Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another New Authorized Use of Methyl Bromide Fumigant

Yesterday the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register (78 FR 68021-68022) announcing that a treatment schedule for methyl bromide fumigation of blueberries for Mediterranean fruit fly and South American fruit fly to the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual. This completes their action on this treatment proposal initiated in June.

The wording of the notice would seem to indicate that the EPA will now have to consider this a new critical use of methyl bromide that would be an exempted use under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This would potentially extend the period under which organizations could produce or import methyl bromide in the United States under the phase out of methyl bromide.

Once again (I know, I do harp on this subject) this calls into question the DHS decision to remove methyl bromide (a toxic inhalation hazard chemical) from the CFATS list of DHS chemicals of interest (COI; Note: It was on the draft list but was not included on the final list). As usual, I urge DHS to reconsider their failure to include methyl bromide in Appendix A, 6 CFR 20.

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