Rotterdam Convention stipulates that "severely hazardous pesticide formulations that present a hazard under conditions of use in developing countries or countries with economies in transition may also be nominated for inclusion in Annex III." Once listed a "decision guidance document" must be prepared that defines how the chemical will be banned or severely restricted.
The five pesticides added to the PIC list by the EU are guazatine, indolylactic acid, 1,3-dichloropropene, ethalfluralin, and thiobencarb. Beginning on October 1st of this year these pesticides will be restricted for export to developing countries, i.e., the countries must be informed of the hazards prior to the sale and use in that country. Meanwhile, last week also saw Japan propose to add alachlor (a herbicide) and aldicarb and endosulfan (both insecticides) to the PIC list. Japan currently has restrictions on use and export of 36 chemicals under the Rotterdam Convention treaty.
The EU action followed on a decision not to include the five pesticides on the EU list of approved pesticides, which means they will be effectively banned from use in the EU. This action was taken because no manufacturer successfully applied for continued authorization of these chemicals.
More information on the additions to the PIC list can be found in the Official Journal of the European Union or on the Rotterdam Convention home page.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Under the plan, EPA will review a total of 35 separate regulations. About half (16) fit into the category of "early actions" and will be reviewed during 2011, with the rest scheduled for longer term actions in subsequent years. For the early action list EPA "intends to propose or finalize an action to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal a regulation or related program." The 16 regulatory topics to be reviewed in 2011 include:
- Gasoline and diesel regulations
- Equipment leak detection and repair
- Regulatory certainty for farmers
- Modern science and technology methods in chemical regulation
- Electronic online reporting of health and safety data under TSCA, FIFRA, FFDCA
- National Priorities List rules
- Quick changes to some TSCA reporting requirements
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
- National primary drinking water regulations
- Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and integrated planning for wet weather infrastructure
- Vehicle regulations, e.g., GHG and fuel economy standards and emissions standards
- Multiple air pollutants, e.g., coordinating emission reduction regulations
- NSPS reviews and revisions under the Clean Air Act
- Clean Air Act Title V Permit program simplification
- Innovative technology, i.e., seeking to encourage innovation
- Costs of regulations, i.e., seeking to improve cost estimates
The full EPA final regulatory review plan can be downloaded from the White House web site.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Last September saw 10,000 to 20,000 walruses haul up onto land, coinciding with the lowest ice extent of the year. But this year the Arctic sea ice has been melting at near record pace, with July setting a new record for the lowest extent in that month. Weather conditions in the Arctic suggest that August ice melt could be accelerated, which could mean the September minimum will be much lower than last year, and with less ice there could be more walruses up on land. That puts them at greater risk, both from land predators, density-based aggression, and inability to find food.
More information on this study, as well as other walrus research, can be found on the USGS site.