[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 121 (Wednesday, June 24, 2015)]
[Pages 36338-36339]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-15405]



[EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0389; FRL-9929-01]

Pesticides; Risk Management Approach To Identifying Options for 
Protecting the Monarch Butterfly; Notice of Availability and Public 
Comment Opportunity

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: EPA is announcing the availability of a document for public 
review and comment that describes the Agency's management approach for 
understanding and identifying protections for the monarch butterfly. 
This document is the start of an approach for monarch butterfly 
protection and weed management which will depend upon (i) input from a 
diverse group of stakeholders to identify and integrate information 
with respect to influences on the population dynamics of the monarch 
butterfly and the milkweed plant; and, (ii) cooperation and 
collaboration from these diverse stakeholders to identify activities 
that will balance weed management needs across varied landscapes with 
conservation of the milkweed plant. EPA is soliciting public comment on 
which potential action or a combination of actions would be the most 
effective in reducing the impacts of herbicides on the monarch 

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0389, 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 
     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.html.
    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along 
with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Khue Nguyen, Pesticide Re-Evaluation 
Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-
0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0248; email 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 environmental, human 
health, farmworker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; 
pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, 
distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be 
interested, the agency has not attempted to describe all the specific 
entities that may be affected by this action.

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

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through 
http://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 preparing and submitting 
your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

II. What Action is the Agency Taking?

    EPA is taking public comment on a document entitled, Risk 
Management Approach to Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch 
Butterfly, a copy of which is available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0389. The 
document identifies the types of information that EPA believes may be 
important to have in order to identify appropriate actions to take 
under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 
to protect monarch butterflies (including milkweed resources) while 
also enabling pesticide users to meet important weed management needs. 
EPA is initiating efforts focused specifically on the monarch butterfly 
for several reasons.
    First, the U.S. has been engaged in an effort with Canada and 
Mexico through the Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife 
and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, where the three partner 
nations have agreed to make natural resource conservation a priority. 
Consistent with its objective to conserve and manage natural resources 
across North America, the committee has recognized the monarch 
butterfly as an emblematic species shared by the three countries and 
renewed their collaborative effort to protect the species and its 
required resources.
    Secondly, in addition to the efforts of the Trilateral Committee, 
President Obama issued a memorandum on pollinator protection entitled, 
Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and 
other Pollinators. The memorandum highlights the importance of the 
monarch butterfly and establishes a task force of Federal agencies to 
develop a strategy to conserve pollinators and the monarch butterfly in 
particular. The memorandum states that the task force is to develop a 
strategy that looks to developing partnerships with external 
stakeholders such as state, tribal and local governments, farmers, 
corporations, and non-governmental organizations to achieve the goal of 
protecting and conserving the monarch butterfly and its habitat.
    Finally, in February 2014, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) 
received a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

[[Page 36339]]

asking EPA to take actions to reduce the use of the herbicide 
glyphosate because NRDC believes that the widespread use of glyphosate 
has impacted the monarch butterfly by reducing the presence of the 
milkweed. While EPA has denied NRDC's petition, EPA concludes that its 
ongoing efforts to protect bees, in conjunction now with this effort to 
protect the monarch butterfly, are in line with the objectives of the 
NRDC petition.
    In addition, together with several non-governmental organizations, 
various agencies within the Federal government have been working 
collaboratively with the Monarch Joint Venture to develop and implement 
measures to protect monarch butterflies and their migration. The 
approach and objectives outlined in Risk Management Approach to 
Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly will support 
and complement the actions and objectives of the Trilateral Committee 
and the Presidential Memorandum on Pollinator Health.
    EPA is soliciting public comment on which potential action or a 
combination of actions would be the most effective in reducing the 
impacts of herbicides on the monarch butterfly. The agency is also 
requesting that any additional measures not discussed here be 
    Please note that the approach discussed in Risk Management Approach 
to Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly is intended 
to provide guidance to EPA personnel and decision-makers and to 
pesticide registrants. While the requirements in the statutes and 
Agency regulations are binding on EPA and the applicants, this guidance 
document is not binding on either EPA or pesticide registrants, and EPA 
may depart from the guidance where circumstances warrant and without 
prior notice. Likewise, pesticide registrants may assert that the 
guidance is not applicable to a specific pesticide or situation.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: June 16, 2015.
Jack Housenger,
Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.
[FR Doc. 2015-15405 Filed 6-23-15; 8:45 am]