SFIREG Holds Full Committee Meeting
On December 6-7, 2010, the State Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Issues Research & Evaluation Group (SFIREG) held its semi-annual full committee meeting at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) offices in Arlington, Virginia. Through a cooperative agreement in 1978, EPA and the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO) created SFIREG, an AAPCO committee with EPA funding, to promote information exchange and cooperation between the states and EPA in the development of pesticide policies and regulations. More information about SFIREG is available online. Issues of potential interest discussed during the meeting include the following:
- SFIREG-developed Issue Papers related to pesticide product labels, including mandatory versus advisory language, “For Use By” language, supplemental labeling expiration dates, and the proposed revision of Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 87-1 regarding Chemigation statements.
- Updates on discussions from prior meetings concerning: the Spray Drift PR Notice status; Total Release Fogger (TRF) disinfectant fogger issues; and revision of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) Pesticide Inspectors Manual.
- Discussion of the fumigation label review process.
- Discussion of voluntary product ingredient disclosure.
- A series of discussions concerning the interaction between EPA and State Lead Agencies (SLA), including:
- The biggest enforcement issues for SLAs with which EPA could assist: During the discussion, SFIREG members stated that worker protection, for example, is a high EPA priority, but many states have not had an enforceable incident on worker protection for years. In general, SLAs would like a process that would consider state priorities as EPA’s priorities are identified. Amid continuing discussions of reduced budgets, one discussion theme was what can EPA and SLAs do together to achieve the greatest risk reduction for the cost.
- Options for increasing input by SLAs into EPA’s rulemaking processes, particularly early in the process: As one step, EPA agreed to provide the states with a list of litigation cases that are driving EPA decisions regarding risk reduction policy and rules. Another suggestion was for states to participate on EPA work groups to input their ideas regarding the cost and enforceability of risk mitigation proposals. EPA also stated that it would generate a list of rulemaking items for states to review and decide whether they wish to involve themselves in a particular rulemaking action.
- Increased scrutiny of label language enforceability during the label review process: The general discussion theme was that labeling improvements are occurring, but the only way EPA will be able to judge the success of its label education and improvement programs is through the comments received from the states.
- Report by the SFIREG Environmental Quality Issues Working Committee, addressing topics such as: Bedbugs — one state’s perspective and EPA’s update; endangered species activities and update; and an update regarding the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit.
- Report by the Pesticide Operations and Management Working Committee, addressing topics such as: supplemental labels, and particularly expiration dates; Section 24(c) issues; transitioning minimum risk insect repellents to Section 3 status; soil fumigant outreach tools; and registration and regulation of nanosilver.
- Revisions to the State Label Issues Tracking System (SLITS), a tool that enables an SLA to send a product label-specific question directly to the right EPA product manager.
- EPA’s Spanish Language Labeling Initiative, developed in response to a December 2009 letter from the Migrant Clinicians Network and other non-governmental organizations requesting EPA to require registrants to provide pesticide labeling in Spanish. EPA plans to publish a Federal Register notice seeking comment on such a proposal.
- Reports by the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators, and the Tribal Pesticide Program Council.