Emergency Exemption Applications: Ortho-Phthalaldehyde

This Notice document was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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[EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0497; FRL-9392-6]

Ortho-Phthalaldehyde; Receipt of Application for Emergency Exemption, Solicitation of Public Comment


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




EPA has received a specific exemption request from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to use the pesticide ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA) (CAS No. 643-79-8) to treat the International Space Station internal active thermal control system (IATCS) coolant including the United States (U.S.) Laboratory, the Japanese Experiment Module, the Columbus and Node with a total volume of 829 L with a maximum of 1,974 cm 3 OPA resin/year to control aerobic/microaerophilic water bacteria. The applicant proposes the use of a new chemical which has not been registered by EPA. EPA is soliciting public comment before making the decision whether or not to grant the exemption.


Comments must be received on or before August 8, 2013.


Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0497, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (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 http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.htm.

Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

For Further Information Contact

Debra Rate, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 306-0309; fax number: (703) 605-0781; email address: rate.debra@epa.gov.

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. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

i. Identify the document by docket ID number and other identifying information (subject heading,Federal Registerdate and page number).

ii. Follow directions. The Agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

iii. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

iv. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

v. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

vi. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and suggest alternatives.

vii. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

viii. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticide(s) discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

II. What action is the agency taking?

Under section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136p), at the discretion of the EPA Administrator, a Federal or State agency may be exempted from any provision of FIFRA if the EPA Administrator determines that emergency conditions exist which require the exemption. NASA has requested the EPA Administrator to issue a specific exemption for the use of OPA in the International Space Station IATCS coolant to control aerobic/microaerophilic water bacteria. Information in accordance with 40 CFR part 166 was submitted as part of this request.

As part of this request, the applicant asserts that OPA is the most effective biocide which meets the requisite criteria, including: the need for safe, non-intrusive implementation and operation in a functioning system; the ability to control existing planktonic and biofilm residing micro-organisms; a negligible impact on system-wetted materials of construction; and a negligible reactivity with existing coolant additives. Non-use of OPA in the requested manner would leave NASA's International Space Station without an adequate long-term solution for controlling the micro-organisms in the coolant systems.

The Applicant proposes to make no more than 1 application of OPA/loop in the International Space Station IATCS coolant including the U.S. Laboratory, the Japanese Experiment Module, the Columbus and Node with a total volume not to exceed 829 L with a maximum of 1,974 cm 3 OPA resin.

This notice does not constitute a decision by EPA on the application itself. The regulations governing FIFRA section 18 require publication of a notice of receipt of an application for a specific exemption proposing use of a new chemical (i.e., an active ingredient) which has not been registered by EPA. The notice provides an opportunity for public comment on the application.

The Agency, will review and consider all comments received during the comment period in determining whether to issue the specific exemption requested by the NASA.

List of Subjects

Environmental protection, Pesticides and pests.

Dated: July 9, 2013.
Lois Rossi,
Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-17419 Filed 7-23-13; 8:45 am]
Comment Period Closed
Aug 8 2013, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0497-0001
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Document Information

Date Posted: Jul 24, 2013
Federal Register Number: 2013-17419
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Comments Received*
Do we really need to add yet another chemical to our environment without first knowing the risks involved?! There are much better, more natural ways of...

Docket Information

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Related Dockets: None
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Related Documents: None
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* This count refers to the total comment/submissions received on this document, as of 11:59 PM yesterday. Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. This can result in discrepancies between this count and those displayed when conducting searches on the Public Submission document type. For specific information about an agency’s public submission policy, refer to its website or the Federal Register document.

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