[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 62 (Friday, March 30, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19109-19112]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7490]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 180

[EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0536; FRL-9343-1]


Bacillus Pumilus Strain GHA 180; Exemption From the Requirement 
of a Tolerance

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement 
of a tolerance for residues of Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 in or on 
all food commodities when used in accordance with good agricultural 
practices. Premier Horticulture submitted a petition to EPA under the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption 
from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the 
need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of Bacillus 
pumilus strain GHA 180.

DATES: This regulation is effective March 30, 2012. Objections and 
requests for hearings must be received on or before May 29, 2012, and 
must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR 
part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under docket 
identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0536. All documents in the 
docket are listed in the docket index available at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is 
not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) 
or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain 
other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the 
Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. 
Publicly available docket materials are available in the electronic 
docket at http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard 
copy, at the OPP Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac 
Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The Docket 
Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
excluding legal holidays. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 
305-5805.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susanne Cerrelli, Biopesticides and 
Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8077; email 
address: cerrelli.susanne@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 code 111).
     Animal production (NAICS code 112).
     Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).
     Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 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. 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 electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR 
part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this 
document electronically, go to: http://www.epa.gov/ocspp and select 
``Test Methods and Guidelines.''

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an 
objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a 
hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a 
hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided 
in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify 
docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0536 in the subject line on the first 
page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must 
be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before 
May 29, 2012. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and 
hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).
    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the 
Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of 
the filing that does not contain any CBI for inclusion in the public 
docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 
may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit a copy of 
your non-CBI objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID 
number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0536, by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public 
Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
     Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), 
Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One

[[Page 19110]]

Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. 
Deliveries are only accepted during the Docket Facility's normal hours 
of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding 
legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-
5805.

II. Background and Statutory Findings

    In the Federal Register of September 30, 2010 (75 FR 60452) (FRL-
8837-2), EPA issued a notice pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 
U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide tolerance 
petition (PP 0F7698) by Premier Horticulture, 1, Avenue Premier, 
Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada. The petition requested that 40 CFR 
part 180 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement 
of a tolerance for residues of Bacillus pumilus GHA 180. This notice 
referenced a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner Premier 
Horticulture, which is available in the docket via http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the 
notice of filing.
    Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an 
exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a 
pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that 
the exemption is ``safe.'' Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines 
``safe'' to mean that ``there is a reasonable certainty that no harm 
will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, 
including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for 
which there is reliable information.'' This includes exposure through 
drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include 
occupational exposure. Pursuant to FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(B), in 
establishing or maintaining in effect an exemption from the requirement 
of a tolerance, EPA must take into account the factors set forth in 
FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C), which require EPA to give special 
consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide 
chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to ``ensure that there 
is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and 
children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. * * 
*'' Additionally, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D) requires that the Agency 
consider ``available information concerning the cumulative effects of a 
particular pesticide's residues'' and ``other substances that have a 
common mechanism of toxicity.''
    EPA performs a number of analyses to determine the risks from 
aggregate exposure to pesticide residues. First, EPA determines the 
toxicity of pesticides. Second, EPA examines exposure to the pesticide 
through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as 
a result of pesticide use in residential settings.

III. Toxicological Profile

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the 
available scientific data and other relevant information in support of 
this action and considered its validity, completeness and reliability, 
and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also 
considered available information concerning the variability of the 
sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including 
infants and children.
    Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 is a bacterium discovered in the 
root zone of apple trees in Mexico. It colonizes plant roots and 
produces metabolites that suppress the fungal plant pathogens Pythium 
ultimum, Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani and Alternaria spp.
    Adequate mammalian toxicology data and information were submitted 
to support Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 pesticide products. The 
Draft Biopesticide Registration Action Document (BRAD) for Bacillus 
pumilus strain GHA 180 provides detailed information regarding these 
tests (Ref. 1), which are summarized in this unit.
    1. Acute Injection Toxicity/Pathogenicity (OCSPP Guideline 
885.3200; Master Record Identification Number (MRID) No. 48005025): 
Bacillus pumilus GHA 180 was not toxic and/or pathogenic to laboratory 
rats given a single intravenous dose of 6.8 x 10\7\ colony forming 
units (CFU).
    2. Acute Oral Toxicity (OCSPP Guideline 870.1100; MRID No. 
48005020): Bacillus pumilus GHA 180 was not toxic to rats given a 
single oral dose by gavage [median lethal dose (LD50) >5,000 
milligrams/kilograms (mg/kg) body weight (bw), Toxicity Category IV].
    3. Acute Dermal Toxicity (OCSPP Guideline 870.1200; MRID 48005021): 
Bacillus pumilus GHA180 was not toxic to rats when applied to the skin 
(LD50 >5050 mg/kg bw, Toxicity Category IV).
    4. Acute Inhalation Toxicity (OCSPP Guideline 870.1300; MRID 
48005022): No signs of toxicity or other adverse effects occurred in 
rats exposed nose-only to an aerosol containing Bacillus pumilus GHA 
180 Technical Grade of the Active Ingredient (TGAI) (2.18 mg/L) for 4 
hours (LC50 >2.18 mg/L, EPA Toxicity Category IV).
    5. Acute Eye Irritation (OCSPP Guideline 870.2400; MRID 48005023): 
Bacillus pumilus GHA 180 was mildly irritating to the eyes of rabbits 
(Toxicity Category III).
    6. Primary Dermal Irritation (OCSPP Guideline 870.2500; MRID 
48005024): Bacillus pumilus GHA 180 TGAI was nonirritating to the skin 
of rabbits (Toxicity Category IV).

IV. Aggregate Exposures

    In examining aggregate exposure, FFDCA section 408 directs EPA to 
consider available information concerning exposures from the pesticide 
residue in food and all other non-occupational exposures, including 
drinking water from ground water or surface water and exposure through 
pesticide use in gardens, lawns, or buildings (residential and other 
indoor uses).

A. Dietary Exposure

    1. Food. Bacillus species, including Bacillus pumilus, are common 
in soils (Ref. 2). Dried food, such as spices, milk powder and grains, 
often contain large amounts of Bacillus spores (Ref. 3), and Bacillus 
pumilus is a natural component of fermented fish sauce and cocoa bean 
fermentations (Ref. 4). Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 is not known to 
produce mammalian toxins, and no foodborne disease outbreaks have been 
reported. Based on the results of toxicity studies conducted with 
Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 TGAI, no toxicity, infectivity, 
pathogenicity or other adverse effects from dietary exposure to this 
bacterium from its pesticide uses are expected (see Unit III.).
    2. Drinking water exposure. According to the World Health 
Organization, Bacillus species are often detected in drinking water 
even after going through disinfection processes at water treatment 
facilities (Ref. 5). If residues of Bacillus pumilus GHA 180 occur in 
drinking water from its pesticide uses, no adverse effects are expected 
based on the results of toxicity studies described in Unit III.

B. Other Non-Occupational Exposure

    Pesticide products with the active ingredient Bacillus pumilus 
strain GHA 180 are only used in greenhouses and contained nurseries. 
Non-occupational exposures may occur in populations that access 
residential greenhouses and apply these pesticide products or handle 
soils that have been treated with Bacillus pumilus GHA 180. The 
personal protective equipment indicated on the label are expected to be 
adequate

[[Page 19111]]

to minimize human exposure to those handling pesticide products 
containing Bacillus pumilus GHA 180. Should human exposure occur, 
however, no adverse effects are expected based on the lack of toxicity, 
infectivity and pathogenicity in the studies described in Unit III.

V. Cumulative Effects From Substances With a Common Mechanism of 
Toxicity

    Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering 
whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency 
consider ``available information'' concerning the cumulative effects of 
a particular pesticide's residues and ``other substances that have a 
common mechanism of toxicity.''
    EPA has not found Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 to share a common 
mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and Bacillus pumilus 
strain GHA 180 does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced 
by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, 
therefore, EPA has assumed that Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 does 
not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For 
information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a 
common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of 
such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

VI. Determination of Safety for U.S. Population, Infants and Children

    FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C) provides that EPA shall assess the 
available information about consumption patterns among infants and 
children, special susceptibility of infants and children to pesticide 
chemical residues, and the cumulative effects on infants and children 
of the residues and other substances with a common mechanism of 
toxicity. In addition, FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(C) provides that EPA 
shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants 
and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal 
and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity 
and exposure unless EPA determines that a different margin of safety 
will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety 
is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor. In applying this 
provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X or uses a 
different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA 
support the choice of a different factor.
    Based on the acute toxicity and pathogenicity data summarized in 
Unit III., EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no 
harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and 
children, from aggregate exposure to the residues of Bacillus pumilus 
strain GHA180. This includes all anticipated dietary exposures and all 
other exposures for which there is reliable information. EPA has 
arrived at this conclusion because the data and information available 
on Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 does not demonstrate toxic, 
pathogenic, and/or infective potential to mammals. Because there are no 
threshold effects of concern, the provision requiring an additional 
margin of safety does not apply.

VII. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since 
the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a 
tolerance without any numerical limitation.

B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. 
tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent 
with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA 
considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established 
by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA 
section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations 
Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food 
standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety 
standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United 
States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from 
a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain 
the reasons for departing from the Codex level.
    The Codex has not established a MRL for Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 
180.

VIII. Conclusions

    Therefore, an exemption is established for residues of Bacillus 
pumilus strain GHA180 in or on all food commodities when used in 
accordance with good agricultural practices.

IX. References

1. U.S. EPA. February 2012. Draft Biopesticides Registration Action 
Document of Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180.
2. Logan, N.A., and P. de Vos. 2009. Genus I. Bacillus, pp. 21-128 
In: P. de Vos, G.M. Garrity, D. Jones, N.R. Krieg, W. Ludwig, F.A. 
Rainey, K.H. Schleifer, and W. Whitman (Eds.) Bergey's Manual of 
Systematic Bacteriology, Volume 3, 2nd Ed. Springer, New York.
3. Murray, P.R, et al., Manual of Clinical Microbiology. Washington, 
D. C.: ASM Press; 9th edition, 2007.
4. Doyle, M.P., L.R. Beuchat and T.J. Montville. 1997. Food 
Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers. American Society for 
Microbiology, Washington, DC
5. World Health Organization, Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. 
(2011) Fourth Edition.

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This final rule establishes an exemption from the requirement of a 
tolerance under section 408(d) of FFDCA in response to a petition 
submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has 
exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 
12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 
1993). Because this final rule has been exempted from review under 
Executive Order 12866, this final rule is not subject to Executive 
Order 13211, entitled ``Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'' (66 FR 
28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled ``Protection of 
Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997). This final rule does not contain any 
information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it require any 
special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled ``Federal 
Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and 
Low-Income Populations'' (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis 
of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance 
exemption in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed 
rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

XI. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to 
the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will

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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: March 15, 2012.
Marty Monell,
Acting Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

PART 180--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:

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


0
2. Section 180.1313 is added to subpart D to read as follows:


Sec.  180.1313  Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180; exemption from the 
requirement of a tolerance.

    An exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established for 
residues of Bacillus pumilus strain GHA 180 in or on all food 
commodities when used in accordance with good agricultural practices.

[FR Doc. 2012-7490 Filed 3-29-12; 8:45 am]
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