Thursday, May 12, 2011

EPA to Transfer Data to DHS

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a notice in today’s Federal Register (76 FR 27642-27643) that it would be transferring ‘pesticide related information’ to DHS on May 22nd, 2011. The information was submitted to the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). According to the announcement some of the information “may have been claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI) by the submitter” (76 FR 28742).

The announcement does not explain what use DHS will make of the data or provide any details about what types of data would be included. It just notes that the transfer is being made “pursuant to the Homeland Security Presidential Directives and the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan” and in accordance with 40 CFR 2.209(c); a provision of EPA regulations requiring this notice.

The EPA specifically declined to “describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action” and suggested that anyone with concerns about whether or not their information being transferred to DHS should contact Mario Steadman {(703) 305-8338;} at the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Program. EPA has established a docket at (Docket Number: EPA–HQ–OPP–2011-0336), but it is unclear what ‘publicly available information’ will be placed in that document beyond a copy of this notice and any potential public comments about the data transfer.

It would be interesting to know what chemical security program this data was being transferred to. Could it have anything to do with the temporary exemption for agricultural facilities for filing Top Screens? That might be a stretch.

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