Sunday, July 10, 2011

EPA Submits 2012 Methyl Bromide NPRM to OMB

On Friday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) published a notice on their web site that the Environmental Protection Agency had submitted a notice of proposed rule making setting out the “2012 Critical Use Exemption from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide”. As I have noted in many previous posts, the use of methyl bromide is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol as it is considered to be an ozone destroying chemical. This rule will set forth the authorized uses of this fumigant for 2012, including specifying how much may be produced or imported for those uses.

This rule, when it is approved by OMB, will be very similar to the 2011 regulation that I discussed back in March. The main difference is that there will almost certainly be a slight reduction from the 1500 MT production authorized in the previous rule. The big reductions won’t start taking effect until 2014 when more of the current authorized uses are phased out.

The EPA seems to be getting this rule finished earlier this cycle. Publication of the 2011 rule took place in March forcing the EPA to unofficially notify producers and users of the numbers that could be used in the 2011 planting season. Given any kind of reasonable attention to this rule in OMB and then again in the EPA process should allow to them to meet the December 2011 target date set forth in the Unified Agenda for this rule.

I’ll forgo my typical rant about the need for methyl bromide to be included in the DHS list of chemicals of interest (COI) used by the CFATS regulations. Anyone that hasn’t seen it too often can go back and read the section “Methyl Bromide COI Status” section of my blog post on the previous annual exemption rule.

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