Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency Exemptions: Spirotetramat

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40 CFR Part 180
[EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0900; FRL-9373-2]

Spirotetramat; Pesticide Tolerance for Emergency Exemption


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Final rule.


This regulation establishes a time-limited tolerance for residues of spirotetramat in or on watercress. This action is in response to EPA's granting of an emergency exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizing use of the pesticide on watercress. This regulation establishes a maximum permissible level for residues of spirotetramat in or on watercress. The time-limited tolerance expires on December 31, 2015.


This regulation is effective December 26, 2012. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before February 25, 2013, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of theSUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).


The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0900, is available at or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The 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 OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at

For Further Information Contact

Keri Grinstead, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8373; email address:

Supplementary Information

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

  • Crop production (NAICS code 111).
  • Animal production (NAICS code 112).
  • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).
  • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

Under section 408(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you mustidentify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0900 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before February 25, 2013. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0900, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.
  • Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at

Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at

II. Background and Statutory Findings

EPA, on its own initiative, in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6), 21 U.S.C. 346a(e) and 346a(1)(6), is establishing a time-limited tolerance for residues of spirotetramat, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on watercress at 1.5 parts per million (ppm). This time-limited tolerance expires on December 31, 2015.

Section 408(l)(6) of FFDCA requires EPA to establish a time-limited tolerance or exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for pesticide chemical residues in food that will result from the use of a pesticide under an emergency exemption granted by EPA under FIFRA section 18. Such tolerances can be established without providing notice or period for public comment. EPA does not intend for its actions on FIFRA section 18 related time-limited tolerances to set binding precedents for the application of FFDCA section 408 and the safety standard to other tolerances and exemptions. Section 408(e) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance on its own initiative, i.e., without having received any petition from an outside party.

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. * * *”

Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to exempt any Federal or State agency from any provision of FIFRA, if EPA determines that “emergency conditions exist which require such exemption.” EPA has established regulations governing such emergency exemptions in 40 CFR part 166.

III. Emergency Exemption for Spirotetramat on Watercress and FFDCA Tolerances

This is the first Section 18 request received for the use of spirotetramat on watercress. Florida and Tennessee are experiencing high pest pressure from melon/cotton aphids in the watercress industry. Aphids infest watercress fields from surrounding areas, and attack the apical stem tips of plants. Watercress plants respond with reduced vigor (growth rate) and yields per acre (bunch number) are subsequently reduced. Due to lack of effective alternative insecticides, increasing resistance to the historically effective insecticide imidacloprid, and marketable yield losses, the Agency has determined the situation is non-routine and urgent and likely to result in significant economic losses. After having reviewed the submission, EPA determined that an emergency condition exists for these States, and that the criteria for approval of an emergency exemption are met. EPA has authorized a specific exemption under FIFRA section 18 for the use of spirotetramat on watercress for control of melon/cotton aphids in Florida and Tennessee.

As part of its evaluation of the emergency exemption application, EPA assessed the potential risks presented by residues of spirotetramat in or on watercress. In doing so, EPA considered the safety standard in FFDCA section 408(b)(2), and EPA decided that the necessary tolerance under FFDCA section 408(l)(6) would be consistent with the safety standard and with FIFRA section 18. Consistent with the need to move quickly on the emergency exemption in order to address an urgent non-routine situation, and to ensure that the resulting food is safe and lawful, EPA is issuing this tolerance without notice and opportunity for public comment as provided in FFDCA section 408(l)(6). Although these time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2015, under FFDCA section 408(l)(5), residues of the pesticide not in excess of the amounts specified in the tolerance remaining in or on watercress after that date will not be unlawful, provided the pesticide was applied in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and the residues do not exceed a level that was authorized by these time-limited tolerances at the time of that application. EPA will take action to revoke these time-limited tolerances earlier if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe.

Because these time-limited tolerances are being approved under emergency conditions, EPA has not made any decisions about whether spirotetramat meets FIFRA's registration requirements for use on watercress or whether permanent tolerances for this use would be appropriate. Under these circumstances, EPA does not believe that this time-limited tolerance decision serves as a basis for registration of spirotetramat by a State for special local needs under FIFRA section 24(c). Nor does this tolerance by itself serve as the authority for persons in any State, other than Florida and Tennessee, to use this pesticide on the applicable crops under FIFRA section 18 absent the issuance of an emergency exemption applicable within that State. For additional information regarding the emergency exemption for spirotetramat, contact the Agency's Registration Division at the address provided underFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue.* * *”

Consistent with the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure expected as a result of the emergency exemption requests and the time-limited tolerance for residues of spirotetramat, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on watercress at 1.5 ppm. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with establishing a time-limited tolerance follows.

A. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern (LOC) to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see A summary of the toxicological endpoints for spirotetramat used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III.B. of the final rule published in theFederal Registerof May 18, 2011 (76 FR 28675) (FRL-8865-8).

B. Exposure Assessment

1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to spirotetramat, EPA considered exposure under the time-limited tolerance established by this action as well as all existing spirotetramat tolerances in § 180.641. EPA assessed dietary exposures from spirotetramat in food as follows:

i. Acute and chronic exposure. Such effects were identified for spirotetramat. In estimating acute and chronic dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1994-1996 and 1998 Nationwide Continuing Surveys of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII). As to residue levels in food, EPA used tolerance-level residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT) for all commodities. Empirical processing factors were used for apple, orange, grape and tomato juice, applesauce, and dried apples, and Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model (DEEM (Ver. 7.81)) default processing factors were used for the remaining processed commodities (where provided).

ii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit IV.A., EPA has concluded that spirotetramat does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

iii. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for spirotetramat. Tolerance level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for spirotetramat in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of spirotetramat. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at

Based on the Tier 1 Rice Model and Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCI-GROW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of total toxic residues (TTR) of spirotetramat, spirotetramat-enol, and spirotetramat-ketohydroxy for acute and chronic exposures are estimated to be 158 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 3.96 × 10 −4 ppb for ground water.

Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute and chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 158 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). There are currently no registered or proposed residential uses for spirotetramat; therefore a residential exposure assessment was not conducted.

4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

EPA has not found spirotetramat to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and spirotetramat does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that spirotetramat does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at

C. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin ofsafety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor (FQPA SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional SF when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. Based on the results of developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits and two reproduction studies in rats with spirotetramat, there was no evidence of increased susceptibility of offspring following prenatal or postnatal exposure.

3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show that the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the Food Quality Protection Act (Pub. L. 104-170) Safety Factor (FQPA SF) were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings:

i. The toxicity database for spirotetramat is complete, except for a subchronic neurotoxicity study which is now required as part of the revisions to 40 CFR part 158. However, the existing toxicological database indicates that spirotetramat is not a neurotoxic chemical in mammals. In addition, acute, subchronic and developmental neurotoxicity studies available for structurally-related compounds (spirodiclofen and spiromesifen) do not show evidence of neurotoxicity in adults or young.

ii. There is no indication that spirotetramat is a neurotoxic chemical and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

iii. There is no evidence that spirotetramat results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats, in both the 1- and 2-generation reproduction studies.

iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases that will result in underestimation of exposure. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to spirotetramat in drinking water. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by spirotetramat.

D. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to spirotetramat will occupy 10% of the aPAD for children ages 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to spirotetramat from food and water will utilize 83% of the cPAD for children ages 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for spirotetramat.

3. Short-term and Intermediate-term risk. Short- and intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). A short-term and intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, spirotetramat is not registered for any use patterns that would result in short-term or intermediate-term residential exposure. Short-term and intermediate-term risk is assessed based on short-term or intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no short-term or intermediate-term residential exposure and, chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess short-term risk), no further assessment of short-term or intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating short-term and intermediate-term risk for spirotetramat.

4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, spirotetramat is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

5. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children, from aggregate exposure to spirotetramat residues.

V. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

Adequate enforcement methodology, high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS), is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address:

B. International Residue Limits

In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. The Codex has not established a MRL for spirotetramat.

VI. Conclusion

Therefore, time-limited tolerances are established for residues of spirotetramat, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on watercress at 1.5 ppm. This tolerance expires on December 31, 2015.

VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This final rule establishes tolerances under FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735,October 4, 1993). Because this final rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This final rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

Since tolerances and exemptions that are established in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

This final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this final rule. In addition, this final rule does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

VIII. Congressional Review Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in theFederal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: December 12, 2012.
Lois Rossi,
Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

Regulatory Text

Part 180 Amended

1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:


21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

2. In § 180.641, add alphabetically the following new entry to the table in paragraph (b).

§ 180.641 Spirotetramat; tolerances for residues.

* * * * *

(b) * * *

CommodityParts permillionExpiration date

* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2012-30854 Filed 12-21-12; 4:15 pm]
Comment Period Closed
Feb 25 2013, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0900-0001
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Document Information

Date Posted: Dec 26, 2012
RIN: Not Assigned
CFR: 40 CFR Part 180
Federal Register Number: 2012-30854
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