[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 160 (Friday, August 17, 2012)]
[Pages 49793-49794]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19953]



[EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0570; FRL-9358-4]

Ortho-Phthalaldehyde; Receipt of Application for Emergency 
Exemption, Solicitation of Public Comment

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: EPA has received a specific exemption request from the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to use the 
pesticide ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA) (CAS No. 643-79-8) to treat the 
International Space Station internal active thermal control system 
(IATCS) coolant to control Cupriavidus metallidurans, Variovorax 
paradoxus, Acidovorax sp., Sphingomonas parapaucimobilis, 
Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Methylobacterium extorquens, and 
unidentified gram negative rods. This emergency exemption involves the 
use of a chemical which has not been registered by the EPA. EPA is 
soliciting public comment on the exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 4, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0570, 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), Mail Code: 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

[[Page 49794]]

information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Debra Rate, Registration Division 
(7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone 
number: (703) 306-0309; fax number: (703) 605-0781; email address: 


I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are a 
pesticide manufacturer (NAICS code 32532) or involved with the 
International Space Station. 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 

B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through 
www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the 
information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or 
CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as 
CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the 
specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one 
complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as 
CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information 
claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. 
Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with 
procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.
    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
    i. Identify the document by docket ID number and other identifying 
information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
    ii. Follow directions. The Agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
    iii. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and 
substitute language for your requested changes.
    iv. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information 
and/or data that you used.
    v. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you 
arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
    vi. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and 
suggest alternatives.
    vii. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of 
profanity or personal threats.
    viii. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.
    3. Environmental justice. 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. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the 
Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population 
who, 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(s) discussed in this document, compared to the general 

II. What action is the agency taking?

    Under section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and 
Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136p), at the discretion of the 
Administrator, a Federal or State agency may be exempted from any 
provision of FIFRA if the Administrator determines that emergency 
conditions exist which require the exemption. NASA has requested the 
Administrator to issue a specific exemption for the use of OPA in the 
International Space Station IATCS coolant to control Cupriavidus 
metallidurans, Variovorax paradoxus, Acidovorax sp., Sphingomonas 
parapaucimobilis, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Methylobacterium 
extorquens, and unidentified gram negative rods. Information in 
accordance with 40 CFR part 166 was submitted as part of this request.
    As part of this request, the applicant asserts that OPA is the most 
effective biocide which meets the requisite IATCS criteria, including: 
the need for safe, non-intrusive implementation and operation in a 
functioning system; the ability to control existing planktonic and 
biofilm residing micro-organisms; a negligible impact on system-wetted 
materials of construction; and a negligible reactivity with existing 
coolant additives. Non-use of OPA in the requested manner would leave 
NASA's International Space Station without an adequate long-term 
solution for controlling the micro-organisms in the coolant systems.
    The Applicant proposes to make no more than one application of OPA 
per module in the International Space Station IATCS coolant including 
the U.S. Laboratory, the Japanese Experiment Module, the Columbus and 
Node with a total treated coolant volume not to exceed 829 Liters with 
a maximum of 1,974 cubic centimeters (cm3) OPA resin.
    The regulations governing section 18 of FIFRA require publication 
of a notice of receipt of an application for a specific exemption 
proposing use of a new chemical (i.e., an active ingredient) which has 
not been registered by EPA. The notice provides an opportunity for 
public comment on the application. Owing to the long lead time 
necessary for sending products to the International Space Station, EPA 
has evaluated NASA's application in advance of seeking public comment, 
and has concluded that the emergency exemption should be approved. 
Although EPA has approved this emergency exemption, EPA still welcomes 
public comment. EPA's regulations provide that an emergency exemption 
may be modified or revoked if, among other things, additional 
information indicates that the product may cause unreasonable adverse 
effects or may not be effective at controlling the target pests. 
Accordingly, the Agency will review and consider all comments received 
during the comment period in determining whether the specific exemption 
should be modified or revoked.

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection, Pesticides and pests.

    Dated: August 3, 2012.
 Lois Rossi,
Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-19953 Filed 8-16-12; 8:45 am]