[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 242 (Friday, December 18, 2009)]
[Pages 67209-67211]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30155]



[EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0815; FRL-8802-3]

Receipt of Petition Requesting EPA to Classify all Rodenticide 
Products Containing Strychnine as Restricted Use Pesticides; Opening of 
Comment Period

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: EPA is publishing for public comment a July 9, 2009 petition 
from the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), 
available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0815, requesting that the 
Agency classify all rodenticide products containing strychnine as 
Restricted Use Pesticides.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 18, 2010.

ADDRESSES:  Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0815, by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public 
Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001.

[[Page 67210]]

     Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), 
Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South 
Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. Deliveries are only 
accepted during the Docket Facility's normal hours of operation (8:30 
a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays). 
Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed 
information. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-
2009-0815. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the docket without change and may be made available on-line at 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through regulations.gov or e-
mail. The regulations.gov website is an ``anonymous access'' system, 
which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information 
unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-
mail comment directly to EPA without going through regulations.gov, 
your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part 
of the comment that is placed in the docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the docket index 
available at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, 
some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other 
information of which disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other 
material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet 
and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly 
available docket materials are available either in the electronic 
docket at http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard 
copy, at the OPP Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac 
Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The hours of 
operation of this Docket Facility are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket Facility telephone 
number is (703) 305-5805.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William W. Jacobs, Registration 
Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection 
Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; 
telephone number: (703) 305-6406; fax number: (703) 308-0029; e-mail 
address: [email protected].


I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of 
interest to a wide range of stakeholders including: Various 
environmental groups, farmers, ranchers, foresters, State regulatory 
agencies, other interested Federal agencies, members of the public 
interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides, registrants 
of strychnine alkaloid pesticide products, and other pesticide 
registrants and pesticide users.
    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. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this 
action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR 

B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through 
regulations.gov or e-mail. 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.

II. Background

What Action is the Agency Taking?

    EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment on a petition 
received from the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group that 
asks the Agency ``to classify all strychnine-containing rodenticides as 
Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs).''
    EPA regulates pesticides under the authority of the Federal 
Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Under FIFRA, EPA 
registers a pesticide after determining that the use of the pesticide 
will not cause ``unreasonable adverse effects'' to human health or the 
environment. This standard is a risk-benefit standard that takes into 
account social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits. Section 
3(d)(1)(C) of FIFRA authorizes EPA to classify a product as a 
restricted use pesticide if the Agency finds that only through such 
classification could its use be permitted without unreasonable adverse 
effects on the environment.
    Restricted use pesticides may only be sold to and applied by 
certified applicators or persons acting under the direct supervision of 
certified applicators. End-use pesticide products that are not 
classified as restricted use pesticides are considered to be 
unclassified. Products registered and labeled only for use in the 
manufacture of other pesticide products are not subject to requirements 
pertaining to classification.

[[Page 67211]]

    Through a Federal regulation promulgated in 1978, (43 FR 5782-5791, 
February 9, 1978) ``dry baits, pellets and powder formulations'' 
containing strychnine compounds are classified as restricted use 
pesticides if:
    1. The concentration of active ingredient claimed on the label 
exceeds 0.5%
    2. The label permits applications that are not ``subsoil,'' and/or
    3. The label includes ``uses calling for burrow builders.'' The 
same rule allows strychnine end-use ``dry baits, pellets and powder 
formulations'' limited to ``subsoil uses'' not involving burrow-builder 
applications to remain unclassified. Such products may be purchased and 
used by persons who are neither certified applicators nor supervised by 
certified applicators.
    In 1983, EPA completed a Special Review of above-ground uses of 
strychnine alkaloid and strychnine sulfate products. In 1988, a U.S. 
District Court in Minnesota issued an injunction prohibiting the 
registration of above-ground uses of strychnine products. In 1989, the 
1988 decision was reversed in part on appeal but was upheld on matters 
related to the Endangered Species Act. The injunction against above-
ground uses of pesticides containing strychnine compounds was sustained 
and remains in effect. Also in 1989, EPA and various concerned parties 
reached a settlement agreement pursuant to the Special Review for 
strychnine products.
    By the early 1990's, the registrations of many strychnine alkaloid 
products and all strychnine sulfate products had been canceled. The 
strychnine alkaloid products that remained registered at that time 
primarily included:
    1. Restricted use products labeled for below-ground applications to 
control pocket gophers, including applications using burrow builders;
    2. Unclassified end-use products labeled for manual below-ground 
applications to control pocket gophers; and
    3. Manufacturing-use products.
    In 1996, EPA issued a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) 
document pertaining to strychnine. Labels for all currently registered 
strychnine products bear risk mitigation text developed through the 
reregistration process. All but one of the remaining strychnine 
products subject to the RED have been reregistered. All nine of the 
remaining unclassified strychnine end-use products have been 
    Through a petition, SFIREG seeks to have all strychnine products 
classified as restricted use pesticides. Due to the regulatory 
exemption afforded to manufacturing use products, the SFIREG petition 
would directly affect only the currently unclassified products which 
are labeled for manual, below-ground applications to control various 
types of pocket gophers.
    The petitioner reports that member States have noted incidents of 
misuse of strychnine products, including use to control ``black-tailed 
prairie dogs and other pests not found on the product labeling.'' 
Petitioner states that uses against prairie dogs typically consist of 
``broadcast applications of bait products on the soil surface'' and 
thereby increase the likelihood of primary and secondary exposures to 
non-target species. Petitioner expresses concern that sales of 
unclassified strychnine products, including ``many products sold in 
small packages,'' make it difficult for State regulatory agencies to 
investigate misuse cases involving strychnine due to the lack of 
recordkeeping requirements for transactions involving unclassified 
products. Petitioner contends that classifying all strychnine products 
as restricted use pesticides would:
    1. Provide tighter controls over the distribution, sale, and use of 
these products
    2. Improve documentation of sales, facilitate investigations of 
misuse cases; and
    3. Better mitigate risk to the environment.
    For this Notice, EPA has posted petitioner's request in the public 
docket accompanying this topic at EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0815. EPA is 
providing an opportunity for public comment and submission of 
additional information pertinent to this petition that commenters would 
like the Agency to consider as it develops a response to the petition. 
The Agency would find particularly useful information relating to 
misuse of strychnine products, including misuse by non-certified 
applicators and by, or under the direct supervision of, certified 
applicators. Commenters are asked to provide available information 
regarding the products involved, the incidence of misuse, and the 
environmental impacts that have or could reasonably have resulted from 

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection, pesticides, restricted use, rodenticides, 

    Dated: December 10, 2009.
G. Jeffrey Herndon,
Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

[FR Doc. E9-30155 Filed 12-17-09; 8:45 am]