The Environmental Protection Agency published a notice in today’s Federal Register (77 FR 69840-69842) that it had received a request from Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC to cancel its registration of iodomethane as a fumigant. This follows an announcement earlier this year by Arysta that it was canceling the production and sale of Midas®, it iodomethane based fumigant product.
As I noted in an earlier blog, iodomethane (methyl iodine) had been touted as a replacement for methyl bromide as a soil fumigant since it does not have the same ozone destructive characteristics as methyl bromide. In fact, the EPA had awarded Arysta an ‘Ozone Layer Protection Award’ for its Midas fumigant based upon that products substitution for methyl bromide.
Today’s announcement by the EPA is more of a formality than anything since Arysta has stopped marketing this product, but it does act as a notice that the elimination of methyl bromide as a fumigant will be even further delayed since it is the only fumigant effective in a number of critical uses.
As long time readers will be painfully aware, I have long chided DHS for their removal (72 FR 65404) of methyl bromide from the DHS list of chemicals of interest (COI – Appendix A 6 CFR) for the CFATS program. Their naïve acceptance of the EPA assurance of the phase out of the commercial use of this material means that there are some numbers of facilities in the United States that produce, store or use this material that may not have adequate security to protect against the theft or diversion of this material for use as chemical weapon by terrorists.
Today’s announcement by the EPA just further argues that DHS should add methyl bromide back to the COI list in an expeditious manner.