19 09 2008

Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov


(Atlanta, Ga. – September 19, 2008) The Southeast office of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Region 4) has settled an administrative penalty case against E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company (Dupont) and Griffin LLC Valdosta, GA (Griffin) for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to the terms of the settlement, Dupont and Griffin collectively will pay a total civil penalty of $877,500, and will undertake corrective actions to ensure that the violations do not recur. Dupont and Griffin manufacture, market, and sell a variety of pesticide products. These products are sold to farmers in the United States for use on cotton and tobacco.

“By law, pesticides must be properly labeled and registered,” said Beverly Bannister, EPA’s Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division Director in Atlanta. “This helps ensure the safe use of pesticides and reduces risks to human health and the environment.”

Based on a review of pesticide importation records and inspections conducted by EPA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture at Dupont’s pesticide production facility in Valdosta, GA, EPA determined that Dupont and Griffin LLC had been importing a registered pesticide active ingredient, ethephon, from a non-approved manufacturing facility in China, and that the composition of the ethephon differed from the composition specified in the statement of formula set out in the registration. As a result, the composition of two end-use products manufactured by the companies, Super Boll and CottonQuik, differed from the compositions specified in EPA’s approved registrations for those products. The original registrant, Griffin Corporation, began importing the active ingredient from the unapproved facility in 1996. In 1998, Griffin Corporation and Dupont formed Griffin LLC and in 2003, Dupont acquired 100% interest in Griffin LLC. Both Griffin LLC and Dupont continued the practice of importing the ethephon from the unapproved source in China.

EPA also determined that the containers of ethephon imported from China were misbranded in that they stated the incorrect percentage of the active ingredient ethephon contained in the product. Additionally, analytical results from samples of the end-use products Superboll and CottonQuik showed that they contained ethephon in concentrations exceeding the allowable certified limits specified in their registrations. After EPA notification in April 2005 that it was in violation of FIFRA, Dupont filed a registration amendment for the active ingredient to indicate the new source and to revise the formulation. Dupont recently sold the registrations for these products to another company.

Under FIFRA, all pesticides must be submitted to EPA for review, evaluation and registration to ensure that they do not pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. Proper identification of a pesticide’s active ingredients is an essential component of the regulatory scheme that helps to ensure a product’s integrity and safety. Pesticide manufacturers are required to clearly state the amount of active ingredients contained in each product and must manufacture the product within a specific range of the stated composition percentages. Pesticide products that contain too little or too much active ingredient may pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment and may not perform effectively.

For more information on pesticide regulation and enforcement, please visit: http://epa.gov/compliance/civil/fifra.

Meeting over water, river answers very few questions

19 09 2008

By Andy Powell | GadsdenTimes.com

An Army Corps of Engineers meeting Wednesday night in Gadsden about the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River basin left some of those attending a little frustrated.

Their concerns about things such as water flow, pool levels and taking water from that basin and giving it to another basin that serves the city of Atlanta weren’t in the scope of the meeting, which was to get input on rewriting the Corps’ water control manual for the basin.

The Corps of Engineers’ current manual for the basin was written in 1952.

E. Patrick Robbins, who oversees legislative and public affairs for the Corps in Mobile, said the “water wars” among Georgia, Florida and Alabama delayed the manual’s being rewritten in the mid-1980s because of long-running court battles. Other operating manuals for reservoirs in the basin have been written or updated since then, Robbins said.

He said recently the secretary of the Army decided it was time for the rewriting process to begin when a solution to the water controversy could not be reached.

Robbins said the Corps did not determine the water levels on Weiss Lake. He said that is determined by Alabama Power and that issue is outside the scope of the report. However, he said comments about that would be noted.

The meeting was one of four in the district that stretches from north of Atlanta to Mobile.

Other meetings were in Montgomery, Rome, Ga., and Kennesaw, Ga.

Read on here.

Two NE Ga. water suppliers recognized by governor

19 09 2008


Access North Atlanta

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue has recognized the city of Clarkesville and the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority for their water reduction efforts. During his environmental address at the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful luncheon, Perdue recognized several municipalities, communities and industries who have shown a significant reduction in water use.

“I am proud to see so many Georgia communities and businesses cutting back on water usage during this unprecedented drought. Whether a large company, a small business or a family, Georgians stepped up in droves during this difficult time,” Perdue said.

“Georgians are making conservation a part of their daily routine, being more conscientious than ever before about what they consume. We are growing, and while that growth brings challenges we find ourselves moving in the right direction, focused collectively on making a difference for our state.”

In October 2007, Perdue directed the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to achieve a 10 percent reduction in withdrawals for permit holders in the 61 North Georgia counties. Permit holders were asked to reduce water withdrawals by 10 percent compared to the permit holder’s water usage of December 2006 through the end of March 2007.

The city of Clarkesville pumps water from the Soque River, a tributary to the Chattahoochee River in its upper reaches. In addition to improving its connections with neighboring water systems to improve system reliability, initiating efforts to improve its ability to withdraw water from the Soque, and improved leak detection, repair and metering efforts, the city has demonstrated remarkable success in getting its customers to reduce their water use. On average, Clarkesville managed to reduce its water use by 23 percent between November 2007 and July 2008 when compared to the same period a year ago.

Read on here.