Thursday, April 1, 2010

Methyl Bromide Continues

Back in late November of 2009 I posted a blog entry about the EPA’s proposed rule for providing another one-year exemption on the planned phase out of methyl bromide. There were a large number of responses to that proposed rule posted to the web site (Docket #EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0351), and I have not had the inclination to review them. I’m not so much concerned about the environmental impact of the continued use of methyl bromide (though that is of concern, just not really appropriate to this blog), as I am about the fact that DHS pulled methyl bromide from their list of release toxic COI based on the fact that it wouldn’t be around long enough to require facilities producing/storing the material to protect it against terrorist attack. Well, the proposed rule has made its way to the OMB. Yesterday, according to the web site, the EPA submitted the proposed rule for their consideration. This is significantly later than EPA had planned to get the Final Rule published (in December according to the Fall Regulatory Agenda), but these things do take time. It will be interesting to see how long the OMB sits on this rule and how that will affect methyl bromide use in this spring’s planting season (that probably already started in California). In any case, this continued saga again calls into question DHS’ decision back in 2007 to remove this toxic inhalation hazard chemical from their list of chemical of interest.

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