EPA proposing restrictions on Imidan and removal of Guthion for blueberry growers – chance to make y

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

In June, EPA made an announcement regarding two important insecticides used by blueberry growers in Michigan. If their proposals continue as written, they will completely phase-out Guthion by 2010 in blueberries across the United States and also restrict Imidan use in this crop. The comment period, running until August 8, is a chance for growers to make their opinions of these proposed restrictions known to EPA.

If growers do not agree with the proposed changes, it is important to provide comments directly to EPA on why these insecticides are important for their ability to produce their crop, because grower voices carry a lot of weight with EPA. If few responses to these proposals are received arguing why these insecticides are needed, EPA assumes they are not very important and will move forward with the proposal. The agency is interested in the economic impact of the proposed changes, both for domestic and export markets, the relative effectiveness of alternative controls registered in blueberry, and why restriction on application by air, within 100 ft of water bodies, or on U-pick fields might have negative impacts on blueberry farming. They need to hear why the proposals below might be detrimental to blueberry production. It is helpful if you can estimate the economic costs or burdens of these proposals, but please explain how you came up with the estimate.

EPA proposals for Imidan and Guthion in blueberry - June 2006 Imidan

•3 day re-entry interval (increased from 24 hours)
•Label amendments for buffer zones around houses and occupied dwellings
•Elimination of Imidan in U-pick field


•Complete removal by 2010

In the meantime…

•Reduce maximum annual use to 1 lb active ingredient (i.e. 2 lb of 50WP)
•Increase re-entry interval to 14 days
•Label amendments for buffer zones around houses and occupied dwellings
•100 ft buffer zones around bodies of water
•Manufacturers to gather data on workers after application
•Eliminate use on U-pick operations
•Eliminate aerial application

Making comments to EPA

The comment period was announced in the Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 111 on Friday, June 9, 2006. It is open until August 8 for the blueberry industry and others to make their opinions of these proposed changed known to the agency. It is important that all comments identify these docket numbers: EPAHQOPP20050061 for Guthion, or EPAHQOPP20020354 for Imidan. Comments can be made on the internet or by mail.

To provide comments electronically, access www.regulations.gov and search for EPA as the agency, selecting "All documents" and entering this docket number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0354-0004. Then click on the docket ID and look for the yellow speech bubble on the right to add a comment, either by typing it in directly or attaching a file. Alternatively, comments can be made by mail to the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the docket without change and may be made available on-line at http://www.regulations.gov, 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 Federal regulations.gov web site is an anonymous access system, 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 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.

For more information contact: Tom Myers, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 703-308-8589, fax number: 703-308-8041; e-mail address: myers.tom@epa.gov

Dr. Isaacs's work is funded in part by MSU's AgBioResearch.

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