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EPA Guidance Portal Now Available

On February 28, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of a new web portal that is available to the public to search for EPA guidance documents.  The EPA Guidance Portal (Portal) was created under Executive Order 13891, “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents,” where agencies are to develop a central web portal for the public to review active guidance documents and the ability to request for modification or withdrawal of the guidance documents. 

Information available about each guidance document listed on the Portal includes:

  • A concise name for the guidance document;

  • The date on which the guidance document was issued;

  • The date on which the guidance document was posted to the web portal

  • An agency unique identifier;

  • A hyperlink to the guidance document;

  • The general topic addressed by the guidance document; and

  • A summary of the guidance documents’ content.

EPA states that the “guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or incorporated into a contract” and EPA “may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on this web area, except to establish historical facts.”

The portal is broken down by office, including regional offices:

  • Office of Air and Radiation (OAR)

  • Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)

  • Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

  • Office of General Counsel (OGC)

  • Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA)

  • Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM)

  • Office of Mission Support (OMS)

  • Office of Research and Development (ORD)

  • Office of Water (OW)

  • All EPA Regional offices

Currently, there are a total of 1,735 guidance documents listed under OCSPP.  Within the 1,735 documents, 117 appear to be specific to FIFRA. Examples of guidance documents included in the portal are:

  • Inert Ingredients Overview and Guidance;

  • Exporting Unregistered Pesticides: Foreign Purchaser Acknowledgement Statements;

  • EPA's Regulation of Biotechnology for Use in Pest Management;

  • CPARD USER GUIDE: For State Lead Agency (SLA) and Tribal Representatives with Certification Plans (CPs);

  • Frequent Questions for the 2018 Series 810 – Product Performance Test Guidelines: Antimicrobial Efficacy Test Guidelines;

  • Pesticide Registration Manual;

  • Guidance on FIFRA 24(c) Registrations;

  • Design for the Environment Logo for Antimicrobial Pesticide Products;

  • Draft Guidance for Plant Regulator Label Claims, Including Plant Biostimulants;

  • Structured Product Labeling (SPL) Draft Implementation Guide with Validation Procedures and User Guide;

  • Reregistration and Other Review Programs Predating Pesticide Registration Review;

  • FIFRA Pesticides Export Policy: Questions & Answers Issue: Research and Development Pesticides; Active Ingredient Concentrations;

  • State FIFRA Issues, Research, and Evaluation Group Final Guidance for State Lead Agencies for the Development and Implementation of Managed Pollinator Protection Plans; and

  • E-FAST, Down the Drain Assessment Model.

Under OECA, there are six documents specific to FIFRA.  The guidance documents included in this portal are:

  • Compliance Advisory: High Number of Complaints Related to Alleged Misuse of Dicamba Raises Concerns;

  • Good Laboratory Practices - Questions and Answers;

  • EPA and Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO) Advisory Notice on Pesticide-related E-Commerce;

  • Fact Sheet on Pesticides Sales in E-Commerce;

  • Documents with Questions and Answers on FIFRA Pesticides Export Policy; and

  • FIFRA Pesticide Export Policy: Interpretive Guidance: Multilingual Labeling.

Of note, the portal sets forth an option for petitioning EPA to modify or withdraw a guidance document from the Portal by completing an online form.  The required information to submit using the online form is name, email address, unique identifier of the guidance document, the office and/or region, and comments related to the withdrawal or modification of the guidance document.

©2020 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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About this Author

Lisa Campbell, Bergeson PC, Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act attorney, TSCA lawyer, environmental statutes legal counsel, regulation compliance law
Partner

Lisa Campbell founded Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) with Lynn Bergeson. Today her practice focuses on many aspects of pesticide and chemical regulation. She counsels clients on a wide range of issues pertaining to exposure and risk assessment, risk communication, and related legal and regulatory aspects of pesticide programs under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). She also counsels B&C clients on various chemical-specific programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as well as chemicals regulation and...

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Lisa R. Burchi, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, FIFRA Lawyer, Bergeson and Campbell, Law firm
Of Counsel

Lisa Burchi's work involves Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) regulatory matters. She has particular expertise in data compensation matters under FIFRA, the European Union's (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), Biocide Product Regulation (BPR), and Plant Protection Product (PPP) Regulation, and also counsels on matters related to California law, including Proposition 65 and the recent Green Chemistry Initiative/Safer Consumer Products Regulations. She delivers more than 18 years of experience in highly specialized fields. Though she works for Washington, DC-based Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), she lives in and is licensed in the State of California.

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Barbara Christianson, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., Paralegal
Paralegal

Barbara Christianson has worked at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) for over a decade, honing her experience in the industries that Bergeson & Campbell serves. As a paralegal, Ms. Christianson supports Bergeson & Campbell's professional staff with a broad range of detail-oriented, oftentimes deadline-driven activities.

Ms. Christianson plays a key role in coordinating and providing detailed quality control review of documents and submissions and has significant experience using industry-specific software programs. She...

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