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EPA Authorizes Critical Uses of Methyl Bromide for 2008

Release Date: 12/20/2007
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (202) 564-4355 / perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

(12/20/07) In accordance with the Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol, EPA has issued final methyl bromide production and import critical use exemptions for 2008. EPA also authorized uses that qualify for the 2008 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 4,813,452 kilograms (4,813.5 metric tonnes) of methyl bromide for approved critical uses in 2008, with 3,083,769 kilograms supplied from new production or import. Approved critical uses include strawberry and tomato production, as well as commodity fumigation. In 2008, production or import of methyl bromide in the United States will be almost 88 percent less than 1991 levels. After an October 2006 meeting of the Montreal Protocol parties, which authorized the use of 5,355,946 kilograms, EPA adjusted the authorized amount to account for the increased use of alternatives among methyl bromide users, and unused methyl bromide from previous years, effectively reducing more than 500,000 kilograms of potential methyl bromide releases.

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 2009 were made at 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Montreal, Canada in September. The agency is beginning the notice-and-comment rulemaking process for the 2009 calendar year.

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