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Monday, April 21, 2014

DEQ extends comment period for pesticide regs to April 26

The Division of Environmental Quality has granted a 30-day extension of the comment period for the proposed CNMI Pesticide Management Regulations, as published in the Jan. 28, 2013, publication of the Commonwealth Registrar. Written comments are now due on Friday, April 26, 2013.

“We want to receive inquires or comments about the proposed regulations because there are impacts to the regulated community,” said Reina Camacho, manager for the DEQ pesticide and storage tank program.

DEQ has made attempts to publicize its changes to the regulations, but no comments were received by the original deadline of March 28, 2013. The regulations apply to all persons that import, sell or distribute, use, handle, and or apply pesticides.

“The reason for the new regulation is to ensure the proper management of pesticide use, sale and that state (local) requirements also meet the federal standards and as well as practices that are applicable to the Islands,” said Camacho.

To provide comments, follow these simple steps:

-Steps 1 – Read the proposed regulations. The proposed pesticide regulations are available for viewing and or downloading at the agency website www.deq.gov.mp

-Step 2 – Write your Comments. Please include the specific part or section and subsection for which you are commenting and what amendments you would like to be considered.

-Step 3 – Submit your Comments. You will need to provide your first name and last name and contact information (phone, email or mailing address) so that DEQ can contact you for additional information or clarification. It is optional to include your occupation or profession; however, having this information, will be helpful in understanding your perspective.

--Mail. Written comments must be addressed to DEQ director Frank M. Rabauliman. DEQ’s mailing address is: P.O. Box 501304 Saipan, MP 96950. Comments received through mail must be postmarked by Friday, April 26, 2013.

--Email. Comments submitted via email must be sent to storagetankspesticides@deq.gov.mp and must be received before the close of business day, 4:30pm on Friday, April 26, 2013.

Other suggestions for making sure your comments have the greatest possible impact:

-Clearly indicate if you are for, or, against the proposed rule or some part of it and why. Regulatory decisions are based largely on law and science, and agency reviewers look for reasoning, logic, and good science in comments they evaluate. Please note that simply stating your agreement or disagreement is not sufficient for DEQ to make changes; DEQ wants to know why it is important to you.

-Include a copy of articles or other references that support your comments.

-Only relevant material should be submitted. If an article or reference is in a foreign language, it must be accompanied by an English translation verified to be accurate. Translations should be accompanied by a copy of the original publication.

No extension after the Friday, April 26, 2013 will be granted. The agency needs to finalize the regulations and begin implementation. DEQ is located at the Gualo Rai Center on Chalan Pale Arnold; office hours are 7:30am to 4:30pm. Tel: 664-8500 and Fax: 664-8540. (DEQ)

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