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GLIN==> Persistent pollutants



Today's federal register

[Federal Register: January 30, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 19)]
[Notices]
[Page 4913-4916]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30ja06-50]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[EPA-HQ-OPPT-2005-0555; FRL-7758-9]
 
Review of Chemical Proposals for Addition under the Stockholm 
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; Solicitation of 
Information for the Development of Risk Profiles

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice solicits information relevant to the development 
of risk profiles pursuant to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent 
Organic Pollutants (POPs Convention) for the following chemicals which 
are being reviewed for possible addition to the POPs Convention's 
Annexes A, B, and/or C as POPs: Hexabromobiphenyl (HBB) (CAS No. 36355-
01-8); pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE) (CAS No. 32534-81-9); 
chlordecone (CAS No. 143-50-0); lindane (CAS No. 58-89-9); and 
perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). EPA is issuing this notice to alert 
interested and potentially affected persons of these proposals and the 
status of their review under the POPs Convention, and to encourage such 
persons to provide information relevant to the development of risk 
profiles under Article 8 and Annex E of the POPs Convention.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 14, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2005-0555, by one of the following methods.
    ? <A HREF="http://www.regulations.gov";>http://www.regulations.gov</A>. Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
    ? E-mail: <A HREF="mailto:oppt.ncic@epa.gov";>oppt.ncic@epa.gov</A>.
    ? Mail: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution 
Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
    ? Hand Delivery: OPPT Document Control Office (DCO, EPA East 
Bldg., Rm. 6428, 1201 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. 
Attention: Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2005-0555. The DCO is open from 
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the DCO is (202) 564-8930. Such deliveries are 
only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and 
special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-

[[Page 4914]]

2005-0555. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
<A HREF="http://www.regulations.gov";>http://www.regulations.gov</A>, 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'' systems, 
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 public 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 
regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information 
is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose 
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 electronically through regulations.gov or in 
hard copy at the OPPT Docket, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Rm. 
B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket 
Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the 
Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the 
OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information contact: Colby 
Linter, Regulatory Coordinator, Environmental Assistance Division 
(7408M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-
0001; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; e-mail address: <A HREF="mailto:TSCA-Hotline@epa.gov";>
TSCA-Hotline@epa.gov</A>.
    For technical information contact: Amy Breedlove, Chemical Control 
Division, (7405M), Office Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-9823; e-mail 
address: <A HREF="mailto:breedlove.amy@epa.gov";>breedlove.amy@epa.gov</A>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of 
particular interest to chemical substance and pesticide manufacturers, 
importers, and processors. Since other entities may also be interested, 
the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that 
may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the 
applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the 
technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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 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. Procedures for preparing confidential information related to 
pesticides and industrial chemicals are in Unit I.B.1. Send 
confidential information about industrial chemicals using the 
submission procedures under ADDRESSES. Send confidential information 
about pesticides to: Cathleen McInerney Barnes, International Programs 
Manager, Office of Pesticide Programs (7506C), Environmental Protection 
Agency, Washington, DC 20460-0001 or hand delivered to: Cathleen 
Barnes, Government and International Services Branch, Office of Pesticide 
Programs, Rm. 1104G, Crystal Mall #2, 1801 Bell St., Arlington, VA.
    3. Commenters should note that none of the CBI information received 
by EPA will be forwarded to the POPs Secretariat. Information from 
submissions containing CBI may be incorporated into larger products by 
EPA but CBI will be masked in any such products.
    4. 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 the estimate.
    vi. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggested 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

    The POPs Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement 
designed to protect human health and the environment from POPs. The 
United States signed the POPs Convention in May of 2001 but has not yet 
ratified it (and thus is not a Party to the POPs Convention). The POPs 
Convention, which went into force in May of 2004, requires the Parties 
to reduce or eliminate the production and use of a number of 
intentionally produced POPs used as pesticides or industrial chemicals. 
The POPs Convention also calls upon Parties to take certain specified 
measures to reduce releases of certain unintentionally produced POPs 
with the goal of their continuing minimization and, where feasible, 
ultimate elimination. It also imposes controls on the handling of POPs 
wastes and on trade in POPs chemicals. In addition, there are specific 
science-based procedures that Parties to the POPs Convention must use 
when adding new chemicals to the POPs Convention's Annexes.

[[Page 4915]]

    The first meeting of the committee that reviews proposals for 
listing of new chemicals, called the POPs Review Committee (POPRC), 
took place November 7-11, 2005, in Geneva, Switzerland. Information 
about the POPs Convention and the November POPRC meeting is available 
at the POPs Convention website at <A HREF="http://www.pops.int";>http://www.pops.int</A> and <A HREF="http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc";>
http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc</A>, respectively. 
The POPRC had Parties to the POPs Convention, for addition to Annexes A, 
B, and/or C of the POPs Convention. Three of the five proposals were for 
industrial chemicals:
    ? PBDE.
    ? HBB.
    ? PFOS.
Two of the five proposals were for pesticides:
    ? Lindane.
    ? Chlordecone.
    In accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 8 of the POPs 
Convention, during the November meeting POPRC examined the proposals 
and applied the screening criteria in Annex D of the POPs Convention 
(``Information Requirements and Screening Criteria''). With regard to 
all five chemicals, POPRC decided that it was satisfied that the 
screening criteria had been fulfilled and that further work should 
therefore be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the POPs 
Convention.
    The next step in the process is for POPRC to prepare a risk profile 
for each of the chemicals to, as noted in Annex E of the POPs 
Convention, ``evaluate whether the chemical is likely, as a result of 
its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse 
human health and/or environmental effects, such that global action is 
warranted.'' The risk profile must further evaluate and elaborate on 
the information referred to in Annex D of the POPs Convention and 
include, as far as possible, the information listed in Annex E of the 
POPs Convention (``Information Requirements for the Risk Profile''). A 
draft outline of the risk profile has been developed by POPRC, 
available at <A HREF="http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc";>http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc</A>. As 
requested by POPRC through the POPs Convention Secretariat, the risk 
profile will take into account information to be submitted by Parties and 
Observers (the current step). If, on the basis of the risk profile, POPRC 
decides that the chemical is likely, as a result of its long-range 
environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health 
and/or environmental effects, such that global action is warranted, it 
will proceed to develop a risk management evaluation. This will include 
an analysis of the possible control measures as well as the socio-
economic considerations, and at that stage information relating to 
socio-economic considerations will be requested from Parties and 
Observers. See Annex F of the POPs Convention (``Information on Socio-
economic Considerations'').

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

    The Agency is issuing this notice to increase awareness of the 
proposals concerning the chemicals, and to provide interested persons 
with an opportunity to provide relevant information. The POPs 
Convention Secretariat's invitation to submit information states that 
the POPs Convention Secretariat is only accepting responses from 
Parties and Observers. The United States is an Observer. EPA is 
requesting that any information be submitted to EPA no later than 
February 14, 2006. The United States intends to make an initial 
submission by January 27, 2006, to meet the POPs Secretariat's 
deadline. However, EPA also plans to make a second submission, as 
appropriate, based on information resulting from this notice on or 
about mid-to-late February 2006. In addition, EPA will consider the 
information during its review of the risk profiles developed by the 
POPRC in the coming months. Individuals or organizations that wish to 
submit information directly to the POPs Convention Secretariat should 
work through their respective observer organizations, if any.

B. What Information is Being Requested?

    The EPA is seeking information that is supplementary to the 
information in the proposals on the chemicals and POPRC's evaluation of 
the proposals against Annex D of the POPs Convention's screening 
criteria. The proposals and the evaluations are available at the POPs 
Convention website at <A HREF="http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc/default.htm";>
http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc/default.htm</A>.
    EPA has previously solicited information through the Lindane 
Reregistration Eligibility Document (RED) and through its participation 
in the draft North American Regional Action Plan (NARAP) on Lindane and 
other Hexachlorocyclohexane Isomers. Consequently, EPA is only 
interested in any new information on lindane that may have been 
developed since those activities.
    Commenters are invited to provide information they deem relevant to 
POPRC's development of risk profiles, such as that specified in Annex E 
of the POPs Convention and other related information, as described below:
    1. Sources, including as appropriate:
    i. Production data, including quantity and location.
    ii. Uses.
    iii. Releases, such as discharges, losses, and emissions.
    2. Hazard assessment for the endpoint or endpoints of concern (as 
identified in the proposals and/or POPRC's evaluation of the proposals 
against the screening criteria of Annex D of the POPs Convention), 
including a consideration of toxicological interactions involving 
multiple chemicals.
    3. Environmental fate, including data and information on the 
chemical and physical properties of a chemical as well as its 
persistence and how they are linked to its environmental transport, 
transfer within and between environmental compartments, degradation, 
and transformation to other chemicals. (POPRC is to make a 
determination of the bioconcentration factor or bio-accumulation 
factor, based on measured values, available, except when monitoring 
data are judged to meet this need.)
    4. Monitoring data.
    5. Exposure in local areas and, in particular, as a result of long-
range environmental transport, and including information regarding bio-
availability.
    In addition, POPRC has identified some additional types of 
information on several of the chemicals that would be useful in the 
development of the risk profiles. That information can be found in the 
Letter of Invitation on the POPs Convention website at <A HREF="http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc/default.htm";>
http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc/default.htm</A>.

C. How Should the Information be Provided?

    1. EPA requests that commenters, where possible, use the form 
developed by POPRC to provide their information. The form can be found 
on the POPs Convention website at <A HREF="http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/poprc";>http://www.pops.int/documents/
meetings/poprc</A>. Commenters are requested to include clear and 
precise references for all sources. Without the exact source of the 
information, POPRC will not be able to use the information. If the 
information is not readily available in the public literature, 
commenters may consider attaching the original source of the 
information to their submission. Commenters should indicate clearly on 
the form which chemical the information concerns and use one form per 
chemical. If for some reason the form does not provide an adequate

[[Page 4916]]

mechanism for a type of comment or information, EPA requests that such 
comment or information be submitted using a similar format; this will 
increase the likelihood of the relevant information being considered.
    2. Although POPRC has developed provisional arrangements for the 
treatment of confidential information, as mentioned in Unit I.B.3. no 
CBI will be forwarded to the POPs Convention Secretariat. EPA will, 
however, consider such information in development of the U.S. response 
to the POPs Convention Secretariat. Instructions on where and how to 
submit comments and confidential information can be found in Unit 
I.B.2. and ADDRESSES.
    3. Anyone wishing to have an opportunity to communicate with EPA 
orally on this issue should consult the technical person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

D. What is the Agency's Authority for Taking this Action?

    EPA is requesting comment and information under the authority of 
section 102(2)(F) of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 
section 4321 et seq., which directs all agencies of the Federal 
Government to ``[r]ecognize the worldwide and long-range character of 
environmental problems and, where consistent with the foreign policy of 
the United States, lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions 
and programs designed to maximize cooperation in anticipating and 
preventing a decline in the quality of mankind's world environment.'' 
Section 17(d) of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act 
(FIFRA) also provides additional support in that it directs the 
Administrator of EPA ``in cooperation with the Department of State and 
any other appropriate Federal agency, [to]
participate and cooperate in 
any international efforts to develop improved pesticide research and 
regulations.''

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances.

    Dated: January 23, 2006.
Charles M. Auer,
Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
[FR Doc. E6-1107 Filed 1-27-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-S

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