[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 182 (Wednesday, September 21, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-23353]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: September 21, 1994]


[OPP-66200; FRL-4911-7]


Notice of Intent to Cancel Registration of Certain Products 
Containing the Active Ingredient Metam-Sodium

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice; Intent to Cancel Registrations.


SUMMARY: This Notice announces the Agency's intent to cancel the 
registrations of the pesticide products Vaporooter A Foaming Fumigant 
(EPA Reg. No. 9993-1), Foam Coat Vaporooter (EPA Reg. No. 9993-2), and 
Sanafoam Vaporooter II (EPA Reg. No. 9993-3). EPA has determined that 
continued sale, distribution, and use of the products would cause 
unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. EPA bases this 
determination on data and other information showing that products that 
contain metam-sodium (sodium methyldithiocarbamate) when used for 
control of root growth in sewer lines must be classified for 
``Restricted Use Only'' to ensure their safe use. The chemical is 
hazardous, and applicators need to wear protective equipment and 
receive specialized training when using the products for this use. 
Airrigation Engineering Co., Inc. (Airrigation) has failed to comply 
with the Agency's requirement for Restricted Use classification for the 
products listed above. EPA is therefore issuing this Notice of Intent 
to Cancel as required by section 6(b) of the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

DATES: Requests for a hearing by a registrant or other adversely 
affected parties must be received by the Office of the Hearing Clerk at 
the address given below on or before October 21, 1994 or within 30 days 
from receipt of this Notice by the registrant, whichever occurs later.

ADDRESSES: Written requests for a hearing, identified by the document 
control number [OPP-66200], must be submitted to: Hearing Clerk (1900), 
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: By mail: Steve Robbins, Acting Product 
Manager (PM) 21, Registration Division (7505C), Office of Pesticide 
Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW., Washington, 
DC 20460. Office location and telephone number: Rm. 227, Crystal Mall 
#2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA 22202. Telephone: (703)-


I. Introduction

    This Notice announces EPA's intent to cancel the registrations of 
the pesticide products Vaporooter A Foaming Fumigant (EPA Reg. No. 
9993-1), Foam Coat Vaporooter (EPA Reg. No. 9993-2), and Sanafoam 
Vaporooter II (EPA Reg. No. 9993-3). For the reasons set forth below, 
the Administrator has determined that these products, when used in 
accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, will 
generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on public health and/or 
the environment unless they are classified for restricted use. This 
determination is based on the hazardous nature of these products and 
their active ingredient, metam-sodium; the complex application method 
for use of these products; the need for specialized equipment and 
training to apply these products; and the potential for residential 
exposure to the products due to incorrect application procedures.

A. Organization of this Notice

    This Notice is divided into nine units. Unit I provides 
introductory information and describes the legal authority for this 
action. Unit II discusses the factual background for this action, 
including information relating to the active ingredient metamsodium, 
and communications with Airrigation Engineering Co. Unit III presents 
the EPA's determinations with regard to Airrigation's sewer use 
products. Unit IV describes the role of the Scientific Advisory Panel 
and the Secretary of Agriculture relating to this action. Unit V sets 
forth the Agency's determination that these product registrations must 
be canceled. Unit VI discusses the disposition of existing stocks of 
the products. Unit VII contains a discussion of the procedures for 
implementing the actions required by this Notice, as well as the 
procedures for requesting a hearing. Unit VIII identifies the 
references. Unit IX gives information on the Public Docket.

B. Legal Authority

    Before a pesticide product may be lawfully sold or distributed in 
either intrastate or interstate commerce, the product must be 
registered by EPA, pursuant to FIFRA sections 3(a) and 12(a)(1).
    A registration is a license allowing a pesticide product to be sold 
and distributed for specified uses in accordance with specific use 
instructions, precautions and other terms and conditions. A pesticide 
product may be registered or remain registered only if it meets the 
statutory standard for registration. Among other things, a pesticide 
must perform its intended pesticidal function without causing 
``unreasonable adverse effects on the environment'' (FIFRA section 
3(c)(5)). ``Unreasonable adverse effects on the environment'' is 
defined as ``any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking 
into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits 
of the use of [the] pesticide'' (FIFRA section 2(bb)).
    In addition, under FIFRA section 3(d)(1)(C), the Administrator may 
classify a pesticide for restricted use if she determines that the 
pesticide, when applied in accordance with its directions for use, 
warnings, and cautions, or, in accordance with widespread and commonly 
recognized practice, may generally cause unreasonable adverse effects 
on the environment, without additional regulatory restrictions. Once 
classified for restricted use, a product can be applied only by or 
under the direct supervision of a certified applicator (FIFRA sections 
3(d)(1)(C), 12(a)(2)(F), 12(a)(2)(G)). EPA has promulgated regulations 
which establish the procedures EPA will follow when classifying a 
product for restricted use. Pursuant to 40 CFR 152.165(c)(2), the 
Agency may notify a registrant of the decision to classify its product 
for restricted use and require the registrant to submit certain 
information, listed in paragraph (c)(1) of that section, to comply with 
the classification decision. If the registrant fails to comply with 
this notification, the Agency may initiate cancellation proceedings.
    The regulations at 40 CFR 152.170(a) provide general criteria that 
guide EPA's decision to classify a pesticide product for restricted 
use. In general, use of a product will be restricted if the Agency 
determines that: (1) the product or its use poses a serious hazard that 
may be mitigated by restricting use; (2) the product's labeling, when 
considered according to the factors in paragraph (e)(2) of that 
section, is not adequate to mitigate the hazard(s); (3) restriction of 
the product would decrease the risk of adverse effects; and (4) the 
decrease in risks of the pesticide as a result of restriction would 
exceed any attendant decrease in benefits. Paragraph (e)(2) of that 
section states that labeling will be judged adequate, and therefore 
will be appropriate for unrestricted use products, if it meets all of 
the following criteria: (1) the user would not be required to perform 
complex operations or procedures requiring specialized training and/or 
experience; (2) the label directions do not call for a specialized 
apparatus, protective equipment, or materials that reasonably would not 
be available to the general public; (3) failure to follow label 
directions in a minor way would result in few or no significant adverse 
effects; (4) following directions for use would result in few or no 
significant adverse effects of a delayed or indirect nature through 
bioaccumulation, persistence, or pesticide movement from the original 
application site; and (5) widespread and commonly recognized practices 
of use would not nullify or detract from label directions such that 
unreasonable adverse effects on the environment might occur.
    The burden of demonstrating that a pesticide product satisfies the 
statutory criteria for registration is at all times on the proponents 
of initial or continued registration. Under FIFRA section 6, the Agency 
may issue a Notice of Intent to Cancel the registration of a pesticide 
product whenever it appears to the Administrator that the product no 
longer satisfies the statutory criteria for registration. If 
appropriate, the Agency may require modifications to the terms and 
conditions of registration, such as deletion of particular uses or 
revisions in labeling, as an alternative to cancellation. If the Notice 
requires such changes, cancellation may be avoided by making the 
changes specified in the Notice, if possible. Adversely affected 
persons may also request a hearing on the cancellation of a specified 
registration. If they do so in a legally effective manner, the 
registration will be continued pending a decision at the conclusion of 
an administrative hearing.

II. Factual Background

A. Metam-Sodium

    Metam-sodium, the sodium salt of methyldithiocarbamate, is 
extremely volatile and very unstable under aerobic conditions with a 
half-life of 23 minutes. Its principal derivative is methyl 
isothiocyanate (MITC). In water, metam-sodium is rapidly decomposed to 
MITC and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Pesticide products containing 
metam-sodium are registered for numerous agricultural and non-
agricultural uses, including as a soil fumigant to control insects, 
nematodes, soil-borne diseases, and weeds prior to planting crops. 
Other uses include wood preservation, tree root killer in sewers, 
slimicide, and use in sugar refineries.
    Metam-sodium and MITC show varying degrees of acute and chronic 
toxicity. Due to the chemical nature of metam-sodium, in that it is 
readily hydrolyzed to MITC and H2S, the Agency believes that 
exposure from pesticide use would be related to MITC rather than metam-
sodium (Ref. 1). MITC is shown to be moderately toxic in short-term 
(acute) exposures to laboratory test animals. In rabbits, MITC is shown 
to be a severe skin and respiratory tract irritant and a severe eye 
irritant. Test animals exposed to high levels of air-borne MITC in 
acute studies show eye irritation, hypoactivity, distressed breathing, 
convulsions, and death.
    Metam-sodium is shown to be slightly toxic to laboratory test 
animals in acute studies. If on skin or ingested, it is corrosive and 
causes severe irritation or burns. Metam-sodium has the potential for 
causing adverse health effects from both acute and chronic exposures. 
In addition, existing medical conditions may be exacerbated upon 
exposure to metam-sodium. Acute health effects include excessive 
salivation, sweating, fatigue, weakness, nausea, headache, dizziness, 
and eye and respiratory tract irritation. Chronic conditions can 
include conjunctivitis, photophobia, and blurred vision. Studies also 
have suggested that the chemical may exhibit reproductive toxicity. 
Medical conditions that are prone to further aggravation upon exposure 
to metam-sodium include impaired pulmonary functions and preexisting 
eye problems.
    Potential public health and environmental impacts of this chemical 
were demonstrated when in July 1991, a train derailment resulted in 
19,500 gallons of metam-sodium being spilled into the Sacramento River 
near Dunsmuir, California. All aquatic life and substantial shoreline 
vegetation along a 45-mile stretch of river leading to Lake Shasta were 
killed. As a result of this incident, the Agency expanded and 
intensified ongoing review of this chemical. Registrants formed the 
Metam-Sodium Task Force in response to the Agency's request for data 
needed to fully assess the environmental and public health impact of 
this chemical.
    The Agency's review of available data led to conclusions that 
agricultural uses of metam-sodium may result in unacceptable risk from 
acute and developmental toxicity effects. In order to mitigate 
agricultural use risks, EPA and the Task Force entered into an 
agreement which included: (1) label amendments to limit around-home and 
small-area uses (lawns, seed-beds, plant-beds, and other non-field 
limited areas) to certified applicators; products will be labeled with 
``Restricted Use''; (2) label amendments to include requirements for 
protective clothing and equipment; (3) a reentry waiting period of 48 
hours for agricultural sites; and (4) a tarping requirement for treated 
areas adjacent to homes. These requirements are currently in place and 
were voluntarily implemented with the cooperation of the Task Force 
consisting of all producers of technical grade metam-sodium as well as 
other product formulators.
    In addition to this agreement between EPA and the registrants, both 
parties initiated reviews of other uses of metam-sodium. These reviews 
were intended to determine what measures, if any, would be needed to 
further mitigate risk.

B. Use of Metam-Sodium in Sewers

    Sewer lines are frequently damaged and blocked by tree roots. This 
is a perennial and costly problem for municipalities. Lateral lines to 
buildings on private property may also be damaged and blocked by roots. 
A mechanical remedy involves the use of a rotary cutting tool. This 
technique only offers temporary results, and may even exacerbate the 
problem by causing root branching. Rotary cutters also damage sewer 
pipes. When the damage and blockage are too severe, sewers are dug up 
and replaced at considerable cost to the community or property owner 
(Ref. 2).
    Sewer root control via this chemical system involves the use of 
metam-sodium, dichlobenil, and a foaming agent. Application of this 
pesticide involves premixing of measured chemicals and a knowledge of 
calibrated chemical feeding, pressurizing, and foam-generating 
    In 1971 and 1973, Airrigation obtained registrations for two 
pesticide products to control roots in sewers. Each product consisted 
of metam-sodium and dichlobenil mixed together just prior to use. A 
patent was obtained which prevented potential competition from 
marketing this type of combination product for controlling roots in 
sewers. The registrant limited sales of its products to a few 
contractors and encouraged them to train their staff due to the complex 
application method. Experience with this pesticide treatment over the 
ensuing years showed it to be superior to mechanical methods and it 
became the preferred method for controlling roots in sewers. Following 
the expiration of Airrigation's patent, three additional products have 
been registered for this use.
    In March 1993, EPA learned of an incident that occurred 
approximately 1 year prior to that involving Airrigation's product, 
Sanafoam Vaporooter II. In that incident, a worker in Los Alamos, New 
Mexico, improperly applied the Sanafoam product, causing the product to 
back up into the plumbing of a nearby residence. The residents reported 
the incident to EPA, stating that they suffered respiratory and 
pulmonary injury (Ref. 3). Airrigation did not provide EPA with any 
information regarding the incident.
    More recently, on July 11, 1994, an incident involving a metam-
sodium sewer use product occurred in Roseville, CA, and resulted in a 
home being evacuated (Ref. 4). The foam product being applied by a 
municipal sewer maintenance crew flowed into one home and out into the 
yard of another home located behind it. What caused the pesticide 
product to flow into the home rather than down the sewer pipes is being 
    Upon completing review of the available data base and use history 
of products in this application, the Agency concluded that the sewer 
root control use of metam-sodium should be restricted. This decision 
was based largely upon the potential risks to workers and the public 
due to the hazardous nature of the chemical, the need for specialized 
training associated with complex equipment and application procedures, 
the need for specialized protective equipment, the potential for metam-
sodium to enter buildings through drains, and the potential for damage 
to sewage biological digestion processes (Ref. 8). Technical 
information supporting this restricted-use classification was obtained 
from product literature on the registered products, two applicants of 
pending metam-sodium sewer use products with experience as contract 
users of similar registered products, and operation records from two 
large municipal sewage treatment systems. Moreover, the Agency believes 
that because of the patent expiration and the effectiveness of metam-
sodium root control, there is the probability of large market expansion 
throughout the United States with increased potential risk from new 
suppliers. The Agency has concluded that the complex application method 
could pose an unreasonable risk to inadequately trained workers as well 
as to the public.
    The Agency has also concluded that restricted use classification 
should be phased in over time to allow for development of a training 
program for applicator certification. This program is being designed by 
metam-sodium registrants, in cooperation with the Agency. The 
restricted use requirement will only go into effect after the training 
manual, testing, and certification are available. The three most recent 
registrants have agreed to restricted use classification and to support 
development of EPA/State training programs for applicator 
certification. The restricted use classification must be reflected on 
product labeling within 120 days of the issuance of an EPA accepted 
training manual for applicator certification.
    Airrigation's sewer treatment products are not currently classified 
as restricted use pesticides. Therefore, any persons can purchase and 
apply these products, regardless of their qualifications to do so. 
Airrigation has asserted that restricting the use of these products is 
not necessary because Airrigation gives a training program to all 
customers who purchase the products. However, EPA believes that this 
system is insufficient to assure that the people who actually perform 
the product application are adequately trained. If these products were 
classified for restricted use, it would be a violation of FIFRA for 
anyone other than a certified applicator, or someone under the direct 
supervision of a certified applicator, to apply the products (FIFRA 
sections 12(a)(2)(F),(G)), and EPA would have assurance that the 
applicators had at least received the requisite training in use of 
these products.
    Pursuant to the decision by EPA to classify all metam-sodium sewer 
use products as restricted use pesticides, the Agency communicated 
frequently with affected registrants on this matter. The Agency's 
initial approach to implementing restricted use classification was to 
request voluntary compliance in the spirit of continued cooperation 
between EPA and the industry. Except for Airrigation, all affected 
registrants of both pending and registered metam-sodium sewer use 
products agreed to comply. Despite numerous meetings and much 
correspondence with EPA, Airrigation has remained steadfast in its 
refusal to voluntarily implement EPA's determination. Therefore, on 
September 24, 1993, a letter was sent to Airrigation which formally 
requested, pursuant to 40 CFR 152.165(c)(2), that the company submit 
amended labeling for the above-named products to reflect a restricted 
use classification and additionally requested a written response to 
that letter within 10 days (Ref. 5). Airrigation responded in a letter 
dated October 14, 1993, that was received by the Agency on October 22, 
1993. The letter stated that the company declined to agree to the 
reclassification of its products (Ref. 6). Because Airrigation has 
failed to adopt the Agency's classification of its products for 
restricted use, EPA is initiating this cancellation action.

III. Findings on Airrigation Engineering Sewer Use Products

A. General Criteria

    The Agency has determined, pursuant to FIFRA section 3(d)(1)(C), 
that restricted use classification for the use of metam-sodium in 
sewers is required due to the elaborate and complicated methods of 
applying this chemical and the potential for harmful human exposure. 
The Agency has examined available information regarding risks from 
potential exposure to metam-sodium use in sewer root control and has 
concluded that existing and potential risks are unacceptable, based 
upon the following:
    1. These products pose a serious hazard to workers and the public 
due to their acute toxicity and developmental toxicity, which are 
evident from available toxicological studies (Ref. 1). There is a 
potential, realized in at least one incident, for the products to 
invade residential and commercial properties during use, causing injury 
to those inside (Ref. 2). Inhalation and dermal exposure risks to 
mixer/loaders and applicators exist due to the high volatility of 
methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), the principle derivative of metam-sodium 
(Ref. 1). Potential for worker and public exposure, through misuse or 
otherwise, is significant due to the complexity of the application 
method used for applying metam-sodium in sewer systems (Ref. 7). In 
addition, these products have the potential to contaminate ground and 
surface water, and to damage biological sewage treatment systems (Ref. 
8). The Agency believes that these hazards could be mitigated through 
restricting the products' use.
    2. The current labeling of the Airrigation products is not adequate 
to mitigate the hazard these products pose. Under EPA's regulations, a 
label will be deemed ``adequate,'' and thus suitable for products 
classified for general use, only if it meets all of the factors listed 
in 40 CFR 152.170(e)(2). Those factors are listed in Unit I.B. of this 
preamble. EPA finds that Airrigation's sewer use products do not meet 
three of those factors as follows:
    a. Users of these products are required to perform complex 
operations or procedures requiring specialized training or experience. 
All of the products' labels state ``RECOMMENDED FOR USE BY TRAINED 
PERSONNEL'' (Refs. 9, 10, and 11). On August 25, 1993, Agency personnel 
attended a demonstration of treatment of a sewer line with another 
metam sodium product to learn first-hand the type of operations that 
are involved. The procedures and equipment utilized were highly complex 
and clearly required specialized training and knowledge to effectively 
operate (Ref. 7). As noted above, the current labeling of these 
products does not restrict who can apply the products. Although 
Airrigation states that it provides some type of training to all of its 
customers, the Agency cannot ensure that only people who have been 
adequately trained will be permitted to apply these products. 
Therefore, these products do not meet factor (e)(2)(i).
    b. The label directions for these products call for specialized 
apparatus and protective equipment that reasonably would not be 
available to the general public. In order to use the products, the 
applicator must use a special foam generator to convert the liquid 
product constituents to a foam form (Refs. 9, 10, and 11). The Foam-
Coat Vaporooter label directs users ``USE ONLY SPECIALIZED FOAM 
APPLICATION EQUIPMENT,'' and then states that this equipment is 
available from Airrigation Engineering (Ref. 10). This machinery is 
necessary to produce the foam and to introduce the foam into the sewer 
lines. The Sanafoam Vaporooter II label only gives directions for use 
of the product with Airrigation's FOAM MAKER (R) generator (Ref. 11). 
In addition, that label's directions for use instruct the user to 
``[u]se specialized foam application equipment,'' and, if treating a 
building lateral line, to ``[b]e sure foam application discharge hose 
is also of a specialized type'' (Ref. 11). Therefore, the Airrigation 
products' labels do not meet factor (e)(2)(ii).
    c. Failure to follow label directions in a minor way could result 
in significant adverse effects. EPA is very concerned regarding the 
potential these products have to invade residential or other structures 
through improper application. The Sanafoam Vaporooter II label 
acknowledges this danger and states that ``caution must be used to 
assure foam does not travel into adjacent structures'' (Ref. 11). 
However, as the incident in Los Alamos, NM, shows, this result is 
possible in spite of the cautionary labeling. EPA no longer believes 
that this cautionary statement is sufficient to mitigate these 
products' potential to expose the general public to highly toxic 
fumigants. A person who is not thoroughly trained and familiar with the 
complicated application methods and equipment for these products could 
easily make a minor error in the application procedure, which could 
cause widespread human exposure and result in adverse effects to those 
people and the environment. Therefore, the Airrigation products' labels 
do not meet factor (e)(2)(iii).
    3. Restriction of the use of metam-sodium products in sewers would 
decrease the risk of adverse effects to the public and to workers. 
Requiring that all workers who apply these products be properly trained 
certified applicators, or under the direct supervision of properly 
trained certified applicators, will ensure to the greatest degree 
possible that users of these products have the requisite skill and 
ability to utilize the complex machinery and application methods 
necessary to apply these products as safely as possible.
    4. The decrease in potential risk from restricting use of these 
products will exceed any incidental decrease in their benefits. The 
Agency believes that restricted use classification will not 
significantly increase the cost of sewer root control treatment. 
Because there are other substantially similar products available which 
will be classified for restricted use when the applicator training 
program is completed, there will be little benefit to the public from 
having one product on the market with much higher risks than the others 
at comparable cost. The need for root control in sewer lines will 
continue to be met by the other products with less potential for 
adverse effects.

B. Risk-Benefit Assessment

    There is a significant potential for serious harm to humans and the 
environment due to the improper application of these products. The 
Agency cannot adequately mitigate this potential risk through 
cautionary labeling alone because the products' application method 
requires specialized equipment and training. The best way EPA can 
ensure that all product applicators are sufficiently skilled to prevent 
harm to humans and the environment, to the greatest extent possible, is 
to require all persons who apply these products to be properly trained 
certified applicators or under the direct supervision of such certified 
    There are currently three other registrants marketing products 
which are substantially similar to the Airrigation products. Each of 
these companies agreed upon registration of its product to participate 
in developing a training program for sewer treatment applicators, and 
to label its sewer treatment products for restricted use once the 
program is made available to the States. EPA believes that the cost of 
these products is comparable to that of Airrigation's products since 
the amount of chemicals (active ingredients), the percentage and 
quality of foaming ingredients are all very similar. The other 
registrants have indicated to EPA that they do not expect restricted 
use classification to increase the cost of their products to the 
public. EPA also believes that these companies' products, and any new 
products to enter the market in the future, will be sufficient to meet 
the public demand for sewer root treatment. In performing this 
function, they will pose less overall risk to the public than the 
Airrigation products because they will be used only by or under the 
direct supervision of properly trained certified applicators.
    Therefore, in comparison to other available alternatives, the 
Airrigation products pose serious risks and provide negligible 
benefits, if any. Unless these products are classified for restricted 
use under the same phased approach as the other registrants' products, 
they will no longer meet the statutory standard for registration.

C. Measures Short of Cancellation

    Under FIFRA, prior to taking regulatory action to cancel a 
pesticide's registration, the Administrator must consider whether any 
measures short of cancellation would be sufficient to reduce the risk 
of adverse effects to an acceptable level. As discussed above, the 
Agency has determined that restricted use classification would reduce 
the potential risks of these products to humans and the environment to 
an acceptable level. That was the basis for EPA's letter of September 
24, 1993 to Airrigation. Airrigation refused to comply with the 
Agency's decision. Accordingly, there are no other measures short of 
cancellation which would reduce the potential risks from these products 
to an acceptable level. In order to avoid cancellation, Airrigation 
must amend the registrations of these products so that they will be 
classified for restricted use upon issuance of the applicator training 
program. Additional information on avoiding cancellation can be 
obtained from the Office of Pesticide Program personnel listed in the 
section above under the heading ``For Further Information Contact.''

IV. Role of the Scientific Advisory Panel and the Secretary of 

    Sections 6(b) and 25(d) of FIFRA provide certain opportunities for 
the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the FIFRA 
Science Advisory Panel (SAP) to review and comment upon a draft Notice 
of Intent to Cancel, and in the case of USDA, an analysis of the impact 
of the proposed action on the agricultural economy. These reviews may 
be waived, and if they are, the Notice may be published without delay.
    On May 2, 1994, EPA asked the SAP and the Secretary of USDA to 
waive their rights to review and comment on this Notice (Refs. 12 and 
13). These requests were made because the bases for this notice are 
regulatory in nature due to the need for specialized training, and 
specialized application and protective equipment when using these 
products. Therefore, a science finding is not required. Moreover, the 
use of these products does not involve agricultural commodities. On May 
23, 1994, the SAP notified EPA that it waived its review of this action 
(Ref. 14). On May 12, 1994, Nancy N. Ragsdale, Director, National 
Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, USDA, notified EPA 
that the Secretary would waive review of this action (Ref. 15). Because 
USDA and SAP have waived their review of this action, the Agency is not 
delaying issuance of this Notice.

V. Agency Determination that Cancellation of Airrigation 
Engineering's Products is Necessary

    EPA has determined that the Airrigation sewer treatment products 
listed above, without being classified for restricted use, fail to meet 
the standard for registration under FIFRA for the reasons listed below, 
and that the registrations of these products must be canceled.
    1. These products pose a serious hazard, due to their acute and 
developmental toxicity and their complicated and difficult application 
methods, which could be adequately mitigated through restricted use 
    2. There are adequate alternative products which will be classified 
for restricted use (when the certified applicator training program is 
available to the States) which will perform the same function and 
provide the same benefits while posing significantly lower risks.
    3. EPA has informed Airrigation of this determination pursuant to 
40 CFR 152.65(c)(2), and Airrigation has refused to comply with the 
Agency's decision.

VI. Disposition of Existing Stocks

    For purposes of this Notice, existing stocks are defined as those 
stocks of Vaporooter A Foaming Fumigant (EPA Reg. No. 99931), Foam Coat 
Vaporooter (EPA Reg. No 9993-2), and Sanafoam Vaporooter II (EPA Reg. 
No. 9993-3) which were in the United States and were packaged and 
labeled for shipment prior to the effective date of the cancellation of 
the registrations of these products. The Agency has determined that no 
further sale, distribution, or use of existing stocks of these products 
will be permitted after the effective date of cancellation of the 
registration of the product, except for distribution for the purposes 
of disposal. Owners of existing stocks of the products may at any time 
dispose of the product in accordance with applicable local, State, and 
Federal regulations. The determination is based on the finding that 
continued use of these products without restricted use classification 
may result in unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.

VII. Procedural Matters

    This Notice announces EPA's intent to cancel the registration of 
Airrigation Engineering Co., Inc., products containing metam-sodium for 
use in treating sewer lines, and any product with any of the 
registration numbers listed above that is supplementally distributed. 
This action is taken pursuant to authority in section 6(b) of FIFRA. 
Under FIFRA section 6(b)(1), registrants and other adversely affected 
parties may request a hearing on the cancellation actions that this 
Notice initiates. Any hearing concerning cancellation of registration 
for any affected pesticide product will be held in accordance with 
FIFRA section 6(d). Unless a hearing is properly requested in 
accordance with the provisions of this Notice, the registration will be 
canceled. This unit of the Notice explains how such persons may request 
a hearing in accordance with the procedures specified in this Notice, 
and the consequences of requesting or failing to request a hearing.

A. Procedures for Requesting a Hearing

    To contest the regulatory action initiated by this Notice, 
registrants or other adversely affected persons must request a hearing 
within 30 days of the registrant's receipt of this Notice, or within 30 
days from the date of publication of this Notice in the Federal 
Register, whichever occurs later. All registrants and other adversely 
affected persons who request a hearing must file the request in 
accordance with the procedures established by FIFRA and EPA's Rules of 
Practice Governing Hearings (40 CFR part 164). These procedures require 
that all requests must identify the specific registration by 
Registration Number and state the basis for objecting to the 
cancellation of the product for which a hearing is requested, and must 
be received by the Hearing Clerk within the applicable 30-day period. 
Failure to comply with these requirements will result in denial of the 
request for a hearing. Requests for a hearing should also be 
accompanied by objections that are specific to each basis of 
cancellation of the pesticide product for which a hearing is requested.
    Requests for a hearing must be submitted to: Hearing Clerk (1900), 
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460.
    1. Consequences of filing a timely and effective hearing request. 
If a hearing on any action initiated by this Notice is requested in a 
timely and effective manner, the hearing will be governed by EPA's 
Rules of Practice Governing Hearings under FIFRA section 6 (40 CFR part 
    2. Consequences of failure to file in a timely and effective 
manner. If a hearing concerning the cancellation of a specific product 
subject to this Notice is not requested in a timely and effective 
manner by the end of the applicable 30-day period, registration of that 
product will be canceled automatically.

B. Separation of Functions

    EPA's rules of practice forbid anyone who may take part in deciding 
this case, at any stage of the proceeding, from discussing the merits 
of the proceeding ex parte with any party or with any person who has 
been connected with the preparation or presentation of the proceeding 
as an advocate or in any investigative or expert capacity, or with any 
of his/her representatives (40 CFR 164.7).
    Accordingly, the following EPA offices, and the staffs thereof, are 
designated as the judicial staff of EPA in any administrative hearing 
on this Notice of Intent to Cancel: the Office of Administrative Law 
Judge, the Environmental Appeals Board, the Deputy Administrator and 
the members of the staff of the immediate office of the Deputy 
Administrator, and the Administrator and the members of staff in the 
immediate office of the Administrator. The following offices are 
designated as the trial staff in any proceeding which may arise under 
this Notice: the Office of General Counsel, the Assistant Administrator 
for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances and his/
her immediate staff, the Office of Pesticide Programs, and the Office 
of Compliance Monitoring. None of the persons designated as the 
judicial staff may have any ex parte communications with the trial 
staff or any other interested person not employed by EPA on the merits 
of any of the issues involved in these proceedings, without fully 
complying with the applicable regulations.

VIII. References

    The following list of references are contained in the Public Docket 
and can be made available on request:
    1. June 22, 1994 Memorandum from Ameesha Mehta to Penny Fenner-
Crisp regarding worker and residential/bystander risk.
    2. July 24, 1992 Memorandum from Anne E. Linsay to Stephen L. 
Johnson regarding support needs for restricted use (RU) labeling of 
metam-sodium products.
    3. April 11, 1992 Incident Report--Herbicide Contamination of a 
Private Residence in Los Alamos, NM.
    4. July 12, 1994 Newspaper Article ``Toxic Sewer Spill Forces 
Evacuation,'' The Press Tribune.
    5. September 9, 1993 letter from Larry Culleen requesting voluntary 
compliance with restricted use classification.
    6. October 14, 1993 Letter from Barbara H. Tiernan to Larry 
Culleen, refusing to voluntarily comply with Restricted Use Labeling.
    7. December 30, 1992 Letter from Frank T. Sanders to Barbara H. 
Tiernan regarding EPA's decision to classify sewer use products as RU.
    8. October 3, 1994 Letter from Anthony Malavenda, Duke's Sales, to 
Susan Lewis regarding metam-soduim sewer use for root control.
    9. Vaporooter labeling, EPA Reg. No. 9993-1.
    10. Foam-Coat Vaporooter labeling, EPA Reg. No. 9993-2.
    11. Sanafoam Vaporooter II labeling, EPA Reg. No. 9993-3.
    12. May 2, 1994 Memorandum from Doug Campt to Bruce Jaeger, Science 
Advisory Panel, requesting waiver of review.
    13. May 2, 1994 Letter from Doug Campt to Nancy Ragsdale of USDA, 
requesting waiver of review.
    14. May 23,1994 Response memorandum from SAP regarding waiver 
    15. May 12, 1994 Letter to Doug Campt on USDA's reply to request to 
waive review.

IX. Public Docket

    The Public Docket containing the above references is located at 
1921 Jefferson Davis Highway, Rm. 1132, Arlington, Virginia. The 
references can be viewed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except legal holidays.

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: September 12, 1994.

Daniel M. Barolo,
Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

[FR Doc. 94-23353 Filed 9-20-94; 8:45 am]