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Pesticide News Story: EPA Extends Public Comment Period for Soil Fumigants

For Release: August 29, 2008

On July 16, 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the soil fumigant pesticides chloropicrin, dazomet, metam sodium/potassium, and methyl bromide and opened a 60-day public comment period on these RED documents. Now, in response to requests from groups representing manufacturers and users of soil fumigants, EPA is extending the public comment period for these REDs by an additional 45 days, closing on October 30, 2008.

As the Agency strengthens the restrictions on the use of fumigants, EPA encourages stakeholders affected by this decision to carefully review the proposed mitigation measures and provide productive input on the new restrictions. Through constructive analysis of the new restrictions and input, EPA believes that the new restrictions can be successfully and practically implemented by users and growers while also increasing the safety of these important pest control tools.

Soil fumigants are used to kill soil-borne pests in many crops, including primarily potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries carrots, and peppers. EPA reviewed the soil fumigants together as a group to ensure that similar risk assessment tools and methods were used for all and that risk management approaches were consistent. EPA has determined that the soil fumigants are eligible for reregistration with risk mitigation measures that are designed to work together to increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders.

For additional information or to find out how to provide comments, see the EPA Federal Register notices available at: https://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/2008/July/Day-16/p16266.htm and https://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/2008/August/Day-29/p20141.htm or visit EPA's soil fumigants Web page at: https://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/index.htm, which also describes the proposed measures.

For general information contact John Leahy, by mail at: Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 204600001; by telephone at: (703) 3056703; by fax at: (703) 3088090; or by e-mail at: leahy.john@epa.gov.

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