[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 183 (Wednesday, September 23, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48542-48543]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-22809]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0218; FRL-8421-5]


Estimating the Drinking Water Component of a Dietary Exposure 
Assessment; Science Policy, Notice of Withdrawal

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY:  EPA hereby withdraws the pesticide science policy document 
entitled ``Estimating the Drinking Water Component of a Dietary 
Exposure Assessment,'' that was issued in November 1999. This science 
policy was developed during the implementation of the new safety 
standard in section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as 
amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. EPA's assessment of 
exposure to residues in drinking water no longer involves performing 
screening level assessments as described in this policy paper. Instead, 
the Agency now routinely develops estimates of exposure to pesticides 
in drinking after using the more advanced methods that EPA has 
described in other science policy papers.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Behl, Environmental Fate and 
Effects Division, Office of Pesticide Programs (7507P), Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-
0001; telephone number: 703-305-6128; fax number: 703-305-6309; e-mail 
address: behl.betsy@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

    This action is directed to the public in general. This action, 
however, may be of interest to persons who produce or formulate 
pesticides or who register pesticide products. Since other entities may 
also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the 
specific entities that may be affected by this action. 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?

    EPA has established a docket for this action under docket 
identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0218. Publicly available 
docket materials are available either in the electronic docket at 
http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard copy, at the 
Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-
4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, 
VA. The hours of operation of this Docket Facility are from 8:30 a.m. 
to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket 
Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

II. Background

    The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) significantly 
amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 
and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Among other 
changes, FQPA established a stringent health-based standard (``a 
reasonable certainty of no harm'') for pesticide residues in foods to 
assure protection from unacceptable pesticide exposure and strengthened 
health protections for infants and children from pesticide risks.
    During 1998 and 1999, EPA and the United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) established a subcommittee of the National Advisory 
Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), the Tolerance 
Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC), to address FFDCA issues and 
implementation. TRAC was comprised of more than 50 representatives of 
affected user, producer, consumer, public health, environmental, 
states, and other interested groups. The TRAC met from May 27, 1998, 
through April 29, 1999.
    In order to continue the constructive discussions about FFDCA, EPA 
and USDA established, under the auspices of NACEPT, the Committee to 
Advise on Reassessment and Transition (CARAT). The CARAT provided a 
forum for a broad spectrum of stakeholders to consult with and advise 
the Agency and the Secretary of Agriculture on pest and pesticide 
management transition issues related to the tolerance reassessment 
process. The CARAT was intended to further the valuable work initiated 
by earlier advisory committees toward the use of sound science and 
greater transparency in regulatory decision-making, increase 
stakeholder participation, and advise on reasonable transition 
strategies that reduce risks without jeopardizing American agriculture 
and farm communities.
    As a result of the 1998 and 1999 TRAC process, EPA decided that the 
implementation process and related policies would benefit from 
providing notice and comment on major science policy issues. The TRAC 
identified nine science policy areas it believed were key to 
implementation of tolerance reassessment. EPA agreed to provide one or 
more documents for comment on each of the nine issues by announcing 
their availability in the Federal Register. In a notice published in 
the Federal Register of October 29, 1998 (63 FR 58038) (FRL-6041-5), 
EPA described its intended approach. Since then, EPA has issued a 
series of draft and revised documents concerning the nine science 
policy issues. Publication of this notice is intended to update the 
public on the status of the science paper ``Estimating the Drinking 
Water Component of a Dietary Exposure Assessment.''

III. Summary: Why this Policy is No Longer Needed

    As a result of the new procedures for estimating concentrations of 
pesticide residues in drinking water, this notice announces the 
withdrawal of ``Estimating the Drinking Water Component of a Dietary 
Exposure Assessment,'' http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/1999/November/Day-10/6044.pdf.
    In assessing the risks of pesticide exposure, scientists frequently 
use mathematical models to predict pesticide concentrations in food, 
water, residential, and occupational environments. This notice pertains 
to how the Agency determines pesticide risk from drinking water. (For 
more information on the models the Agency uses to estimate 
concentrations of pesticides in drinking water see http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/models4.htm). The current approach provides a 
more realistic estimate of exposure through drinking water since actual 
drinking water consumption data and reported body weight from the 
Combined Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII) are used, rather 
than the standard assumptions used in the approach discussed in 
``Estimating the Drinking Water Component of a Dietary Exposure 
Assessment.''

[[Page 48543]]

    This action is also responsive to the recommendations made by EPA's 
Office of Inspector General during its review of EPA's implementation 
of FQPA. In its report ``Opportunities to Improve Data Quality and 
Children's Health through the FQPA'' issued January 10, 2006, http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2006/20060110-2006-P-00009.pdf, the Office of 
Inspector General recommended that EPA update the status of its Science 
Policy issue papers. This Federal Register notice updates the public on 
the status of one of the Science Policy papers which has been 
superseded by other guidance.

List of Subjects

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


    Dated: September 16, 2009.
Stephen A. Owens,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic 
Substances.
[FR Doc. E9-22809 Filed 9-22-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-S