1996 News Releases
PA EPA REINVENTS REQUIREMENTS TO EXPEDITE THE APPROVAL OF PHEROMONE (BIOLOGICAL)
Release Date: 09/13/96
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1996
EPA REINVENTS REQUIREMENTS TO EXPEDITE THE APPROVAL OF PHEROMONE (BIOLOGICAL) PESTICIDES
Al Heier 202-260-4374
EPA has completed a series of regulatory reinvention measures to speed-up the registration of new, safer insect pheromone pesticides, resulting in the approval of new products in record time. Pheromones are naturally occurring compounds used by insects to communicate and mate with one another. The use of these compounds can achieve pest control by confusing normal insect behavior and preventing reproduction. Pheromones are good for human health and the environment because they pose fewer risks than traditional chemical pesticides. They are effective at very low doses and fit well into integrated pest management programs, reducing the need for conventional insecticides. EPA's new common sense measures, a series of rules published between 1993 and 1996, have reduced both the time and cost of bringing new pheromone pesticides to market. Approval times have been reduced from over two years to as little as two months, contributing to the development and marketing of a record number of safer products mainly used to control moth and caterpillar pests in the past three years. Specific measures include exempting most pheromone pesticides from requirements for the establishment of tolerances (maximum permissible levels for residues in food). This exemption is appropriate because no harmful residues result from pheromone use. EPA is also allowing research and testing of most pheromone products to proceed on up to 250 acres of land without requiring prior Agency approval, compared to the 10-acre limit that applies to conventional pesticides. A larger area is required to test the effectiveness of pheromone products, and their low risk justifies an exemption from the 10-acre limit. The 250-acre exemption saves both EPA and pheromone developers time and money. Many of the registrants of these products are small companies with limited resources and savings will allow them to free-up capital for product development and for technical
assistance to growers on how to use these safer products to replace chemical insecticides. EPA's pheromone reinvention measures are one of a number of initiatives being implemented by the Agency in response to President Clinton's charge to reinvent government processes and reduce regulatory burdens wherever possible while preserving public health protection.
EPA ISSUES NOTICE ON PESTICIDE POLICIES REGULATING RODENTICIDE BAITS AND OTHER VERTEBRATE PRODUCTS
Al Heier 202-260-4374
EPA has issued a draft notice consolidating and clarifying Agency policies for registering rodenticide baits and other vertebrate pesticides used to kill, repel or mitigate damage from mammals, birds, reptiles or fish pests. In the past, these policies may have been difficult to understand due to the absence of a single, consolidated reference. Therefore, with this notice, the Agency is encouraging registrants to review their registrations to make sure they are in compliance. Depending on the gravity of the violation, and consistent with previously announced guidance, EPA will substantially reduce or eliminate penalties for violations that are discovered, promptly disclosed and corrected within six months or less. The notice also proposes to allow registrants to obtain a single registration number that would cover different sizes of rodenticides which have a common formulation and are sold in "placepacks" (plastic or paper bags containing measured amounts of dry rodenticide baits intended to be applied unopened). The policy requires that distinct names be used for each placepack size and should result in some savings to registrants, without affecting health or the environment. Reporters can obtain copies of the draft notice (PR Notice 96-X) by contacting Al Heier at 202-260-4374; others should contact EPA's Pesticide Communications Branch at 703-305-5017. Comments on the proposed action to permit sales of different sizes of placepacks under one registration number are due within 60 days of publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the PR Notice (expected within five days). Address comments to Public Response and Program Resources Branch, Field Operations Division (7506C), Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. EPA, 40l M St. SW., Washington, D.C. 20460.
INDIANA MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY DISPOSING OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
Gwen Brown 202-260-1384
On Sept. 9, Arthur Sumner of Memphis, Ind., Vice President in charge of manufacturing for Kelley Technical Coatings Inc.(KTC) of Louisville, Ky., was sentenced to 21 months in prison, 2 years supervised release and ordered to pay a $5,000 for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. KTC is a manufacturer of swimming pool paints and industrial coatings. Sumner and KTC were found guilty by a jury on March 28, of storing and illegally disposing chemical wastes which were used as solvents to clean paint manufacturing equipment. In July 1992, state inspectors discovered over 600 drums of waste-paint related materials at one of KTC's plants. Many drums were rusty, leaking or open and contained ignitable materials. Federal and state law prevents the storage of hazardous waste for more than 90 days. The wastes contained a variety of hazardous chemicals including xylene, ethyl benzene and toluene. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center, the FBI and the State of Kentucky Cabinet for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
ILLEGAL ASBESTOS REMOVAL AND DUMPING NETS SIX MONTHS IN PRISON AND THREE YEARS PROBATION FOR NEW JERSEY MAN
Gwen Brown 202-260-1384
On Sept. 6, John P. Sochocky, an owner, operator and project manager of A'Quality Environmental Services of Hammonton, N.J., was sentenced to six months incarceration and three years probation for violating federal law and regulations for the safe removal and disposal of asbestos. Sochocky also was required to seek mental health counseling. The criminal offenses began in May 1992, when Sochocky entered into a contract with Consolidated Rail Corp. to remove asbestos from a gantry next to a grain elevator located in Philadelphia, Pa. Workers were exposed when asbestos was removed from pipes inside the gantry without adequately wetting it to prevent the asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. During the removal, 500 bags of asbestos material were abandoned by the defendant from June 1992 through early 1993. Neighborhood children were exposed to the asbestos when they entered the unsecured gantry area through an open
gate and dropped bags of asbestos through holes in the floor of the grain elevator to watch them splatter as they hit the ground. Conrail has since cleaned up and razed the site. EPA discovered the violations following a citizen complaint. This case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Philadelphia Environmental Crimes Task Force.
NEVADA HAZARDOUS WASTE DUMPER SENTENCED TO 30 MONTHS IN PRISON
Gwen Brown 202-260-1384
On Sept. 6, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Calif., Louis Alphonse Lefave, a resident of Las Vegas, Nev., was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment following his conviction for illegally dumping hazardous waste in the newly created East Mojave National Preserve and on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. In addition, he was ordered to pay restitution of $25,793 to the National Park Service and $14,105 to the Bureau of Land Management. At the sentencing hearing, the judge found that the waste dumped by the defendant was hazardous and that the illegal dumping resulted in an ongoing release of a hazardous and toxic substance into the environment. Two other defendants, Gene Marion Lefave, also a resident of Las Vegas, and Fluid Polymers Inc., a Nevada corporation, are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 17. Gene Lefave is the president of Fluid Polymers. Both defendants and the company pleaded guilty in December 1995 to disposing of industrial wastes at four different locations into arroyos or washes, which come within the protection of the U. S. Clean Water Act. The defendants admitted in court that between April 1, 1995 and Aug. 16, 1995, in East San Bernardino County, they unlawfully transported and disposed of industrial waste, including hazardous wastes, causing pollution and harm to the East Mojava National Preserve. This case is the result of an investigation conducted by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center, the U.S. Department of Interior, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the FBI, the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Highway Patrol, the San Bernardino County Office of the District Attorney and the San Bernardino County Department of Environmental Health Services.
DUMPING OF LANDFILL LEACHATE INTO RIVER LEADS TO $5,000 FINE FOR WEST VIRGINIA CITY
Gwen Brown 202-260-11384
On Sept. 4 , the City of Elkins, W.Va., was fined $5,000 as a result of its agreement to plead guilty to a one-count criminal information on Aug. 7, charging it with discharging landfill leachate directly into a tributary of the Tygart Valley River in violation of the Clean Water Act. The violation occurred when city employees took leachate from ponds at the Elkins/Randolph County Landfill and pumped it into the river in December 1995. The leachate was supposed to be hauled to a sewage treatment plant to have pollutants removed prior to discharge. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division in coordination with members of the West Virginia Environmental Crimes Task Force.
SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT BYPASS LEADS TO CRIMINAL INDICTMENT FOR MISSOURI TREATMENT PLANT OPERATOR
Gwen Brown 202-260-1384
On Aug. 28, Timothy McKenna, a state certified wastewater treatment plant operator from Barnhart, Mo., was named in a one-count federal indictment which alleged that he knowingly operated a bypass system that allowed partially treated wastewater to enter a tributary of Bear Creek in Jefferson County, Mo. The bypass was constructed at a treatment plant managed by McKenna for House Springs Sewer Co. The facility has an average flow of approximately 18,300 gallons of wastewater each day from over 250 hookups at the Bear Creek Estates in Jefferson County. If convicted, McKenna faces a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 per day of violation. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Attorney General's Office.
EPA'S FIRST NATIONAL VOLUNTARY PROGRAM
MARKS ITS END
Regina Langton 202-260-4376
EPA's 33/50 Program, the Agency's first national voluntary program, set national goals of 33 percent reduction in 17 priority toxic chemicals by 1992 and 50 percent reduction by 1995. The 1,300 corporations which voluntarily signed up to participate in the 33/50 Program collectively reduced their emissions by more than 50 percent, a total of 757 million pounds of pollutants, by 1994 -- a year ahead of schedule. The program, established in 1991, was measured by the emissions data companies reported to the Toxics Release Inventory, data collected from 23,000 industrial facilities on the amount of toxic chemicals they release to the environment annually. An EPA conference, "Putting Pollution Prevention into Action", held this week in Washington, marked the successful completion of the program and provided the opportunity for pollution prevention advocates to forge partnerships for new initiatives.
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