A monthly report on pesticides and related environmental issues


Issue No. 113, July 1995

Open Forum:
In an attempt to promote free and open discussion of issues, The Agrichemical and Environmental News encourages letters and articles with differing views. To include an article, contact: Catherine Daniels, Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory, Washington State University, Tri-Cities campus, 2710 University Drive, Richland, WA 99352-1671. Phone: 509-372-7495. Fax: 509-372-7491. E-mail:
cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu

In This Issue

News and Notes

 

How to Obtain Clearance for a Minor Use Pesticide

Available Reports

 

State Pesticide Registration: More Costly Than You Realize

An IR-4 Report Card

 

Carol Weisskopf: Expenses in the Laboratory

A Brave New World

 

Allan Felsot: Waste Not, Want Not

Safe Disposal of Home Use Pesticides

 

Notices

Officially Unofficial

 

Federal Issues

State Issues

 

 

 


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News and Notes

Butterfly poachers

Three men, one an Entomological Society of America (ESA) member, were convicted recently of conspiring to poach federally protected butterflies, according to a June 1995 ESA newsletter article.

According to the article, the three conspired to poach butterflies on federally protected lands and to trade and traffic in wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act. More than 2,102 butterflies protected by law in the U.S. and Mexico were po ached in the nine years the conspiracy operated between 1983 and 1992. This is the first conviction dealing with butterfly poaching within the United States.

U.S. Attorney Michael J. Yamaguchi was quoted in the article as saying that the defendants specifically targeted rare wildlife. Evidence showed the men also poached butterfly eggs, in order to rear perfect specimens in captivity for their collections. Approximately 87 Kaibob swallowtail butterflies were among the specimens recovered (reputedly the world's largest known collection).

ESA President Eldon Ortman has urged the ESA Committee on Ethics to develop a code or statement concerning wildlife protection laws.

Note: For more information on wildlife protection laws and their effect on the study of entomology, see the article by John G. Mendoza in the Summer 1995 issue of the American Entomologist.

IR-4 requests needed now

Agricultural organizations, commodity groups and individuals need to submit requests now for IR-4 Project assistance. To be eligible for assistance, a pesticide clearance request form must be completed and submitted to IR-4. PCR forms may be obtained f rom your state IR-4 liaison. Click here for more information.

NOTICE: AENews mailing list to be updated

Postcards were sent in June to all appearing at that time on the AENews mailing list. Those receiving postcards were asked to return the cards by August 15 if they wished to remain on the mailing list.

If you have misplaced/not received a postcard, and you have not asked within the last 30 days to be added to the mailing list, please contact Eric Bechtel at Phone: 509-372-7378 or Fax: 509-372-7460 to ensure that you continue receiving your AENews. Th ank you in advance for your assistance.

EPA reclassifies diphenylamine

The June 14, 1995 edition of the Federal Register announced a technical change in classification of diphenylamine from a fungicide to a plant regulator by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The request for this regulatory change was initiated in January 1995 by the Northwest Horticultural Council to meet questions raised by the Japanese Ministry of Health. In Japan, post harvest plant regulators can be accepted on foods without the establ ishment of a food additive registration.

Since diphenylamine helps prevent a disorder called storage scald, this regulatory change will allow apples shipped to Japan to be stored longer and should, therefore, allow for a longer marketing season.

Reregistration fund shortfall predicted

The backlog of studies in support of reregistration totals about 8,000, with EPA having completed only 100 reregistrations, or about 25 percent, of the total. The original deadline was 1997.

The agency anticipates making about 41 reregistration decisions a year. The original cost to EPA to conduct reregistration was estimated by the agency to be $250 million, with $150 million coming from fees and $110 million from appropriations.

The FY 94 cost of reregistration will run just more than $34 million. The projected cost of reregistration through FY 2004, assuming $34.9 million and 41 reregistration decisions a year, translates into a total program cost of about $488 million.

With current fees projected at $147 million, the chemical industries' share would be 30 percent of the total cost. EPA estimates a $105 million funding shortfall for the period 1989-2004 for reregistration.

Chemicals in food pose low cancer risk

The American Council on Science and Health recently released a report asserting that chemicals in food have little effect on a person's risk of contracting cancer. The report, entitled: &quotUpdate: Is there a cancer epidemic in the United States", asserts that chemicals in food, including naturally occurring substances, intentional additives and contaminants, do not have a significant impact on cancer risk in the U.S. With few exceptions, primarily related to lung and AIDS-related cancers, there h as been little increase in cancer-related deaths over the last 40 years. The report indicated that most cancers are related to lifestyles or to a particular individual's genetic predisposition to cancer. (This article taken from University of Florida news letter &quotChemically Speaking.")

Plastic pesticide container collection requirements

1. Containers must be multiple rinsed so that no residues remain.
2. Containers must be clean and dry inside and out, with no apparent odor.
3. Hard plastic lids and slip-on lids must be removed.
4. Glue-on labels may remain.
5. The majority of the foil seal must be removed from the spout. A small amount of foil on container rim is acceptable.
6. Half pint, pint, quart, one and two and one half gallon containers will be accepted whole.
7. Special arrangements MUST be made for 30 and 55 gallon containers, by calling (509) 457-3850 prior to collection.

WPPCA Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program
August 1995 Collection Sites

Date/Time

Location

Sponsor and Contact

8/2
8-noon

Colfax (AM)
Bleyhl Farm Service

Colfax Grange Supply
Robert Mendenhall, ph: (509)397-4353

8/2
1-4 pm

Dusty (PM)

Dusty Farm Coop
John Stoner, ph: (509) 397-3111

8/28
8-noon

Wilbur-Ellis, Eltopia

LCBFDA
Chris Berg, ph: (509) 582-8949

8/29
8-noon

Wolfkill, Moses Lake

CBCCA
Ron Turner, ph: (509) 765-7252
John Jensen - Simplot, Moses Lake

8/30
8-noon

Wolfkill, Royal City

CBCCA
Ron Turner, ph: (509) 765-7252

8/31
8-noon

Wilbur-Ellis, Quincy

CBVSA
Dale Martin, ph: (509) 787-4433

The Washington Pest Consultants Association recycles plastic pesticide containers. Listed above are recycling dates and locations for the month of August. Consult the AENews for future collection sites or contact WPCA representative Steve George at (50 9) 457-3850.

**Containers not meeting above specifications cannot and will not be accepted.If you or your organization have an interest in sponsoring a recycling event this year, please contact: Steve George at (509) 457-3850 or Gary Pelter at (509) 754-2011.

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How to obtain clearance for a minor use pesticide

A checklist for those working with IR-4

Submit Pesticide Clearance Request
Contact your IR-4 state or federal liaison representative to request a Pesticide Clearance Request (PCR) form. For the name and phone number of your liaison representative, call the IR-4 regional coordinator for your area (see listing below). Submit the r equest promptly. Research planning meetings are held each year from September to November.

Monitor the request
Contact your liaison representative 2-4 weeks after submitting the PCR to confirm that the form was complete and that there were no questions or problems. The liaison representative will send your PCR form to the IR-4 regional coordinator, who will forwar d it to the headquarters staff.

Follow-up after IR-4 accepts your request
Stay in touch with the liaison representative or regional coordinator to find out if your priority project(s) received funding and research is planned, particularly if multiple sites in different states are required. If funding was not allocated for a pro ject, you may want to participate in an IR-4 sponsored research program by providing commodity funding or in-kind services to the IR-4 program for field tests and residue analyses. Sponsored research enables IR-4 to &quotfast track" urgently needed cl earances. IR-4 regional headquarters personnel can provide additional information on sponsored research.

Work with IR-4 headquarters staff to develop field trial protocols. Protocols are guidelines that assure the number of applications will be representative of your needed use pattern and pre-harvest interval for the purpose of obtaining residue data. Us e restrictions of a pesticide may alter the use pattern.

Contact the IR-4 regional coordinator periodically to determine if:

Read the IR-4 Newsletter. This is perhaps the best way to keep in touch with the latest minor use pesticide clearance news. Some of the topics covered regularly in the quarterly newsletter and prioritization workshops are: up-to-date information on new and on-going projects; plans for new research; petitions to EPA for completed projects. Call IR-4 headquarters to be added to the mailing list.

Attend an IR-4 priority workshop or write to the liaison representative prior to the workshop. IR-4 policy is to pursue high priority minor use needs. Your input may be what determines whether your request will be rated as a high priority. When schedul ed, the workshop date, time and place will appear in the IR-4 newsletter. For additional information, call the liaison representative or IR-4 Regional Coordinator.

For further information, contact:

Northcentral Regional Coordinator
Dr. Satoru Miyazaki
Pesticide Research Center
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517-353-9497
Fax: 517-353-5598

Northeast Regional Coordinator
Mr. John H. Martini
Analytical Laboratories
Dept. of Food Science & Technology
NYSAES-Cornell University
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-787-2308
Fax: 315-787-2397

Southern Regional Coordinator
Dr. Charles W. Meister
Pesticide Research Lab
Building 685, IFAS
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: 904-392-2399
Fax: 904-392-1988

Western Regional Coordinator
Mr. Rick Melnicoe
Dept. of Environmental Toxicology
University of California
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: 916-752-7633
Fax: 916-752-2866

IR-4 Headquarters
PO Box 231
Rutgers, State Univ. of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Phone: 908-932-9575
Fax: 908-932-8481

USDA-ARS
Dr. Paul H. Schwartz, Chairman
Office of Minor Use Pesticides
Bldg. 1072 BARC-EAST
Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: 301-504-8256
Fax: 301-504-8142


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Table of Contents

Available Reports

Project Statement. A National Agricultural Program to Clear Pest Control Agents for Minor Uses. October 1, 1993-September 30, 1998. NRSP-4/IR-4.

The IR-4 Project, A Minor Crop Pest Control Strategy: 1995-2002.

Annual Report 1994. Annual Report of the IR-4 Project (NRSP-4/IR-4), January 1, 1994-December 31, 1994.

Survey of Pesticides Used in the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Industry in 1992. Iowa State University, University Extension. EDC-46 / June 1995.

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Table of Contents

State pesticide registration: more costly than you realize

...Alan Schreiber

In the June AENews, I mentioned that federal pesticide registration fees amounted to about $150 million. A Michigan reader called me to explain that, as far as pesticide registration fees go, federal costs are not as high as the aggregate cost of regis tering pesticides in the states. He explained that aggregate costs for state registrations are four to five times those of a federal registration. I checked into the costs of registering pesticides in each state and found some interesting information.

All states, except Alaska, require registration of pesticides in addition to the federal registration. Many states have a set registration fee for a pesticide, others have a variable or sliding set of fees. If the minimum costs of registration were tal lied for all states on a single pesticide, the total registration fees would be almost $5,000. Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin have sliding scales for registration costs. For example, in Oregon, the first 10 products registered cost a company $ 95 each, registrations 11 through 40 cost $85 each and 41 or more registrations cost $75 each.

Some states do not charge much; Missouri asks only 15 cents per product, Georgia charges $10 per product and West Virginia, Delaware and North Dakota charge $15 per product. Some states charge far more; Louisiana and New York charge $300 per product, W isconsin charges $265 for household products, Florida charges $225, South Dakota, California and New Jersey charge $200. Several states charge for Section 24 (c) registrations. The Washington legislature recently passed a bill setting fees for 24(c) regis trations at $200. These funds are expected to provide additional support for WSDA pesticide registration staff.

In addition to registration fees, several states add special taxes and charges for registration of pesticides. California pesticide registrations include a 22% additional tax. Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia add $80, $125 and $15, respectively, as flat surcharges. Washington adds $10 for home and garden registrations. Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and West Virginia add fees for groundwater protection that range up to $100 per product.

State government fees for registering pesticides have increased significantly. As costs to obtain and maintain pesticide registrations increase, the ability of companies to maintain pesticide registrations for minor uses decreases. An example of this i n Washington was brought recently to our attention. The Washington vegetable seed industry worked with Ciba to obtain a registration for a pesticide on table beet and Swiss chard seed crops. Access to this pesticide was considered critical to production o f the crop in the United States. Ciba supported the 24(c) registration, but informed us that the profit from the registration would be less that the company's cost of pursuing the registration, in large part due to the cost of the state registration fee.

If the minimum costs of registration were tallied for all states on a single pesticide, the total registration fees would be almost $5,000.

For a state specific report, contact Dr. Richard Guest, National Director, IR-4 Project, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, Phone: 908-932-9575;Fax: 908-932-8481;Email: guest@aesop.rutgers.edu

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Table of Contents

An IR-4 report card

Since it began in 1963, the IR-4 Project has assisted in more than 4,000 clearances of pesticides, including establishment of tolerances, label expansions, crop groupings, crop definitions and reregistrations. There is often little public recognition o f the contribution of IR-4 to the availability of minor use pesticides.

The IR-4 Project has recently released a series of state specific reports summarizing some IR-4 contributions to agriculture. Following are pesticide clearances that probably would not exist if it were not for IR-4.

Apricot:

oxydemeton methyl, 2,4-D

Asparagus:

chlorpyrifos, disulfoton, fluazifop, fosetyl al, glyphosate, linuron, norflurazon, paraquat, permethrin, terbacil, triforine

Bean (dry):

sodium chlorate, chlorothalonil

Blueberry:

captan, chlorpyrifos, esfenvalerate, hexazinone, norflurazon, methyl anthranilate, terbacil

Broccoli:

benomyl, chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, paraquat

Cabbage:

glyphosate, malathion, metolachlor, methomyl, methyl parathion, oxyfluorfen, benomyl, chlorpyrifos, DCPA, diazinon, endothall, paraquat

Carrot:

glyphosate, iprodione, metribuzin, paraquat, thiabendazole

Cranberry:

maleic hydrazide, glyphosate, acephate, chlorothalonil, diazinon, glyphosate, chlorpyrifos, metalaxyl, carbofuran

Currant:

glyphosate, benomyl

Hops:

endothall,norflurazon, malathion, bifenthrin, imidacloprid

Lentils:

methyl parathion, sethoxydim, parathion, sodium chlorate, carbaryl, dimethoate, methomyl

Mint:

chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, metolachlor, bromoxynil, pendimethalin,
permethrin

Onion

chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, metolachlor, bromoxynil, pendimethalin, permethrin

Peach

2,4-D, iprodione, oxytetracycline, carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, dodine

Potato

calcium hypochlorite, sodium chlorate, sulfuric acid

Raspberry

endosulfan, sulfur, hexakis, chlorpyrifos, 2,4-D, glyphosate, norflurazon

The crop/chemical combinations listed here refer to available tolerances, and actual registrations may or may not be available yet.

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Expenses in the laboratory

...Carol Weisskopf

As promised, this month I will discuss the costs associated with setting up and operating a laboratory performing agrichemical residue analyses. Residue analysis is expensive and, although I've been in this field for more than 15 years, I'm still surpr ised occasionally at the costs of some items. Establishment of the Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory proceeded under a five-year grant, which provided approximately $3 million for equipment, space renovation, personnel and operating expenses. We a re now in the last year of this grant. All of the grant objectives have been met (the FEQL is now a fully operating reality), and it did indeed cost all of the $3 million.

Some of the easiest expenses to delineate are those for the analytical instrumentation. This includes the liquid and gas chromatographs I discussed during the past two months. Our three standard high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) systems an d four gas chromatographic (GC) systems cost $30,000 each. As instruments become more specialized, their costs increase. Our HPLC system for carbamate analysis costs more ($47,000), because it includes additional equipment required for the reaction of the carbamates to produce fluorescent derivatives. Our GC-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) costs $76,000. The single biggest expense has been for our GC-MS-HPLC, which totaled $222,300. Chromatographic systems have been similar in cost to houses and cars since I've been buying them. The major difference is that, while these instruments in the past seemed to occupy almost as much space as a car, they are now much more compact.

In addition to this basic instrumentation, an assortment of equipment is required for setting up a laboratory to perform residue analyses. We have various items of non-chromatographic analytical equipment, adding another $60,000 to the total instrument ation cost. Analytical balances (five at $2,000 to $8000 each), solvent evaporators ($40,000), sample extraction/preparation equipment ($80,000) and sample homogenizers/choppers/blenders ($15,000) all add to the laboratory price tag.

Laboratory equipment, even when similar to home appliances, have additional requirements that prevent us from doing something as simple as going to Sears to bring home what we need. As an example, we use five freezers and refrigerators in the lab for s torage of sample extracts and other solutions that can release solvent vapors inside the units. This results in the annoying tendency for standard refrigerators or freezers to blow up. Explosion-proof units cost up to $4,000 each, significantly more than home models. The explosion hazard is also a factor in some of our sample preparations, requiring that some of our blenders be explosion proof.

We have an automatic dishwasher that is very similar to a home dishwasher in many respects. Because of the need to supply very clean glassware and to reduce the potential for cross-contamination, the unit is stainless steel and has a deionized water ri nse cycle and steam-cleaning capabilities. It is very impressive looking, but the $5,000 price tag would put it out of reach for most homeowners.

All of the analytical instrumentation and most of the major equipment was already in place when I arrived at FEQL in January. I've been involved in many equipment purchases in the past, and none of those costs were a surprise. I've spent the last four months stocking the lab with standard laboratory supplies, and some of those costs amazed me. This is the first time I've been involved in setting up a new laboratory, rather than simply relocating into new laboratory facilities. It is analogous to the di fference between moving into a new house with all your current possessions and moving into a new house after your old house burned down. There is a staggering variety of miscellaneous necessary glassware, reagents and supplies. I would never have imagined that something as simple as getting enough beakers would cost more than $1,000. It wasn't hard to spend $3 million to get where FEQL is today.

In summary, a lab is very expensive to set up. This doesn't explain why analytical costs are high once lab setup is complete, although part of the answer is that all of this infrastructure requires support. Sample costs for the type of analyses my grou p performs are usually divided approximately evenly between personnel and supplies/support. Some people are surprised at how expensive residue analyses are. I'm always surprised at how long it takes to get analyses up and running properly. Personnel costs obviously include the time spent on sample preparation, instrumental analysis and report writing. They also include a proportion of the time spent on instrument maintenance and repair, lab cleanup, training and other lab support activities. When method d evelopment is involved, arriving at a satisfactory method may take several weeks to several months. In these cases, it is as costly to analyze one sample as to analyze 100, because personnel costs are so high even before actual analyses begin.

Supplies for analyses include chemicals, reagents or other materials used up in the procedure and are related directly to the numbers of samples. Prices for the grade and purity of chemicals we need are high the water we use in the HPLCs is $1 8/liter ($68/gal), and solvent prices increase from there. The need for items such as instrument repair parts and broken glassware replacement depend on luck and circumstance. These costs are hard to assess, because everything always breaks when it will m aximize both inconvenience and expense. Other substantial service costs include disposal of waste generated in sample processing, as well as instrument maintenance contracts. The prices for replacement instrument parts surprise me most frequently. Many pa rts for our mass spectrometers are gold or gold plated and, consequently, are quite expensive. We could have quite a cottage industry making jewelry out of our used parts, if they were slightly more attractive.

Carol Weisskopf is the analytical chemist at the Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory.

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Table of Contents

A brave new world

...Alan Schreiber

The green revolution was based on a trinity of innovations in plant breeding, synthetic agrichemicals and agricultural mechanization. These elements allowed the supply of food to keep pace with demand as the population of our planet exploded.

I believe that once again we are on the verge of a new green revolution. This revolution will be even greener for two reasons. This &quotgreat leap forward" will result not only in increased production of food and fiber, but also in greatly reduced reliance on more toxic pesticides. The basis of this neo-green revolution is the genetic engineering of crop plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently approved the use of cotton and soybean plants engineered to be resistant to herbicides, thereby allowing growers to achieve near perfect weed control without worry of herbicide damage. Perhaps more impor tant has been approval by the EPA of a registration for potato plants that have been genetically manipulated to express a Bt protein toxic to the Colorado potato beetle.

Last month I attended the first field day in the U.S. for genetically engineered potatoes and viewed the crop in large-scale commercial plantings. Nationwide, there are 1,600 acres of genetically transformed commercial potatoes and about 2,500 acres of seed potatoes. Looking at the plants, I was struck by two things. My initial thought was that the potatoes were indistinguishable from conventional potatoes. My second thought was that they were identical to other potatoes, except for the fact that the c onventional potatoes had had an insecticide applied at planting and a second application of an insecticide for control of Colorado potato beetle applied aerially within the last two weeks. In contrast, the genetically engineered potatoes had needed nothin g for beetle control. In an adjacent plot were some experimental, unregistered potato plants that had been genetically modified to be resistant to Colorado potato beetle and potato leaf roll virus. Those plants had not been treated with any insecticide.

What is the value to society of genetically engineered potatoes? Who knows for certain? When I was employed at EPA, I worked on some of the early regulatory issues associated with registration of plants genetically engineered to produce pesticides. The n, it was an agency philosophy that it was of great value to society to register those plants. We roughly guessed that registration of Bt cotton could cut insecticide use on that crop by as much as 50% nationally. My job was to address concerns raised by environmental groups about registration of transformed plants. I found it interesting that activist groups were not resisting registration of the plants as much as they were concerned about the potential for development of resistance to Bt and the resulti ng loss of the environmental benefits of the pesticide. Currently, EPA is moving aggressively to facilitate the registration of genetically modified cotton, corn and potato plants.

In the case of transformed Russet Burbank potatoes, the potential value to the Northwest in terms of improved yields, reduced costs of production and pesticide use is significant. The two primary insect pests of potatoes in Washington are aphids (which vector viral diseases) and Colorado potato beetle. If potato plants engineered to be resistant to Colorado potato beetle and the aphid-vectored leaf roll virus are registered, used by growers in the Northwest and found effective, it will be an agricultur al equivalent to a cure for cancer. It would also allow the rapid development of a soft IPM program for potatoes, creating additional environmental benefits.

An example of the potential benefit of transformed potatoes is demonstrated by examining their impacts on current pesticide use patterns. Washington produces about 152,000 acres of potatoes, about 70% of which are Russet Burbank or full season potatoes that require foliar application of aphicides. This 70%, or about 106,000 acres, receives about 32,000 and 226,000 acre treatments, of disulfoton (Disyston) and methamidophos (Monitor), respectively, for aphids. This amounts to 90,000 an d 208,000 pounds of disulfoton and methamidophos, according to 1995 USDA NASS data from the 1994 growing season. If one assumes that transformed potatoes capture half of the Washington Russet Burbank market, then there would be 129,000 fewer acre treatmen ts of the two insecticides per year.

The dermal LD50 (lethal dose for 50 percent of the test population) for disulfoton is 3.6-16 mg/kg body weight; for methamidophos, it is 118 mg/kg (These LD50 values indicate that those products are among the mos t accutely toxic pesticides on the market.). Both products are applied aerially. Although I do not want to sound like I am disparaging either product, I do believe that the world would be a better place if the aerial application of both products was repla ced by the relatively innocuous substances expressed in the transformed potato plant.

Potential reductions in insecticide applications for Colorado potato beetle are not as easy to estimate, since some applications that control beetles are also applied to control nematodes, wireworms and other insect pests. In 1994, USDA estimates that in Washington 14,000 acre treatments of azinphos-methyl (Guthion), 38,000 acre treatments of carbofuran (Furadan), 40,000 acre treatments of oxamyl (Vydate) and 70,000 acre treatments of permethrin (Ambush, Pounce) were made to control beetles. Other inse cticides were applied to control mixed assemblages of beetles and other pests. Additionally, application of foliar insecticides has resulted in mite outbreaks that required 44,000 acre treatments of propargite (Omite). If half of the Washington full seaso n potato market were planted with transformed potatoes, as much as half of these insecticides would no longer be needed.

The Washington potato processors have become cautiously involved in this brave new technology. Several processors are quietly accepting transformed potatoes and working with the potato industry to integrate use of the potatoes into the food processing industry. Considering some of the recent problems the processed potato industry has had with pesticide residues, I would guess that the prospective use of a new technology resulting in reduced insecticide residues is an attractive option.

And as a final note, I have eaten some of the genetically engineered potatoes, and guess what? They taste just like potatoes.

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Table of Contents

Waste Not, Want Not

...Allan Felsot

Practical Strategies for Pesticide Waste Management
While environmental chemists and toxicologists try sorting pesticide residue risks at levels of parts per billion, agricultural chemical handling during storage, mixing, loading and cleaning may create contamination levels from pesticide waste hundreds of times greater than residues found in air, food, and water. Pesticide waste includes obsolete products, water used to rinse equipment, contaminated soil and sump sediments, and used containers.

Extent of the Problem in Washington
Several years ago, the WA Department of Ecology (DOE) surveyed 123 licensed pesticide applicators representing a wide variety of agricultural and urban environments. The facilities represented only a small fraction of over 9,000 businesses, not including individual farmers, estimated to be pesticide waste generators.

DOE found 33% of surveyed facilities out of compliance with Dangerous Waste Regulations. The biggest problem was with wastewater handling. Businesses generating pesticide wastes should report these activities to DOE, but only 2% of about 9,000 commerci al generators have complied. Statewide, 82 sites have been confirmed as having pesticide contamination requiring cleanup. DOE prefers voluntary compliance by waste generators in remediating waste problems. DOE also believes in extending educational effort s to motivate generators to adopt waste management techniques.

No Waste, No Problem
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has instituted containment guidelines for large permanent storage and mixing/loading facilities, but best management practices (BMPs) should be adopted voluntarily by all pesticide users. BMPs include both managerial procedures and structural facilities to prevent or reduce pollution.

Techniques are also available to avoid waste in the first place. For example, direct injection sprayers avoid the need to rinse large tanks; the undiluted pesticide formulation is contained on the spraying rig and injected directly into the carrier and mixed in-line during actual application. Thus, only the boom and nozzles require rinsing.

Other BMPs that avoid waste generation include mixing only the volume needed to treat an area and then recycling the rinse water by either spraying it around the field margin or using it for another pesticide load (presuming the pesticides are compatib le). With a well-constructed containment area, rinsewater can be captured and recycled. Small waste containment system plans are becoming increasingly available.

Wastewater Disposal Options
Spills are inevitable, and products become obsolete. Perhaps recycling is unfeasible because the pesticides used are incompatible. These situations require sound, practical, and inexpensive disposal techniques. Unfortunately, there is no disposal panacea; the method chosen must fit the situation of the generator. Fortunately, unused, obsolete stocks from small pesticide waste generators are collected periodically by the WSDA.

Development of commercial techniques for small waste generators has been slow. Numerous techniques are under study. Two in particular may provide simple, nonexpensive alternatives. One, developed by the USDA can be described as an ozonation/bioreactor system. Ozone has long been used as a chemical reagent to degrade pollutants in some municipal wastewater treatment plants. It seems to at least partially degrade a number of herbicides in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate, comparativ ely inexpensive reagents. The products formed, however, need to be degraded further before final disposal. This second phase involves running the ozonated waste into a bin of soil, where microbes degrade the treated waste into harmless nutrients. Studies have shown the soil to be free of leachable or extractable active pesticide ingredients; it therefore can be disposed of on land. For such a system, the main investment would be a small ozone generator and the electricity needed to run it.

Another possible diposal technique, an adsorption/composter system, was developed at Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University. Pesticide wastewater is pumped into a container filled with peat moss or wood products and calcium hydroxide. The c alcium hydroxide &quotneutralizes" the formulation emulsifiers, and the pesticide adheres (adsorbs) to the plant materials. The peat moss is then placed into a composting bin supplemented with nutrients and agricultural soil. The compost can be recycl ed or spread on the land. Both the ozonation/bioreactor and the adsorption/composter systems have been field-tested but need more study with a wider diversity of pesticides.

Remediating Contaminated Soils
Pesticide waste generally ends up contaminating soil that should be remediated to avoid leaching and runoff. DOE also recommends that a business desiring to build a containment structure or other facility conduct a site assessment to determine if contamin ation exists. What can a small waste generator do to clean up soil? Simple burial is no longer permitted, incineration is expensive and impractical, and landfilling transfers waste from one place to another. One possibility is landfarming, a technique use d by Midwest agrichemical facilities.

Landfarming usually involves the excavation of pesticide-contaminated soil and spreading it thinly over uncontaminated land. DOE permits spreading of contaminated sediments as &quota legtimate pesticide use only when the contaminants can be applied legally to a treatment site specified on the pesticide label." The amount of soil applied must be controlled carefully to avoid exceeding the maximum permissible application rate of the most prevalent pesticide contaminant. On small field plots needing r emediation, a variation on landfarming would be to excavate soil, line the hole with polyethylene, replace the soil and add the contaminated soil. To promote microbial activity and faster degradation of the contaminants, the soil should be amended with or ganic matter and turned periodically for aeration. The plot could be seeded to develop a rhizosphere, which enhances degradation of various compounds.

Users Responsible for Management
Responsibility for managing pesticide wastes rests with the user. A one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. Decentralized management decisions will be the key to success. Planning, and some financial investment, is required to do the job correctly. The biggest problem, pesticide wastewater, can be contained and recycled. If this is impractical, there are disposal systems that can be adapted to individual facilities; one must be willing to try new technology. Contaminated soils do not necessarily have t o be landfilled or incinerated; a site assessment will indicate the proper action and whether landfarming is feasible. What is certain? The longer waste is uncontrolled, the greater the probability of water resource contamination.

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Safe disposal of home use pesticides

NOTE: Disposal guidelines presented here are restricted to "home use" pesticides commonly applied in and around residential dwellings by unlicensed pesticide users.

Home and apartment dwellers who practice do-it-yourself pest control are confronted with chemical disposal problems, because they often purchase much more pesticide than they can use in a reasonable period of time. This often results in the accumulatio n of partially filled pesticide containers and speculation about how best to dispose of these chemicals.

Avoid disposal problems by purchasing only as much chemical as may realistically be used within two years. However, please be advised that if the product container is tightly sealed and has been stored in cool, dark conditions, the pesticide will most likely retain its potency for many years.

Safe and legal disposal of pesticides may be accomplished by adhering to the following guidelines:

This article was taken from a WSU Cooperative Extension bulletin authored by Gary L. Thomasson, Extension Pesticide Specialist

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Notices

REDs available electronically
EPA is reviewing and making regulatory decisions about older pesticide active ingredients, initially registered prior to November 1984. When it is satisfied that an older pesticide has a substantially complete science data base demonstrating that some or all uses do not pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment, EPA issues a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED). The RED document describes EPA's risk assessment and risk management decisions as well as requirements for future use of th e pesticide in the United States.

As of early 1995, EPA had issued REDs for 90 reregistration "cases", or groups of related pesticide active ingredients. The agency plans to issue about 40 RED documents during 1995. Ultimately, REDs will be issued for a total of 400 reregistration case s, of groups of related pesticide active ingredients.

EPA pesticide reregistration decisions are available electronically, on the Internet and a Bulletin Board System (BBS) operated by the Special Review and Reregistration Division (SRRD) in EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP).

Electronic Information available

The Internet
All of the documents listed above are available from EPA's gopher server and two other pathways on the Internet. The Internet address of EPA's gopher server is GOPHER.EPA.GOV. This information also is available using ftp on FTP.EPA.GOV, or using WWW (Worl d Wide Web) on WWW.EPA.GOV.

Getting Onto the BBS
The phone number to dial from a PC or terminal is 703-308-7224. To connect to this or any other BBS, parameters in your communication software must be set appropriately. The settings for this BBS are standard for most: 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop b it (abbreviated as 8N1). Communication speeds from 2400bps to 28.8Kbps are available, accommodating almost all modem speeds. The system displays color ANSI graphics as well as ASCII text.

The Pesticide Special Review and Reregistration Information System can be accessed from the Internet via GSA's Fedworld system. Telnet or FTP to FEDWORLD.GOV and follow the onscreen instructions to get to the gateway.

For more information about pesticide documents on the Internet or BBS, or about the agency's reregistration and special review programs, please contact the Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508W), Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. EPA, Wash ington, DC 20460, telephone 703-308-8000, or by electronic mail at SRRD@CAIS.COM.

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Officially Unofficial

Officially Unofficial is a regular feature that may include information considered politically inappropriate by some.

 

 **All food uses of lindane will be dropped from registration, as a direct and indirect consequence of the reregistration process. The only related use pattern expected to be retained will be seed treatments. In an unrelated action, lindane is being taken out of special review. Lindane had been included in the special review process, because it had once been suspected of causing kidney damage.

**In what may be the Washington vegetable industry's biggest coup yet, EPA granted a Section 18 for use of the insecticide pirimicarb (Pirimor 50-DF) on 24 small-seeded vegetable seed crops. Pirimicarb has no registrations in the United States a nd is currently being used only under an emergency exemption in Northwestern states on alfalfa seed. Loss of mevinphos (Phosdrin) prompted the seed industry's request for the aphicide. EPA granted the exemption reluctantly to Washington State. In granting the seed industry request, the agency stated, "However, this unique use of pirimicarb should not be interpreted by other growers or the registrant as a condition that would provide access for further registration actions of pirimicarb on other crops, unl ess sufficient data to support these uses are provided." 

**Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in June introduced Bill HR1171, legislation that, if passed, would require food treated with carcinogenic pesticides to have cancer warning labels. The bill, known as the "Pesticide Safety and Right-to-know Act of 1995", would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The bill would require the following labeling: "Notice: pesticides containing known or probable human carcinogens have been applied to this food."

**If your business or commodity group has an interest in propargite: BEWARE - EPA is gearing up for serious regulatory action on the compound. This may be a case where the risks (carcinogenicity) is high enough that benefits won't matter. I woul d suggest that anyone interested in propargite uses do two things: start collecting information on the value of propargite and start looking for alternatives.

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Federal Issues

Emergency Exemptions (Section 18)

An emergency exemption has been granted for the following use:

Tolerances

The following tolerances were granted by EPA since the last report (June 1995). These data do not mean that a label has been registered for this use. These pesticides must not be used until a label is registered with EPA or a state department of agricu lture.

*Key

A = adjuvant

D = desiccant

D/H = desiccant,herbicide

F = fungicide

FA = feed additive

G = growth regulator

H = herbicide

I = insecticide

N = nematicide

P = pheromone

V = vertebrate repellent

 

 

Chemical*

Petitioner

Tolerance
(ppm)

Commodity
(raw)

(H) bromoxynil

Rhone- Poulenc

0.04a

cottonseed (transgenic BXN var. only)

(A) acetic acid ethenyl ester, polymer with ethenol and (a)-2- propenyl-(w)- hydroxypoly (oxy-1,2- ethanediyl)

Nippon Gohsei Co.

exempt

when used as an inert applied to growing crops only

(H) sethoxydim

IR-4

4.0b

asparagus

 

 

1.0b

carrot

 

 

2.0b

cranberry & endive

 

 

30.0b

peppermint, spearmint

(F) fenbuconazole

Rohm & Haas

0.3
(of which not more than 0.05ppm is contained in the banana pulp)

bananas,
whole fruit

(D/H) paraquat

IR-4

0.3

lentils

 

 

0.1

lentil, forage

 

 

0.4

lentil, hay

(H) alachlor

Monsanto

2.0

sorghum, forage

(I) benzoic acid

Rohm & Haas

0.1

walnuts

(F) difenoconazole

Ciba

0.1c

barley, grain

 

 

0.1c

rye, grain

 

 

0.05c

cattle, fat, meat, mbyp; eggs; goats, fat, meat, mbyp; hogs, fat, meat, mbyp; horses, fat, meat, mbyp

 

 

0.01

milk

 

 

0.05

poultry, fat, meat, mbyp; sheep, fat, meat, mbyp

 

 

0.1

wheat, grain

(F) tebuconazole

Miles

0.05

bananas

(H) sethoxydim
(FA)

BASF

1.0

sugarbeets, roots

 

 

10.0

sugarbeet molasses

(A) oleyl alcohol

Henkel Corp.

exempt

when used as a cosolvent in pesticide formulations applied to raw agricultural commodities after harvest

(H) imazethapyr,
ammonium salt

IR-4

0.1

endive (escarole) & lettuce (head & leaf)

 

Technical amendment
EPA is issuing a technical amendment to a regulation on diphenylamine to change its designation from a fungicide to a plant regulator.

a = time-based tolerance expiring April 1, 1997
b = time-based tolerance expiring December 31, 1996
c = no U.S. registrations as of April 12, 1995

Reregistration Notifications

The registrants plan to maintain rotenone uses for fish control in reservoirs, lakes, ponds and streams; and flea, tick, lice and mite control on dogs and cats. They will reconsider the plans for deletion if someone is willing to develop the necessary data for reregistration.

For additional information, contact: Mr. Joe Conti, The Rotenone Task Force, AgrEvo Environmental Services, Phone: 201-307-3366, Fax: 201-307-3384

For additional information on any reregistration notification, contact the individual(s) listed or contact:

Alan Schreiber, WSU Pesticide Coordinator, 100 Sprout Road, Richland, WA 99352-1643, Ph: 509-372-7462, Fax: 509-372-7460

The source for this information, the Reregistration Notification Network, is a cooperative effort of USDA-NAPIAP, Interregional Project No. 4 (IR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the American Crop Protection Association (ACPA).

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State Issues

Special Local Needs (Section 24c)
Label restrictions for Special Local Needs in Washington: The following pesticide uses have been granted label registrations by the Washington State Department of Agriculture under the provisions of Section 24 (c) amended FIFRA.



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Contributors to the Agrichemical and Environmental News:

Alan Schreiber, Allan Felsot, Catherine Daniels, Carol Weisskopf, Eric Bechtel

If you would like to include a piece in a future issue of the Agrichemical and Environmental News, please contact Catherine Daniels, Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory, Washington State University, Tri-Cities campus, 2710 University Drive, Richland, WA 99352-1671. Phone: 509-372-7495. Fax: 509-372-7491. E-mail: cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu

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