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EPA Authorizes Critical Uses of Methyl Bromide for 2007

Release Date: 12/12/2006
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 / millett.john@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 12, 2006) In accordance with the Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol, EPA has issued final methyl bromide production and import critical use exemptions for 2007. EPA also authorized uses that qualify for the 2007 critical use exemption. The exemptions for continued production and import of methyl bromide will honor the U.S. commitment to obtain methyl bromide for American farmers, in a manner consistent with the Montreal Protocol, while protecting the ozone layer.

This action is authorizing 6,230,655 kilograms (6,230.7 metric tonnes, or 24.4 percent of baseline) of methyl bromide for approved critical uses during 2007, such as strawberry and tomato production, as well as commodity fumigation. The United States originally requested an amount equivalent to 29 percent of historic 1991 baseline consumption. A total of 26.4 percent of baseline, or 6,749,060 kilograms (6,749 metric tonnes), was authorized at the 17th Meeting of the Parties in Dakar, Senegal, in December 2005. The authorized amount was adjusted was to account for the increased use of alternatives among methyl bromide users.

Critical use exemptions are permitted under the Montreal Protocol
for circumstances where there are no technically and economically feasible alternatives to methyl bromide. Further, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 direct the EPA to issue regulations to implement the provisions of the Montreal Protocol within the United States.

Allowance decisions for 2008 were made at 18th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in New Delhi, India during Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2006. For 2008, the U.S. request was revised to 23 percent of baseline, and a total of 21 percent was authorized. EPA is beginning the notice-and-comment rulemaking process for the 2008 calendar year.

More information on the final rule: epa.gov/ozone/mbr