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Toxics

SAB NITROGEN STUDY MAY SPUR STRICTER, INTEGRATED EPA CONTROLS

EPA's science advisers are launching a study on the life cycle of nitrogen that could provide the basis for stricter management of the nutrient across agency programs and tighten mobile source, power plant and agricultural runoff policies, agency sources say.

The agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB) is initiating the unusual self-directed study of how nitrogen cycles through air, water and soil because the reactive form of the chemical in the environment is accumulating at a far faster pace than it is being removed through natural processes.

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EPA Rejects Industry Argument In Asserting Methyl Bromide Oversight

EPA has rebuffed an industry argument that the agency lacks the authority to restrict access to stockpiles of the controversial pesticide methyl bromide, a move that could set up a legal battle over the agency's oversight of the ozone-depleting substance.

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Midwest Eyes Regional Anti-Pollution Measures Following Failed Federal Efforts

Midwestern state lawmakers plan to push environmental legislation next year to protect children's health and establish new discharge limits on ships, with the strategy's proponents saying enacting anti-pollution policies across the region may be more viable than seeking federal controls. The strategy is being pushed after similar legislative proposals have failed at the federal level.

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ADMINISTRATION EYES LIST OF CANDIDATES TO REPLACE EPA SCIENCE CHIEF

The Bush administration is considering a preliminary list of candidates to replace outgoing EPA research chief Paul Gilman, agency sources say. Whichever candidate is selected will deal with a host of issues, including decisions that may impact water regulations for mercury and perchlorate.

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EPA Grapples With TSCA Requirements In Key Biotechnology Proposal

EPA will extend the comment period on a first-of-its-kind proposal on data requirements for registering bio-based enzymes at a time when the agency is grappling with how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) should apply to the increasing number of new biotechnology products industry is developing, EPA and industry sources say.

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EPA EYES FIRST RULES FOR HIGH-VOLUME CHEMICALS BASED ON NEW DATA

EPA has laid out a major expansion of its effort to compile toxicity data on high-volume chemicals by announcing plans for more test rules and opening the door to including more chemicals in the program, while signaling a shift toward developing first-time regulations based on information gathered from the program, according to sources involved in the effort.

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EPA GRAPPLES WITH TSCA REQUIREMENTS IN KEY BIOTECHNOLOGY PROPOSAL

EPA will extend the comment period on a first-of-its-kind proposal on data requirements for registering bio-based enzymes at a time when the agency is grappling with how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) should apply to the increasing number of new biotechnology products industry is developing, EPA and industry sources say.

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INDUSTRY ASKS OMB TO ALLOW INCREASED INPUT ON PESTICIDE DATA RULE

The pesticide industry met with the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) last month seeking increased participation in the development of forthcoming EPA revisions to requirements for data that support decisions on pesticide registration, according to an industry source.

"To a certain extent, federal agencies have to maintain the process closed [when drafting rules] but we are hoping to provide the agency with our experience with the studies" that must be sent to EPA to support pesticide registration decisions, the industry source says.

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PESTICIDES DEPARTMENT EYES PANEL EXPANSION TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY

A relatively obscure pesticides department committee may serve as a forum to bring greater transparency to the department's activities, according to the department's new director. The Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pest Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) may tackle more controversial issues in the future in an open-meeting process, DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam said at a Dec. 3 PMAC meeting.

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DPR AUDIT FINDS LONG'S AVOIDED MILL FEE ON THOUSANDS OF PRODUCTS

A pesticides department audit has revealed a California drug store chain has avoided paying a legally required fee on thousands of pesticide product sales, which the department estimates has led to $4 million in lost revenue for the regulatory agency. The Department of Pesticide Regulation will now begin "talks" with other "big-box" retailers to determine the extent of noncompliance with the state's mill assessment.

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