Friday, February 27, 2015

APHIS Adds New Methyl Bromide Treatment Schedule

Today the Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice of availability in today’s Federal Register (80 FR 10661-10662) concerning a new treatment schedule for the use of methyl bromide as a fumigant on imported figs for external pests.

This new treatment regime adds another to the critical uses of methyl bromide that will be another block to its elimination from use under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and the Clean Air Act (CAA). It was the promise by the EPA of the elimination of the use of this toxic inhalation hazard chemical that lead the Department of Homeland Security to remove methyl bromide from their draft list of DHS chemicals of interest (COI) under the CFATS program.

While the use of methyl bromide has certainly diminished greatly since the 2007 COI draft it has not been eliminated. It is still manufactured, transported and used in the United States. And, as this notice indicates, its efficacy as a fumigant almost certainly insures that it will not be eliminated from commerce in the foreseeable future.

DHS needs to reconsider its delisting of methyl bromide as a release toxic chemical on its CFATS COI list.

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