Before the partial government shutdown left the EPA temporarily offline, the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) was proactively in contact with EPA staff to address the shutdown’s impact on our industry. Click below for the update sent on January 4th, including news from Capitol Hill, as well as information on how the shutdown is affecting a variety of pesticide and antimicrobial-related issues.
- Alexandra Dunn was confirmed as the EPA’s new assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Nominated to the position in the fall of 2018, she previously served as regional administrator of EPA’s Region 1 office in Boston, MA. HCPA President & CEO Steve Caldeira is currently in the process of scheduling a meeting with several members of his senior team to congratulate Ms. Dunn and to reinforce the association’s key priority issues within EPA. Here is a link to HCPA’s letter to Ms. Dunn.
- As the partial federal government shutdown continues, appropriators in Congress continue to negotiate funding packages to reopen shuttered government offices, including the EPA.
- As the shutdown of EPA remains in effect, member companies may wish to avoid submitting new PRIA pesticide registration applications or amendments, unless absolutely necessary, until the full federal government appropriations and PRIA III have been restored.
- Of course, whether to submit applications or amendments during any lapse of PRIA III is up to an individual member, and we strongly recommend that HCPA members consult with their legal counsel and regulatory staff to determine the best course of action for their individual product lines.
- With regard to the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, currently the OPP website indicates the following:
- Due to the partial government shutdown, any submissions to EPA after December 28, 2018, will not be considered received or processed until after a change in the EPA’s operational status for work to resume.
- Please note that PRIA III expired on December 21, 2018. Per phase-out provisions described in FIFRA sec. 33(m)(2)(B), registration service fees for new applications received after that date will be reduced by 70% from the fiscal year 2017 levels. In addition, such applications will not be subject to the decision review time frames specified in PRIA III. Pending a change in EPA’s operational status, applications received after December 21, 2018 will be subject to these new provisions, and applications received on or prior to December 21, 2018, will continue to be reviewed under the decision time frames specified in PRIA III.
- Companies will also receive a similar message if they attempt a submission via CDX.
- The collection of annual maintenance fees as described in FIFRA Section 4(i)(5) (due January 15th) will be impacted by the shutdown.
- If you call the Pesticide Maintenance Fee information line at 1-800-444-7255, the voice message indicates that “due to the late notification to applicants and the government shutdown, the annual maintenance fee submission deadline has been extended to February 15, 2019.”
- Details on the actual annual maintenance fees should have been provided to you in November, but additional information is available here.
- The EPA Regional offices should be coordinating with Customs & Border Patrol on Imports and Notice of Arrivals (NOAs) that should continue to be processed by EPA Regional offices as normal, but it is not clear if that is the case. If you experience difficulties or other anomalies, please let Dr. Steve Bennett, Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org), know as soon as possible so that we can contact senior EPA staff to resolve any issue(s).
- While there are no statutory deadlines for TSCA in the immediate future, review of new and existing chemicals has ceased for the duration of the shutdown. While the Central Data Exchange (CDX) remains open and may accept submissions, EPA will not take any action until the shutdown ends. The first Scientific Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) preliminary meeting on C.I. Pigment Violet 29 was cancelled and the formal meeting at the end of January has also been postponed. Should the shutdown continue, it will likely also impact the issuance of the remaining draft versions of the first ten risk evaluations, the lists of the 20 high and low priority chemicals and the update to TSCA inventory of active substances.
If you would like more detail about the operating status of the EPA and how the shutdown affects HCPA members, please contact Dr. Steve Bennett. For updates on the status of PRIA reauthorization in Congress, please contact Owen Caine. The EPA’s contingency plan for the shutdown is available here.