|STATE FIFRA ISSUES, RESEARCH & EVAULATION GROUP (SFIREG)
FULL COMMITTEE MEETING
|June 1, 2015||EPA POTOMAC YARDS, ARLINGTON, VA||8:15 am|
|Called by||Steve Dwinell, FL, Acting SFIREG Chair|
|Note Taker||Amy Bamber, Executive Secretary, AAPCO – SFIREG|
Nicole Zinn, EPA/OPP/FEAD
|OFFICE OF PESTICIDE PROGRAMS UPDATE|
|Description||Report on status of current activities of OPP that affect pesticide registration and label interpretation issues, including Smart Label and Project Officer Training. Goal is provision of information and identification of any action needed by SFIREG.
|Discussion||A. OPP and OECA have a national meeting this week and will discuss how to train the additional Project Officers (PO) who didn’t attend the April PO training. State workgroup is moving forward as well. The FIFRA PO manual update workgroup is on schedule to complete the manual in 2017.
B. Data incident workgroup is being put together to coordinate and prioritize incident data, which can then be shared with stakeholders and the public. The Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) will have an advisory role. EPA would like state representatives.
Will there be any relationship with the National Pesticide Information Center? Zinn thinks they will feed together. The information will include all incidents, not just enforcement, and it will be used in risk assessment. EPA is looking at Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency’s approach to providing public data as a model.
C. Labeling consistency workgroup is cleaning up the question and answer document. The secondary containment page will also be addressed, and the bag on valve content is updated. When complete the information will be send out in an OPP update.
D. Smart labels are moving into next phase. EPA has been piloting the program with 9 registrants since December 2014, and working with the SFIREG subgroup chaired by Charlie Clark, FL
E. New Rules: The minimum risk rule is being finalized, which requires more specific 25(b) inert and active ingredient listings, including CAS#s. It also requires manufacturer contact information to be on the label. Publication is expected in late summer or fall. WPS is expected to be published in late summer or fall, and the Certification rule is expected in mid- to late summer.
|Action Items||SFIREG will provide 2 State Lead Agency volunteers for the OPP data incident workgroup.|
|MARTY MONELL, EPA/OPP
STEVEN DWINELL, SFIREG CHAIR, FL
|UPDATE ON DESIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND
|Description||Update on the status of the DfE pilot for antimicrobials, how the new Safer Choice logo will apply to pesticides, and to discuss the SFIREG survey on DfE. Goal is provision of information and identification of any action needed by SFIREG.
|Discussion||Diane Boesenberg, Director of Regulatory & Government Affairs for
Reckitt Benckiser, presented a PowerPoint presentation (see attachment) detailing the company’s belief that the use of the Safer Choice logo for pesticide products is warranted to meet industrial and homeowner green cleaning demands.
Monell told the committee that the DfE program had been wrapped into the Safer Choice program, and that EPA agreed that Safer Choice should be used on pesticide products. As that would currently be illegal, Monell noted that rule changes would be required. The Office of General Council has reviewed the proposal and agreed that regulatory changes would be necessary if Safer Choice were to be used on pesticide labels.
In the April 2015 Joint Working Committee Meeting, EPA had promised the committees that Safer Choice would never be considered for pesticides, and as this presentation represented a significant change in direction, Dwinell called for a more in-depth discussion at the September 2015 Joint Working Committee Meeting.
The states had also expressed concern through a survey conducted by SFIREG about the use of DfE logos on unapproved product labels, including distributor labels. If the DfE labels (no states had commented on Safer Choice) were state registered, the SLA’s had asked what sort of commitment to expect from OECA and the regions when labels with unapproved logos were submitted to EPA for follow up enforcement. Monell addressed this concern by saying that the antimicrobial product registrants were self-regulating, and that EPA did not expect enforcement issues.
Additional concerns identified in the survey were identified by Jeff Rogers, VA, included that logos such as DfE or Safer Choice reinforce consumer’s behavior related to not reading labels sufficiently, or at all. There are also concerns about verification of authorization and misbranding, particularly on distributor labels, which many antimicrobial primary registrants utilize.
|Action Items||POM Chair Bonnie Rabe, NM, will develop the topic for an indepth discussion for the September POM meeting.|
SFIREG POM CHAIR,NM
|PESTICIDE OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT WORKING COMMITTEE REPORT|
|Description||Discussion and proposed adoption of, report on committee activity. Goal is provision of information and identification of any further action needed by POM.
|Discussion||Rabe related that the joint meeting was successful and went on to describe the various topics discussed. For follow up and tracking, Rabe noted:
· The antimicrobial discussion related to hard surface treatments, hvac uses, etc.
· Distributor label issues, particularly for antimicrobials
· Licensing and applicator identification related to drones, as well as education related to the safety risks for ag pilots
· Development of the SLA training to parallel the Project Officer training
· Oregon’s neonic experience, especially the data collected on environmental pesticide levels
· Comparative efficacy claims
A topic of committee discussion was the drift reduction technology (DRT) label language. Questions were related to BMP and buffer zone enforcement. How to verify buffer zones? Is guidance or training for field inspectors needed? Should there be an EPA tool-box for the topic? Nichols stated that she doesn’t believe it is enforceable unless an inspector is on site for the application. EPA agreed that there is currently no good way to verify. Dwinell noted that this could increase as an issue as new low-drift products come onto the market.
Rabe also identified the upcoming reregistration for commodity and structural fumigation products as an area to track and provide assistance to EPA. ASPCRO held a training for EPA recently on the subject, which includes cargo ships, bulk commodity storage, railroads, and rodent control. This is an area of interest for NASDA as well.
During the morning session some Antimicrobial Division staff attended the meeting. Rabe brought up occupational health issues with AD products, as well as nonregistered products used in devices. This is becoming a trend in large-scale facilities, and will be discussed at POM in September.
|Action Items||EPA will set up a call to discuss enforcement concerns related to DRT label language, and to discuss how the DRT language is addressed by EPA’s product managers.
Include AD product issues at September POM meeting.
|KIRK COOK, SFIREG EQI CHAIR, WA||ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ISSUES WORKING COMMITTEE
|Description||Report on committee activity and current issue papers under development. Goal is provision of information and identification of any further action needed by EQI or Full SFIREG.
|Discussion||Cook started by saying that the joint working committee meetings are beneficial for EQI. He then described the ESA data session from the April WC meeting, and identified ESA data collection and evaluation as an area that needs to be strengthened. Cook focused the remainder of his presentation on committee recommendations related to the POINTS database; please see attachment.|
|FRED COREY, TPPC CHAIR, AROOSTOOK BAND OF MICMACS
DAN HELFGOTT, CHIEF, EPA/OPP/FEAD/GISB
|TRIBAL PESTICIDE PROGRAM COUNCIL REPORT|
|Description||Report on initiative by TPPC to develop joint programs with SLAs. Goal is provision of information and identification of any further action needed by SFIREG.
|Discussion||Corey presented a couple of updates and some opportunities for collaboration.
The most recent TPPC meeting occurred in March, overlapping with AAPCO. There was a tribal panel at AAPCO’s annual meeting, covering tribal perspectives and priorities, similar program activities, and opportunities for collaboration. These included sharing of training resources and joint inspections.
An issue paper has been completed on training for tribal pesticide inspectors, including a number of issues such as lack of access to appropriate training, appropriate times, relevant trainings to needs, and trainings not necessarily tailored to tribal needs. TPPC is looking to increase opportunities for tribal participation in PREP, and is working with EPA to try and address that. This fall there will be a Spokane, WA tribal-specific PREP on pollinator protection.
MP3 development is going to require lots of effort. This is an excellent collaborative opportunity with states because bees don’t respect boundaries. As states begin dialogue with stakeholders it would be beneficial to coordinate with tribes, and vice versa, taking a geographical approach.
Nearly every tribe on TPPC has bed bug management concerns. Social stigma and hospitality industry concerns increase the difficulty of managing the issue. Since March, TPPC has had some conference calls with EPA, and they discussed the resources available on the web. But there appears to be a disconnect or gap in getting that information to the tribal programs and into the communities. Very rural areas may not have PCOs, laundry dryers may not be present, there are lots of ‘local’ remedies, and inaccurate information is passed on. There is also an issue of limited internet access on many reservations. The costs of dealing with bed bugs are also an issue. It can be very expensive, especially for folks in extreme poverty. Tribal-specific issues may include frequent movement (oil field work, for example), and people move household to household frequently. Some folks move camp to camp in recreational areas on reservations, and seasonal camps are used for income and for recreation by youth and elders. There are lots of confounding factors. Some are unique to tribes and some may be shared with rural states. An additional concern surrounds accepting clothing donations, which are distributed through social services. Putting the clothing through the clothes dryer first can help, but lots of tribes don’t recognize to do that. Some tribes have stopped donations due to the spread of bed bugs, which is alarming because children rely on those clothes. Lots of education and outreach is needed. The tribes need resources, and collaboration with states would be very helpful. This issue is relevant to states because of mobility across political boundaries as well. E&O seems most likely to be effective. Human compassion is not enough to spur action; this issue has high likelihood for misuse of pesticides, there are lots of extreme applications, and potential harm to human health and the environment. Region 1 tribes have begun working with the NE IPM center, out of Cornell University, which specializes in IPM and public housing. They have done some tribal visits, and are in the process of establishing an IPM training for tribal housing programs. TPPC hopes it will be a piece of the solution to the bed bug issue.
Another pest of concern are ticks and the spread of human pathogens. Lyme disease is a huge issue. Everyone is acutely aware of the issue. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an issue in the west. And finally, it is a concern as a pest to wildlife. Moose populations have suffered due to the tick, particularly in MN and NH. They are starting to see the same issue in ME. The moose get so infested that they rub their fur off trying to get rid of the ticks, and they are then unprotected when the cold season comes on. As a result there have been many deaths, and severely diminished moose population numbers.
Dwinell recommended that Corey connect with Liza Fleeson, VA regarding bed bug management resources developed by the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO), as well as the National Pest Management Association and EPA. Moses added that Extension Tribal folks are in some states, and could be useful for trainings and resource acquisition.
|Action Items||States should include tribal program staff in MP3 stakeholder meetings.
TPPC will appoint a representative to sit on the AAPCO MP3 committee, and the SFIREG MP3 committee.
Collaboration with states when bed bug trainings occur, or inclusion in information dissemination related to bed bug management, would be very helpful. Fleeson, VA will follow up with Corey on ASPCRO’s bed bug management resources.
|JOHN SCOTT, ASPCRO PRESIDENT, CO||ASSOCIATION OF STRUCTURAL PEST CONTROL REGULATORY OFFICIALS REPORT|
|Description||Report on recent activities and priorities for ASPCRO|
|Discussion||The key issues facing ASPCRO are:
· Board of Director changes, including Mike Page’s retirement, FL and the vacancy of the secretary position. Currently Linda Johns, MT is filling in the position through August. At the August meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL they will fill that position and two vacant Members At Large positions.
· ASPCRO’s rodenticide committee has moved a request thru EPA to consider noncommensals on rodenticide labels. Folks have traditionally used the 2ee provision to make applications to field rodents, and the new labels prohibit that. The Registration Division has agreed to allow uses for specific noncommensal species, and EPA can utilize call in data on those specific species. Two of the noncommensals of interest have since been listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened and endangered, so those will be removed.
· The structural fumigation committee worked in collaboration with Rollins, Inc and the National Pest Management Association to use Orkin’s training school to conduct a training for EPA’s Registration Division. Some of the Region 4 staff and 13 Headquarters staff participated.
The August meeting announcement is coming out soon: http://www.aspcro.org
|RICK KEIGWIN, EPA/PRD/OPP
STEVE DWINELL, SFIREG CHAIR, FL
|REGISTRATION REVIEW UPDATE|
|Description||Report of PRD registration review activities and initiatives. Goal is provision of information and identification of any action needed by Full SFIREG.|
|Discussion||Keigwin described how EPA is looking to group chemicals across classes in some reviews, such as for the sulfonylureas and pyrethroids. Both classes have well known issues. The SUs will be addressed first, and unintended consequences related to nontarget plants will be included in the review. For pyrethroids, water quality is the concern. It is EPA’s hope that this grouped approach will be more efficient and timely than considering each active ingredient separately.
Meg Hathaway is the chemical review manager and coordinator for the SU risk assessment (RA). She shared that for the ecological assessment, they will be grouping the herbicide class. Besides efficiencies, this will also promote mitigation consistencies. For human health, there will be separate documents for each a.i. in the class. Threatened and endangered species and pollinators will be included in the assessments. In the near future, the draft RA is scheduled to be published in September 2015. June 2016 the proposed interim decision will be published, and in September 2016, the final decision will be published.
Outreach for registrants: In January EPA sent out an email regarding their intentions. The registrants formed a workgroup, EPA met with them in April to address concerns. The registrants decided to disband workgroup at that time. Today is the federal and state outreach. Weed scientists at USDA have been helpful as well.
Pyrethroids will follow same schedule + 1 year. The draft RA will be available in September 2016. Garland Walcko is managing the pyrethroids RA. There will be 1 ecological assessment; human health assessments will be per active ingredient. The assessments will be divided into use patterns: ‘down the drain’ (indoor uses that may end up in drain systems), homeowner, agriculture, and mosquito control. Water risks are well known, and EPA is moving straight into mitigation measures. They are working closely with registrants.
Dwinell asked how is EPA going to handle the varied use patterns? Garland replied that is why they broke the pyrethroids into the 4 groups. For the SUs they are using 10 representative crops. They are still working on the strategy for data presentation for those uses.
Dwinell added that the ecological risk assumptions fall into the EQI committee’s scope, and they will look at the assumptions used in the RA. The mitigation component includes a raft of questions and problems. POM will be interested in the mitigation measures. Keigwin stated that they are using the model from the pyrethroid structural mitigation effort. He also acknowledged that the mosquito uses for pyrethroids will be very difficult, and they have to balance the need for flexibility and risk management.
Dwinell asked how data requirements for impacts on bees will be incorporated into this process. Some registrants are providing additional bee-related data, and there may be more compounds that will require additional data. The RA for all compounds can only go as far as the data will allow. Has there been a Tier 1 review for bees and pyrethroids? Has anything moved into Tier 2? Keigwin replied that they do not have a lot of bee data for pyrethroids. Dwinell asked if the data acquisition is a separate process. Keigwin responded that the National Strategy talks about data requirements. EPA knows that they are going to do it, but are working on the roll out. Dwinell asked about the use of pyrethroids as repellents to bees, if EPA has any information on that.? EPA has also heard of that, and are looking into it.
Rabe asked if the difference between consumer and professional applicators is being taken into account and put into the RA process. Keigwin replied yes, they will consider that at the RA level. Dwinell added that a subset for pyrethroid use is as a termaticide. Walcko replied that any non-ag use information is very valuable. John Scott, ASPCRO president, stated that ASPCRO wants to be involved in the urban and structural use reviews.
|Action Items||EQI Chair Kirk Cook, WA will develop SU RA session for the September EQI meeting.
States with non-ag use data for pyrethroids should consider submitting it for the pyrethroid assessments.
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
|AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PESTICIDE SAFETY EDUCATORS REPORT|
|Description||Report on recent activities and priorities for AAPSE|
|Discussion||Renchie called in from the Southern Region AAPSE Conference to present the AAPSE report. Please see attachment. Moses asked about AAPSE’s 25(b) letter to EPA, and Renchie responded that the new EPA rule addresses some of AAPSE’s concerns, but some are still ongoing. AAPSE is in the process of drafting a current letter that will include suggested solutions to the current issues.|
|BOB SCHULTZ, OPP/IT
STEVE DWINELL, SFIREG CHAIR, FL
|UPDATE ON OPP DATA AUTOMATION PROJECTS
|Description||Report on OPP data automation projects and initiatives. Goal is provision of information and identification of any action needed by Full SFIREG.
|Discussion||Schultz presented updates and a timeline of OPP’s data automation projects. Please see attachment.|
|DAN ROSENBLATT, EPA/OPP/RD
JOHN HEBERT, EPA/OPP/AD
JOHN LEAHY, EPA/OPP/BPPD
|EPA’S NEW APPROACH TO HANDLING DISTRIBUTOR LABELS|
|Description||Bonus session that was not included on the agenda. SFIREG appreciates the three divisions taking the opportunity to engage SFIREG concerning OPP’s handling of distributor labels, and how they are hoping to move forward.
|Discussion||Rosenblatt reminded the audience that Part 152 describes the primary or parent registrant relationship to distributor registrants, and clarified that distributor registrations contain three sets of numbers, with the third set signifying the distributor company.
Through time there have been different levels of scrutiny regarding these registrations, in particular looking at brand names for distributors. Going forward they intend to have a more streamlined process, where notices of distributor registrations go straight into the system and are available for state review. OECA and the Office of the General Council have been briefed about it. The major point emphasized in registrant conversations is that the distributor product needs to be compliant in all ways–labels, container, and claims (can have fewer, but not additional).
Hebert related they were finding that some registrants, who had been denied alternate brand names, then allowed distributors to use the denied names. EPA then started to review these labels in the context of false and misleading claims. All three divisions worked together to review, they’d pull them aside and review them against the parent labels. An example: In AD, a distributor name would include the word ‘sanitize’, but the primary product was never registered as a sanitizer. These reviews turned into a big task, pulling all the primary labels, and doing the comparisons, and it created a significant backlog. AD has the bulk of the problem labels. For some companies, the business model is to give the product right to the distributor, and the primary product is never sold. It has become hard to keep up with the labels, and the divisions don’t have the resources to manage the issues in this manner. Therefore EPA will be sending out letters to the primary registrants, reiterating that it is their duty to ensure that the sub-registrations are legal. They are also putting the notices of the distributor registrations straight into the system for access by states in their registration reviews.
Rosenblatt emphasized that they are interested in state feedback. Dwinell commented that there have been a lot of issues with the distributor labels not showing up as registered products on PPLS, and asked if this approach will solve that issue. Rosenblatt agreed and said that now the forms will go straight into PPLS, and this will resolve the review lag.
Helfgott asked how the process works if a questionable claim or brand name is found. Could the primary say it was approved? Rosenblatt said they would send the parent registrant a letter referencing the distributor label, and remind them that it must meet the regulations. Dwinell asked how this will be enforced. Right now the states rely on EPA. Havinga replied that OECA hasn’t been involved in this process. Rosenblatt will follow up with Havinga and Don Lott.
|Action Items||POM will review the letter and ask for OECA or OC to be at the table to discuss enforcement.|
|MARIETTA ECHEVERRIA, EPA/OPP/RD
MIKE GOODIS, EPA/OPP/PRD
|DISCUSSION OF STATUS OF STATE MANAGED POLLINATOR PROTECTION PLANS AND THEIR ROLE IN THE FEDERAL POLLINATOR PROTECTION STRATEGY|
|Description||Questions and answers, open discussion on use of pollinator plans as a means of mitigating pesticide exposure through improved communication and coordination.|
|Discussion||The committee began the session by voting to finalize the SFIREG Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3) guidance (see attachment 7). Corey requested that tribes be invited to MP3 stakeholder meetings, which wasn’t written explicitly into the guidance. Dwinell agreed and stated that it would be included in communications to the states. Bishop motioned to accept, Moses seconded the motion, and the motion carried.
Echeverria and Goodis presented an overview of the activities of the Pollinator Health Task Force (see attachment 8).
Dwinell suggested that SFIREG provide comments to EPA on the proposed policy. The committee nominated the following persons: John Allran, NC, Brian Rowe, MI, Eric Johansen, WA, Steve Dwinell, FL, Mary Begin, DC, Bonnie Rabe, NM, and Kirk Cook, WA. Steve Dwinell will submit a request for an extension to the comment period to 60 days into the federal docket.
Dwinell then asked if there were any comments on the proposal. Mary Begin, DC would like to see small beekeeping outfits addressed. John Scott, CO has issues with the lack of regulatory authority, pointing out that if requirements are not on the label, some states will not have the ability to regulate per the policy.
Dwinell questioned EPA on how they planned to support the states. It isn’t a requirement for states to implement, but if the states do not implement the policy it will affect the effectiveness of the approach. Moses asked about the possibility of additional supplemental funding. Helfgott replied that there doesn’t appear to be additional supplemental funding available at this time, other than the $50K proposed in the President’s budget. Moses also asked about noncommercial beekeepers. Echeverria replied that the commercial beekeepers’ bees are exposed to higher risk, so focusing on them makes sense, but EPA wants to encourage protection as much as possible. Goodis added that this approach gets us going, and starts the dialogue.
Jones brought up indeterminate crops, especially cotton. This approach could be inconsistent with IPM thresholds, and for ornamentals there could be issues. Some beekeepers haven’t been responsive when notified of an application. They don’t have many choices regarding where to move the bees, covering the bees can be difficult and stress the hives. Therefore there are beekeepers who are not willing to mitigate when an application is made, and sometimes the crops are in a crisis situation where the application must be made quickly to be effective.
It was clarified that unwritten contracts, handshake agreements, and the like are included in the scope of contracted pollination services.
Dwinell added that there is an issue related to the general environmental hazards statement, and asked if there is any consideration by EPA to remove that general statement to take into account more restrictive and crop-specific language. That will likely be a comment. Echeverria replied that EPA would appreciate a comment on that point, and specific suggestions would be helpful.
Echeverria added that the comments are likely to be pretty extensive. She proposed that before SFIREG finalizes the comments that we have a conference call to go over the main points to ensure there aren’t misunderstandings. A webinar may be most effective.
To wrap up the conversations, Bishop reiterated the states’ concerns about MP3 funding. Comstock added that looking at the label statement, his first question is what is the connection between the label statement and the rest of the policy document. And secondly, the effectiveness measures seem to be a separate endeavor because there is nothing in the policy statement or label language that shows a connection to MP3s. So how is the policy connected to this work and the label statements? Will there be an effort to measure the effectiveness of the label language?
|Action Items||Include communication to the states about inviting tribes to MP3 stakeholder meetings.
Dwinell will request an extension to the comment period.
Form the workgroup to provide SFIREG comments on the policy—Anthony Lamanno will chair.
Hold a call or webinar with EPA prior to submitting the comments to the docket.
|DUDLEY HOSKINS, NASDA
KIRK COOK, SFIREG EQI CHAIR, WA
BONNIE RABE, SFIREG
|DEVELOPMENT OF METRICS FOR EFFECTIVENESS OF MP3S
|Description||Discussion of efforts to develop measurements of effectiveness of state managed pollinator protection plans as alternative risk mitigation for pollinators|
|Discussion||The discussion began with Hoskins introducing Hubert Hamer, Statistics Division Director, Kevin Barnes, Western Field Operations Director, and Dan Kerestes, Livestock Branch Chief from USDA NASS. They outlined the bee-related data they currently collect and changes they have made to the producer surveys they have made to collect more data into the future. The regular honey report was released in March, and included information from the 2012 census. In the annual bee and honey report they ask questions of producers who have five colonies or more. In the past month, they have moved to doing a quarterly survey (April, July, October, January) asking producers about their losses. It is recorded as a dead out, how many colonies have been rejuvenated, how many new queens, etc. Then once a year in Dec/Jan, they will survey producers with less than five colonies and ask the same questions but for the entire year. They are hoping to see if there is a difference, in the smaller and larger producers. If there is not a difference after two years, they will cease the smaller producer surveys. Another new survey component is asking crop producers what they are paying for pollination services. This will occur in the November survey. Hopefully over time baselines and losses will be apparent. NASS is hoping to understand how the cost of pollination impacts the crop producers.
Then NASS will go back to the bee and honey survey, and add economics. There will be questions to the beekeepers related to how much they are spending, and on what, and what their income is, to get an idea of profit and loss for beekeepers. For the next 2 years they will include the smaller producers as well. Do the smaller operations cost about the same, more, or less? Continuation of the surveys depends on the federal budget after FY16.
Hoskins added that NASDA and NASS have a formal and robust relationship, and that all of the NASS enumerators are NASDA employees. The state managed MP3s are very important and NASDA sees the NASS relationship as an opportunity to leverage the surveys, helping to evaluate the success of the plans.
Dwinell stated that in trying to determine if the state plans are effective, an area that needs better information is the behavior of beekeepers and crop producers. We need to start a process interacting with the NASS surveys to help give us the information we need.
NASS will be providing a trifold brochure specific to the bee and honey survey changes. It would be helpful if states could help promote the surveys.
Into the future, to add questions to the surveys, SFIREG can work through Hoskins.
Echeverria offered thanks for the presentation. Working closely with SFIREG and NASDA will help us understand how to reach our goals on pollinator protection. EPA did submit comments to the docket of the NASS report. She would like to add a question about communication with beekeepers prior to application. Hubert responded that he is familiar with the question, and they are trying to figure out how to include the questions in the guidelines of the national strategy.
NASS has between 3000-3500 enumerators across the country. All names and information collected in the surveys are protected by law.
Cook and Rabe presented the measures agreed upon during the Joint Working Committee meeting in April 2015 (see attachment). They were well received by the committee. Dwinell emphasized that the states working on the plans need to consider the measures in their plan development. EPA is an audience as well. Moving forward the chairs will combine the measures and provide them for review by the SFIREG Representatives before the September 2015 Joint Working Committee meeting. Bogner suggested sending the lab-related measures to her for review with other lab directors for feasibility and other considerations. Bishop added that a template with check boxes is an efficient mechanism for many states to use. Eventually the measures will have to be narrowed down to a few that can help provide a national picture.
|Action Items||Cook and Rabe will combine the working committee MP3 measures and distribute them to the committee for review prior to September 2015.
Laboratory-related measures will be reviewed by Bogner.
The committee will solicit and consider questions for inclusion in future NASS surveys, with particular emphasis on measuring the success of MP3.
|COMMITTEE MEMBERS||PRE-SFIREG/REGIONAL REPORTS
|Description||Each SFIREG member will be given 5-6 minutes to provide a report on key issues raised at the pre-SFIREG meetings. Goal is provision of information and identification of any further action needed by SFIREG.
|Discussion||Please see attachments for the Regional reports. There was no report for Region 7.|
|June 2, 2015||EPA POTOMAC YARDS, ARLINGTON, VA||8:30 am|
|Called by||Steve Dwinell, SFIREG Acting Chair, FL|
|Note Taker||Amy Bamber, Executive Secretary, AAPCO – SFIREG|
|AL HAVINGA, EPA/OECA||OFFICE OF ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE UPDATE|
|Description||Report on OECA activities that affect SLA enforcement programs.
Goal is provision of information and identification of any further action needed by SFIREG
|Discussion||Performance measures developed by the SFIREG and EPA workgroup are currently on hold, as they are being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. EPA expects approval this summer, and they will be effective in FY16. FAQ have been developed and Havinga will send out a draft.
At the end of April the compliance monitoring strategy for FIFRA was completed. It is a compilation of policies for monitoring of FIFRA compliance. Minimum inspection numbers are distributed to EPA regions as guidance. These numbers are available to states.
Dashboard of federal compliance numbers was also rolled out in April. They are currently working on WPS inspections. Next they will be using the 5700 forms to populate the dashboard. There will be webinars in July, and the draft dashboard will be available. OECA would like feedback on the data captured this summer. They hope to finalize it by October.
For federal credentials, health and safety training requirements have been an issue. OECA believes they have developed a solution, and are waiting on management approval. The skill port was not working and they have changed to a different platform. Hoping to roll it out in the next few weeks.
A question was asked regarding problems with the Wiki site, and what EPA is doing to address it. Havinga replied that they will take it back to IT. It is very frustrating to states. Nichols asked if a disk can be used as an alternative for meeting the training requirements. Havinga said he will look into it and let Bamber know the answer. Another question was posed regarding HAZWOPER training, and if other training can be used. Havinga replied yes, the states should work with their regions to ensure other training is accepted. Regions 3 and 4 have good examples of alternative trainings.
Havinga was asked if he could share the inspection frequency types and numbers contained in the compliance strategy. Havinga replied that PEIs are 2800/year nationally, Use is non-specific, and RUPs are 2000/year nationally.
|Action Items||Havinga will follow up with Bamber re: inspector wiki dvd or usb possibility.|
|AL HAVINGA, EPA/OECA
JEFF COMSTOCK, SFIREG, VT
PAT JONES, SFIREG, NC
STEVE DWINELL, SFIREG CHAIR, FL
|ADJUSTING PESTICIDE INSPECTION TIME ALLOCATIONS|
|Description||SFIREG members were asked to survey states at pre-SFIREG meetings about the current pesticide inspection time allocations in the grant guidance. The desired outcome is a compilation of those surveys and a SFIREG recommendation for any changes to the inspection time allocations.
|Discussion||Please see the presentation. Comments included the need for WPS to be broken out and to address multiple inspection types. Moving forward, the time allocation survey will be redone. Bogner will be included in laboratory related data. It does appear from these data that the current numbers used in the grant guidance are not accurate.|
|Action Items||The work group will rework the survey.|
|JEFF HARRIS, EPA/OIG/OPE
ED MESSINA, EPA/OC/OECA
FATIMA EL ABDAOUI, EPA REGION 3
CHUCK MOSES, AAPCO PRESIDENT, NV
|FEDERAL CREDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR INSPECTIONS BY STATE LEAD AGENCIES
|Description||A recent OIG report for USEPA Region VIII determined that some FIFRA inspections were not conducted with Federal Credentials. States have questions about when Federal credentials can be used and when they are required, and how this relates to primacy. Goal is provision of information and identification of any further action needed.
|Discussion||Harris stated that he is mostly focused on evaluation of EPA policies and responsiveness to public petitions on pesticide issues and EPA’s Regional negotiated commitments with states for FIFRA compliance inspections.
He stressed that the report is looking at EPA’s oversight role, not the quality of state inspection activity. The report is only focused on EPA’s oversight and implementation of cooperative agreements. He got most of the information from EPA case files related to EPA oversight. The OIG went to Regions 1,4,7, and 8 looking for geographical variability. They were also looking for different priorities across regions, and reviewed several states in each region.
Harris was also looking for themes of performance that may lead to recommendations for improvement. They also look every year at EPA’s reported challenges, and this topic (state/region relationships) has been in the report each year.
In this review the OIG looked at three components of the case files: how EPA selected files to review, what specifically they were looking at, and if there was follow up on the findings. OIG talked to headquarters, regions and state officials. They used training manuals to find criteria to evaluate, and used that to see if regional oversight is sufficient.
OIG found consistency problems in documentation of evidence, selection of cases (bias), documentation that Project Officers were ensuring that state inspections were done consistently with state requirements. Was there any formal feedback during the End of Year or Mid-Year reviews? They found different things in different regions, and in different states. There were some areas of concern.
One project officer had no files at all; some places had automated files, and no paper trail; sometimes the files were detailed and in line with EPA’s guidance.
Overall, the OIG has very simple recommendations: update the manual, and make sure the project officers receive training according to the manual. EPA agrees with those recommendations and has already begun that process independently of the review. Consistency across regions is not a goal, but consistency within the region is desired. Tailoring of needs is okay.
Region 8 was the last region OIG looked at, and they found that there were no PEI inspection reports, especially for North Dakota. Why? There is a lot of variability in the region state to state. There is also quite a lengthy gap in time since the last EPA PEI inspection.
Harris stressed that the recommendations are only about EPA, and whether EPA oversight by Region 8 is sufficient to implement FIFRA.
Specifically speaking of the Region 8/North Dakota reaction report, Harris said they saw gaps in federal inspection activity and issued the quick reaction report. These are done on a rare occasion when they think there is a need to do something without delay, get the report out of the door and get some action. Region 8 and North Dakota was considered a big deal and Harris felt it needed airing. For Region 8 to be complying with the intent of FIFRA, they need to ensure that PEIs and Import inspections be done with federal credentials. He said he understands the surprise about the release of the report, and emphasized that it is about Region 8, not about North Dakota.
Harris continued to claim that inspections did not occur, because they were not done with federal credentials, and he spoke about why inspections are important. Harris acknowledged that OECA believes that the report was over the top, and stated that he believes that risk increases in the absence of oversight.
Currently Harris is talking to folks in Region 6, and then will be going to Region 9. He is looking for EPA’s process with the states to review commitments. Asking, how do we know the commitments are achieving EPA’s goals? How are the commitments negotiated? Especially in light of shrinking resources, it is good to explore ways to improve efficiencies. OIG is also looking at the pesticide petition process and how EPA responds to petitions from non-industry petitioners, and transparent and consistent across petitioners.
Messina thanked Harris for coming to the meeting and discussing guidance and the use of federal credentials. Keeping his remarks short, he encouraged the committee to use the time to speak to Harris. Messina also said that he likes IG investigations, and said that if you care about the program you are running, it is always good to have another pair of eyes. If corrective action is needed, it is easy to work with senior management via the recommendations. They have agreed with lots of recommendations of corrective action, and had already undertaken lots of the recommendations prior to the audit. These include Project Officer training, addressing inconsistencies across regions, and the manual is being updated.
Regarding the credential issue, and EPA’s 2013 memo, Messina said that federal credentials are required, and North Dakota was working towards getting credentials. Messina has a response to the IG report, and that is OECA doesn’t see a connection with harm because North Dakota didn’t have federal credentials. The state did do the inspections with state credentials, and that wasn’t considered by the IG regarding protection of health.
The IG looks at documentation, and that doesn’t allow an understanding of the collaborative relationships, the meetings, the conversations. Partners and oversight requires a balance. From an auditors perspective, ‘capture’ is an issue, and EPA could be too close to states. Messina does not believe that is the case. We could do a better job documenting our conversations.
Overall areas related to the audit that EPA is working on include updated grant guidance, compliance monitoring strategy, performance measures workgroup,
and dashboards to show the data. Messina welcomes the suggestions, but has issues with way it came out and feel the quick reaction report was overstated.
El Abdaoui added her voice to Messina’s and used the opportunity to speak from the region’s perspective. She has talked to all the regions. They are welcoming of the IGs audit, generally they agree with some findings and not with others. They did not like how it was handled, especially the review of the files. In most regions the project officer picks the files themselves. All PEIs done using federal credentials are reviewed by project officers, and they take a percentage of other files to review. In general most regions do pick up the files, recently a lot of states are paperless and the regions pick from them. In some states there is an access issue, via state regulations, and that can be limiting.
Regarding federal credentials, there are some regions who have issues with the states. Region 8 is working with North Dakota, but it varies by state. For example, Colorado cannot by law have federal credentials. Also, for project officer training, some staff have attended and it is well received, a welcome training. Some staff who attended are now working with headquarters to make it more broadly available. They are also doing a similar training for the states.
Regarding inconsistency issues, there is a workgroup formed to address those inconsistencies, and all regions are part of that workgroup.
Moses recalled that Jim Gray, formerly with North Dakota Department of Agriculture and previous SFIREG Chair, took the position that state authority is sufficient for the PEIs. Having the OIG say that no PEIs were done is problematic, as PEIs were done using state authority. Moses emphasized that states typically try to use state authority as much as possible.
Reed added a couple of comments and a question. He read both reports in great detail. Consistency issues, what standards we are held to, leveling the playing field are all good issues to address. The quick reaction report is the issue. Words matter. The way the report was written, some language could be considered inflammatory and over the top. As a regional representative, he asked the other states if they would like to ask any questions on this. Reed gave them to Harris, and asked for written answers in response.
Nichols questioned the use of federal credentials for PEIs, and asked Messina what the advantage is for using federal credentials. Messina said that it can make referring the case to EPA easier if that is necessary. It may reduce questions of authority and equivalency that could come up.
Comstock asked Harris to elaborate on the petitions EPA receives. Harris responded, i.e. NRDC asks for EPA to rescind pesticide registrations because they kill bees, that sort of thing.
Dave Scott, IN, asked Harris and Messina to elaborate that North Dakota state inspections are not equivalent. Programmatically does that make sense? The 2011-2013 guidance says we need to have at least one federal credential inspection. Since that was the first time that was written, fairness dictates that guidance from prior to 2011 was accurate. Helene Ambrosino, EPA/OECA/OC, responded that federal credential requirements appear in the FIFRA inspection manuals in 2002 and 2011, and that if EPA asks the states to conduct inspections under federal law, and if that goes to enforcement, it will be part of the jurisdiction that the FIFRA criteria was satisfied, and in section 8/section 9 the Administrator dictated you are working under FIFRA.
For clarification, EPA further stated that there is no issue accepting cases referred from the states that were conducted using state authority. This is an expected and commonplace occurrence.
|STEVE DWINELL, SFIREG CHAIR, FL||ACTION ITEMS AND MEETING CLOSE|
|Discussion||1. Commit 2 SLA representatives to participate on an OPP incident data workgroup
2. State-EPA call to discuss field verification to support buffers associated with DRT program/label language.
3. Invite TPPC to appoint someone to sit on AAPCO MP3 committee
4. EQI agenda to include SU and Pyrethroid rereg activities
5. POM agenda to include nonregistered products used in devices (AD products)
6. POM agenda to include distributor label letter, and request OECA or OC at the table to discuss enforcement
7. Develop questions for NASS for possible inclusion in future surveys related to measuring the success of state MP3
8. EPA Pollinator Policy review
9. Dwinell will request comment period for policy extended to 60 days
10. Safer Choice for Pesticides included on POM agenda.
11. Include in POM agenda follow up with Pat Jones/NC on bee kill reporting on 5700 dashboard.
12. Follow up with Havinga on inspectorWiki or usb for federal credential training.
13. Send out the Compliance Strategy Havinga referenced for review.
14. FAQ for performance measures developed by OECA, send out draft.
|Action Items||The meeting adjourned at 10:30am.|