[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 59 (Wednesday, March 27, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18585-18586]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06920]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0442; FRL-9382-5]


FIFRA Pesticide Registration Review and ESA Consultation 
Processes; Stakeholder Input; Notice of Availability

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: EPA is announcing the availability of the final paper 
describing enhanced opportunities for stakeholder input during its 
review of pesticide registrations under the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and associated consultations 
under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The paper was jointly prepared 
by EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National 
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce and 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in the Department of 
Interior (collectively, the Services). The paper describes significant 
changes to EPA's registration review process intended to facilitate ESA 
pesticide consultations and coordination across these Federal agencies, 
and calls for a greater role for USDA. EPA accepted public comment on 
the proposed changes for 60 days, and then reviewed the comments 
received. Subsequently, EPA, USDA, and the Services revised the paper 
to outline specific roles and responsibilities for each agency, and to 
provide clarifying information on focus meetings and the timing for 
public input.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Pesticide Re-
evaluation Division (7501P), Office of Pesticide Programs, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8000; fax 
number: (703) 308-8005; email address: Keigwin.Richard@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture, 
buy, sell, distribute, or use pesticide products.

B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0442, 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.

II. Background

    EPA is announcing the availability of a document titled, 
``Enhancing Stakeholder Input in the Pesticide Registration Review and 
ESA Consultation Processes and Development of Economically and 
Technologically Feasible Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives.'' A copy 
of this document is available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0442. The 
document describes changes to EPA's pesticide registration review 
program and how it conducts consultation with the Services under 
section 7 of the ESA. In an effort to be responsive to stakeholders' 
desires for a mechanism to get information into the registration review 
process as early as possible, EPA is holding ``focus'' meetings at the 
start of registration review for each active ingredient. In response to 
stakeholders' desires for a more open, reliable, and transparent 
pesticide consultation process, EPA will initiate any needed formal ESA 
consultations at a later stage in the review process. Consulting later 
in the registration review process allows EPA to develop more refined 
ecological risk assessments and to engage affected stakeholders in 
discussions that should result in more focused consultation packages 
inclusive of mitigation for listed species. There is a consensus that 
EPA and the Services should engage informally and early in the 
consultation process, but that formal consultation

[[Page 18586]]

should be reserved until EPA's ecological risk assessment and proposed 
decision are more fully formed. This approach has the potential to 
maximize the opportunity to effect changes that provide protections for 
species and their designated critical habitat, lessen the impacts on 
agriculture, and narrow the scope of the Federal action.
    Additionally, the document describes EPA's plans to reach out to 
pesticide users potentially affected to discuss the technological and 
economic feasibility of reasonable and prudent alternatives (RPAs) 
intended to avoid jeopardy to threatened and/or endangered species. The 
USDA's relationships with the agricultural community provide a critical 
link between EPA's expertise on pesticides and the Services' expertise 
on listed species' locations, status and biology.
    Finally, the document describes the process by which public 
comments received on RPAs will be summarized and organized by EPA and 
provided to the Services, who will prepare a document to be included in 
the administrative record of the consultation explaining how comments 
were considered, and if appropriate, how the final biological opinion 
was modified to address the comments. The Services will provide the 
document to EPA, and both the Services and EPA will make the document 
available to the public upon request. These process changes are 
intended to provide clarity and transparency to the ESA section 7 
consultation process for pesticides.

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection, Endangered species, Pesticide 
registration review, Section 7 ESA consultation.

    Dated: March 19, 2013.
Steven Bradbury,
 Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-06920 Filed 3-26-13; 8:45 am]
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