[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 211 (Wednesday, October 31, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65831-65834]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26521]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 180

[EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0279; FRL-9365-3]


[Alpha]-([Rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) Block Polymer With 
Poly(oxyethylene); Tolerance Exemption

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This regulation amends an exemption from the requirement of a 
tolerance for residues of [alpha]-([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) 
block polymer with poly(oxyethylene); when used as an inert ingredient 
in a pesticide chemical formulation. Stephan Company 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

[[Page 65832]]

need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of [alpha]-
([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with 
poly(oxyethylene) on food or feed commodities.

DATES: This regulation is effective October 31, 2012. Objections and 
requests for hearings must be received on or before December 31, 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: The docket for this action, identified by docket 
identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0279, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory 
Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency 
Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open 
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-
5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information 
about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Cutchin, Registration Division 
(7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone 
number: (703) 305-7099; email address: cutchin.william@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. 
The following list of North American Industrial Classification System 
(NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. 
Potentially affected entities may include:
     Crop production (NAICS code 111).
     Animal production (NAICS code 112).
     Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).
     Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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.

C. 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-2012-0279 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 
December 31, 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 (excluding 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 the non-CBI copy 
of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number 
EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0279, by one of the following methods.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute.
     Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket 
Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 
20460-0001.
     Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand 
delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the 
instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.htm. Additional 
instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more 
information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

II. Background and Statutory Findings

    In the Federal Register of July 25, 2012 (77 FR 43562) (FRL-9353-
6), EPA issued a notice pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, 
announcing the receipt of a pesticide petition (PP 2E8000) filed by 
Stephan Company, 22 West Frontage Rd., Northfield Illinois 60093. The 
petition requested that 40 CFR 180.960 be amended by revising an 
exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of [alpha]-
([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with 
poly(oxyethylene); CAS No. 37251-69-7. That notice included a summary 
of the petition prepared by the petitioner and solicited comments on 
the petitioner's request. The Agency did not receive any comments.
    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 use in residential settings, but does not include 
occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to 
give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the 
pesticide chemical residue in establishing an exemption from the 
requirement of 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 * * *'' and 
specifies factors EPA is to consider in establishing an exemption.

III. Risk Assessment and Statutory Findings

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only 
in those cases where it can be shown that the risks from aggregate 
exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable 
circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order 
to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert 
ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in 
conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient 
through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as 
a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to 
determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there 
is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate 
exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of 
a tolerance may be established.

[[Page 65833]]

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the 
available scientific data and other relevant information in support of 
this final rule 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. In the case of certain chemical 
substances that are defined as polymers, the Agency has established a 
set of criteria to identify categories of polymers expected to present 
minimal or no risk. The definition of a polymer is given in 40 CFR 
723.250(b) and the exclusion criteria for identifying these low-risk 
polymers are described in 40 CFR 723.250(d). [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene) 
conforms to the definition of a polymer given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and 
meets the following criteria that are used to identify low-risk 
polymers.
    1. The polymer is not a cationic polymer nor is it reasonably 
anticipated to become a cationic polymer in a natural aquatic 
environment.
    2. The polymer does contain as an integral part of its composition 
the atomic elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
    3. The polymer does not contain as an integral part of its 
composition, except as impurities, any element other than those listed 
in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(2)(ii).
    4. The polymer is neither designed nor can it be reasonably 
anticipated to substantially degrade, decompose, or depolymerize.
    5. The polymer is manufactured or imported from monomers and/or 
reactants that are already included on the TSCA Chemical Substance 
Inventory or manufactured under an applicable TSCA section 5 exemption.
    6. The polymer is not a water absorbing polymer with a number 
average molecular weight (MW) greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons.
    Additionally, the polymer also meets as required the following 
exemption criteria specified in 40 CFR 723.250(e).
    7. The polymer's number average MW of 1,889 is greater than 1,000 
and less than 10,000 daltons. The polymer contains less than 10 percent 
oligomeric material below MW 500 and less than 25 percent oligomeric 
material below MW 1,000, and the polymer does not contain any reactive 
functional groups.
    Thus, [alpha]-([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer 
with poly(oxyethylene) meets the criteria for a polymer to be 
considered low risk under 40 CFR 723.250. Based on its conformance to 
the criteria in 40 CFR 723.250, no mammalian toxicity is anticipated 
from dietary, inhalation, or dermal exposure to [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene).

IV. Aggregate Exposures

    For the purposes of assessing potential exposure under this 
exemption, EPA considered that [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene) 
could be present in all raw and processed agricultural commodities and 
drinking water, and that non-occupational non-dietary exposure was 
possible. The number average MW of [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene) is 
1,889 daltons. Generally, a polymer of this size would be poorly 
absorbed through the intact gastrointestinal tract or through intact 
human skin. Since [alpha]-([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block 
polymer with poly(oxyethylene) conform to the criteria that identify a 
low-risk polymer, there are no concerns for risks associated with any 
potential exposure scenarios that are reasonably foreseeable. The 
Agency has determined that a tolerance is not necessary to protect the 
public health.

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 [alpha]-([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) 
block polymer with poly(oxyethylene) to share a common mechanism of 
toxicity with any other substances, and [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene) 
does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other 
substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA 
has assumed that [alpha]-([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block 
polymer with poly(oxyethylene) 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. Additional Safety Factor for the Protection of Infants and Children

    Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an 
additional tenfold 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 data base unless EPA concludes 
that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and 
children. Due to the expected low toxicity of [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene), 
EPA has not used a safety factor analysis to assess the risk. For the 
same reasons the additional tenfold safety factor is unnecessary.

VII. Determination of Safety

    Based on the conformance to the criteria used to identify a low-
risk polymer, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty of no 
harm to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from 
aggregate exposure to residues of [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene).

VIII. Other Considerations

A. Existing Exemptions From a Tolerance

    There is an existing tolerance for [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene); 
poly oxyethylene content 30 to 90 moles; molecular weight (in amu) 
averages 3,000 in 40 CFR 180.960.

B. 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.

C. 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

[[Page 65834]]

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 [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene).

IX. Conclusion

    Accordingly, EPA finds that exempting residues of [alpha]-([rho]-
Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block polymer with poly(oxyethylene) 
from the requirement of a tolerance will be safe.

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This final rule establishes an exemption from the requirement of a 
tolerance under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition 
submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has 
exempted these rules 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 involve any technical standards that 
would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards 
pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and 
Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).
    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis 
of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance 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.
    This final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food 
handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this 
action alter the relationships or distribution of power and 
responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions 
of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that 
this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or 
tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government 
and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between 
the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or otherwise have any unique 
impacts on local governments. Thus, the Agency has determined that 
Executive Order 13132, entitled ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 10, 
1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled ``Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments'' (65 FR 67249, November 9, 
2000) do not apply to this final rule. In addition, this final rule 
does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as 
described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).
    Although this action does not 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), EPA seeks to achieve 
environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of 
any group, including minority and/or low-income populations, in the 
development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, 
regulations, and policies. As such, to the extent that information is 
publicly available or was submitted in comments to EPA, the Agency 
considered whether groups or segments of the population, as a result of 
their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical 
or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or 
environmental effects from exposure to the pesticide discussed in this 
document, compared to the general population.

XI. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
EPA will 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 
the rule in the Federal Register. This action 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: October 15, 2012.
Lois Rossi,
Director, Registration Division, 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. In the table to Sec.  180.960, revise the following polymer entry 
which appears immediately above the polymer entry which reads in part 
``Octadecanoic acid, 12-hydroxy-* * *'', with ``CAS No. 58128-22-6,'' 
to read as follows:


Sec.  [emsp14]180.960  Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a 
tolerance.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Polymer                              CAS No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
[alpha]-([rho]-Nonylphenyl)poly(oxypropylene) block           37251-69-7
 polymer with poly(oxyethylene); poly oxyethylene
 content 30 to 90 moles; minimum number average
 molecular weight (in amu), 1,889.......................
 
                                * * * * *
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[FR Doc. 2012-26521 Filed 10-30-12; 8:45 am]
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