The OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced yesterday that it had approved the EPA’s final rule for the critical use exceptions (CUE) for the continued use of methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol. Publication of the rule could be seen by the end of the week.
There are a couple of interesting comments in the docket for this rule (here, here and here; PDF download links). What is missing from the docket this year is a copy of the EPA’s letter to users and manufacturers of methyl bromide notifying them that the EPA would take no enforcement action against users and manufacturers for the use of methyl bromide for CUE this year while the EPA got this delayed rule through the publication process.
Once again it is clear that DHS erred in 2007 when it removed methyl bromide from the final version of Appendix a to 6 CFR 27 based upon the EPA’s assurance that methyl bromide was being phased out of use/production. While the use of methyl bromide has certainly decreased it shows no sign of disappearing from the US market place.
Perhaps if manufacturers and distributors were subject to CFATS program security costs, there might have been more of an incentive to phase out this toxic inhalation hazard product.