 FR 67249, November 6, 2000). Executive Order 13175, requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” “Policies that have tribal implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.” This direct final rule will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule.

V. Congressional Review Act

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. 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 United States prior to publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of subjects in 40 cfr part 180

Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: January 21, 2004. James Jones,

Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

Part 180—amended

1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346(a) and 371.

2. Section 180.439 is revised to read as follows: § 180.439

(a)General. Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide thifensulfuron methyl (methyl-3-[[[[4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]-2-thiophene carboxylate) in or on the following raw agricultural commodities:

CommodityParts per million
Barley, grain 0.05
Barley, straw 0.1
Corn, field, forage 0.1
Corn, field, grain 0.05
Corn, field, stover 0.1
Oat, grain 0.05
Oat, straw 0.10
Soybean 0.1
Wheat, grain 0.05
Wheat, straw 0.1

(b)Section 18 emergency exemptions.[Reserved]

(c)Tolerances with regional registrations.[Reserved]

(d)Indirect or inadvertent residues.[Reserved]

References

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