[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 99 (Tuesday, May 22, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30280-30282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12369]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0787; FRL-9674-8]


Final National Recommended Ambient Water Quality Criteria for 
Carbaryl--2012

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

[[Page 30281]]


ACTION: Notice of availability of final criteria.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of 
final national recommended water quality criteria for the protection of 
aquatic life from effects of carbaryl (EPA-820-R-12-007). The final 
criteria document incorporates the latest scientific knowledge on the 
toxicity of carbaryl to aquatic life. On November 1, 2011, EPA 
published draft national recommended water quality criteria for 
carbaryl and provided the public an opportunity to provide scientific 
views. EPA developed the aquatic life criteria based on EPA's 
Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria for 
the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses (1985), (EPA/R-85-
100). EPA's recommended section 304(a) water quality criteria provides 
guidance to States and authorized Tribes in adopting water quality 
standards for protecting aquatic life and human health. These criteria 
are intended to protect aquatic life and do not evaluate human health 
toxicity data. EPA's recommended water quality criteria provide 
technical information for states and authorized tribes in adopting 
water quality standards, but by themselves have no binding legal 
effect. EPA's national recommended final acute and chronic ambient 
water quality criteria (AWQC) for protecting freshwater organisms from 
potential effects of carbaryl is 2.1 [mu]g/L. For the protection of 
estuarine/marine organisms from potential effects of carbaryl, EPA is 
recommending a final acute AWQC of 1.6 [mu]g/L. At the present time, 
there are insufficient data to calculate a chronic AWQC for estuarine/
marine organisms.

ADDRESSES: Scientific views received from the public on the draft 
carbaryl criteria and the draft and final carbaryl criteria documents 
are available from the EPA Docket Center and are identified by Docket 
ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0787. They may be accessed online at:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions.
     Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov.
     Mail: US Environmental Protection Agency; EPA Docket 
Center (EPA/DC) Water Docket, MC 2822T; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20460.
     On Site: EPA Docket Center, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., 
EPA West, Room 3334, Washington DC. This Docket Facility is open from 
8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the Office of Water is (202) 
566-2426.
    For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA 
Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diana Eignor, Health and Ecological 
Criteria Division (4304T), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-1143; eignor.diana@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. What are water quality criteria?

    Water quality criteria are either narrative descriptions of water 
quality or scientifically derived numeric values that protect aquatic 
life or human health from the deleterious effects of pollutants in 
ambient water.
    Section 304(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act requires EPA to develop 
and publish and, from time to time, revise, criteria for the protection 
of water quality and human health that accurately reflect the latest 
scientific knowledge. Water quality criteria developed under section 
304(a) are based solely on data and scientific judgments on the 
relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and 
human health effects. Section 304(a) criteria do not reflect 
consideration of economic impacts or the technological feasibility of 
meeting the chemical concentrations in ambient water.
    Section 304(a) criteria provide guidance to States and authorized 
Tribes in adopting water quality standards that ultimately provide a 
basis for assessing water body health and controlling discharges or 
releases of pollutants. Under the CWA and its implementing regulations, 
States and authorized Tribes are to adopt water quality criteria to 
protect designated uses (e.g., public water supply, aquatic life, 
recreational use, or industrial use). EPA's recommended water quality 
criteria do not substitute for the CWA or regulations, nor are they 
regulations themselves. Thus, EPA's recommended criteria do not impose 
legally binding requirements. States and authorized Tribes have the 
discretion to adopt, where appropriate, other scientifically defensible 
water quality criteria that differ from these recommendations.

II. What is carbaryl and why are we concerned about it?

    Carbaryl is a member of the N-methyl carbamate class of pesticides, 
which share a common mechanism of toxicity by affecting the nervous 
system via cholinesterase inhibition. Carbaryl has many trade names, 
but is most commonly known as Sevin[supreg]. It is an insecticide, a 
molluscide, and is used to thin fruit in orchards. It is registered in 
the United States for controlling insect pests on over 115 agricultural 
and non-crop use applications, including home and garden uses (U.S. EPA 
2007; U.S. EPA 2010). In a 2006 report, the US Geological Survey 
National Water Quality Assessment Program reported carbaryl as the 
second most frequently found insecticide in water, with detections in 
approximately 50% of urban streams (U.S.G.S. 2006). EPA has previously 
developed 304(a) criteria for the other three currently registered 
insecticides found most frequently in U.S. waters.

III. What are the final carbaryl criteria?

    EPA is today publishing final national recommended water quality 
criteria for protecting aquatic life for carbaryl. EPA developed these 
final criteria using EPA's Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National 
Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and 
Their Uses (1985), (EPA/R-85-100). The document has a new format that 
follows the approach in the EPA's Guidelines for Ecological Risk 
Assessment (EPA/630/R-95/002F). EPA obtained toxicity data for 
developing the water quality criteria from peer-reviewed open 
literature studies and from studies submitted to the Office of 
Pesticide Programs for the registration and reregistration of 
pesticides. To ensure the quality of the information, EPA subjected the 
toxicity data and other information on the effects of carbaryl to both 
internal and external peer review. EPA also provided an opportunity for 
the public to provide scientific views on the draft recommended 
carbaryl criteria document. EPA received three comments in response to 
its solicitation. EPA reviewed the comments received and concluded that 
they did not warrant modification of the draft criteria for carbaryl. 
The comments and EPA responses can be found in the docket.
    The final criteria statement is as follows: The available data for 
carbaryl, evaluated in accordance with EPA's guidelines for deriving 
aquatic life criteria (Stephan et al. 1985) [referenced in the criteria 
document], indicate that freshwater aquatic animals would have an 
appropriate level of protection if the following are attained:
    1. The one-hour average concentration of carbaryl does not exceed 
2.1 [mu]g/L more than once every three years on

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average, the criterion maximum concentration or CMC (acute criterion).
    2. The four-day average concentration of carbaryl does not exceed 
2.1 [mu]g/L more than once every three years on average, the criterion 
continuous concentration or CCC (chronic criterion).

The available data for carbaryl indicates that, estuarine/marine 
aquatic animals would have an appropriate level of protection if the 
following is attained:

    1. The one-hour average concentration of carbaryl does not exceed 
1.6 [micro]g/L more than once every three years on average (except 
where a locally important species may be more sensitive).

At the present time, there are insufficient data to calculate a chronic 
AWQC for estuarine/marine organisms.

IV. What is the relationship between the water quality criteria and 
State or Tribal water quality standards?

    Water quality standards consist of three principal elements: 
designated uses, water quality criteria to protect those uses, and 
antidegradation requirements, providing for protection of existing 
water uses and high quality waters. As part of the water quality 
standards triennial review process defined in Section 303(c)(1) of the 
CWA, the States and authorized Tribes are responsible for developing, 
maintaining and revising water quality standards. Section 303(c)(1) 
requires States and authorized Tribes to review and modify, if 
appropriate, their water quality standards at least once every three 
years.
    States and authorized Tribes must adopt water quality criteria into 
their water quality standards that protect designated uses. States may 
develop their criteria based on EPA's recommended section 304(a) water 
quality criteria or other scientifically defensible methods. A State's 
criteria must contain sufficient parameters or constituents to protect 
the designated uses. Consistent with 40 CFR 131.21, new or revised 
water quality criteria adopted into law by States and authorized Tribes 
on or after May 30, 2000 are the applicable water quality standards for 
CWA purposes only after EPA approval.
    States and authorized Tribes may develop site-specific criteria for 
particular waterbodies as appropriate. EPA has published procedures for 
developing site-specific criteria, described in the Guidelines for 
Deriving Numerical Aquatic Site-Specific Water Quality Criteria by 
Modifying National Criteria (USEPA, 1984f). A site-specific criterion 
is intended to come closer than the national criterion to providing the 
intended level of protection to the aquatic life at the site, usually 
by taking into account the biological and/or chemical conditions (i.e., 
the species composition and/or water quality characteristics) at the 
site. If data in the national criterion document and/or from other 
sources indicated that the selected resident species range of 
sensitivity is different from that for the species in the national 
criterion document, States and authorized Tribes can use the Resident 
Species Procedure (Section 3.7.6 of the WQS Handbook). This procedure 
was first published in the 1983 Water Quality Standards Handbook 
(USEPA, 1983a) and expanded upon in the Guidelines for Deriving 
Numerical Aquatic Site-Specific Water Quality Criteria by Modifying 
National Criteria (USEPA, 1984f) and later detailed in the ``Interim 
Guidance on Determination and Use of Water Effect Ratio for Metals'' 
(EPA 1994).

V. Where can I find more information about water quality criteria and 
water quality standards?

    For more information about water quality criteria and Water Quality 
Standards refer to the following: Water Quality Standards Handbook (EPA 
823-B94-005a; August 1994); Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making 
(ANPRM), (63 FR 36742; July 7, 1998); Water Quality Criteria and 
Standards Plan--Priorities for the Future (EPA 822-R-98-003; April 
1998); Guidelines and Methodologies Used in the Preparation of Health 
Effects Assessment Chapters of the Consent Decree Water Criteria 
Documents (45FR79347; November 1980); Methodology for Deriving Ambient 
Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (EPA-822-B-
00-004; October 2000); Guidelines for Deriving Numerical National Water 
Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms and Their Uses 
(EPA 822/R-85-100; 1985); National Strategy for the Development of 
Regional Nutrient Criteria (EPA 822-R-98-002; June 1998); and EPA 
Review and Approval of State and Tribal Water Quality Standards (65 FR 
24641; April 27, 2000).
    You can find these publications through EPA's National Service 
Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP, previously NCEPI) or on 
the Office of Science and Technology's Home-page (http://www.epa.gov/waterscience).

References

U.S. EPA. 2007. Risks of carbaryl use to the federally-listed 
California red legged frog. Office of Pesticide Programs, 
Washington, DC, http://www.epa.gov/espp/litstatus/effects/redleg-frog/carbaryl/determination.pdf.
U.S. EPA. 2010. Registration Review--Preliminary Problem Formulation 
for Ecological Risk and Environmental Fate, Endangered Species, and 
Drinking Water Assessments for Carbaryl. September 3, 2010. EPA-HQ-
OPP-2010-0230-0004.
U.S.G.S. 2006. The Quality of our Nation's Waters: Pesticides in the 
Nation's Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001. Circular 1291. U.S. 
Geological Survey. Reston, VA.

    Dated: May 14, 2012.
Nancy K. Stoner,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 2012-12369 Filed 5-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P