Jan. 3 --The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pesticide Programs launched a new e-mail tracking system for pesticide registration applications on Dec. 31, the agency confirmed to Bloomberg BNA in a Jan. 2 e-mail.
The EPA said the system generates automated e-mails to pesticide registrants at seven different points in the registration decision process, including when the EPA completes the technical screening of a registration application and when the agency reaches its regulatory decision on the application.
Ray McAllister, senior director of regulatory policy at CropLife America, told Bloomberg BNA in a Jan. 2 e-mail that implementation of a tracking system for pesticide registration applications has been an industry priority “for several years.”
The Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2012 (PRIA-3), which renewed the EPA's authority to collect registration and annual maintenance fees from pesticide registrants, included $800,000 in dedicated annual funding for the Office of Pesticide Programs to implement information technology upgrades .
The agency upgraded its Pesticide Registration Information System (PRISM) and software used by pesticide registrants to submit registration applications and related documents in order to allow for the generation of automated tracking e-mails, according to a Dec. 31 statement announcing plans to launch the tracking system. The software used by registrants was updated to add another field for registrants to include a contact e-mail address, according to the EPA's website.
The EPA said it will still accept electronically submitted applications that don't include an e-mail address, but that would prevent the generation of automated tracking e-mails.
The seven milestones that will generate an automated e-mail were defined by the EPA as:
• the EPA's receipt of an application and assignment of a receipt number for the application;
• assignment of PRIA fee category, waiver decision, completion of payment, expiration of a 21-day completeness screen and establishment of a review start date and due date for consideration of the application;
• the date data are sent into review, with contact information for staff assigned to the application;
• expiration of a 45/90-day technical screening;
• completion of the last science review;
• pre-decisional determination date reached; and
• regulatory decision completed.
Phil Klein, executive vice president for legislative and public affairs at the Consumer Specialty Products Association, told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 2 that, on behalf of the industry groups involved in negotiation of the PRIA law, he is “extremely pleased” that the EPA launched the e-mail tracking system as scheduled by the end of 2013.
PRIA-3 was based on a proposal crafted by the PRIA Coalition, a group consisting of various crop protection associations, environmental groups and worker safety groups, including CSPA, CropLife America and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Klein said it will be “a real positive” for the pesticide industry to receive updates from the EPA on the status of registration applications. He noted that the $800,000 in annual dedicated funding for IT improvements at the EPA is taken from $27.8 million in annual maintenance fees paid by pesticide registrants.
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Information on the electronic submission of pesticide registration documents to the EPA is available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/registering/submissions/.
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