Pesticide News Story: EPA Seeks 2013 Critical Use Nominations through Federal Register Notice
For Release: July 30, 2010
On Thursday, July 15, EPA published a Federal Register Notice seeking applications for methyl bromide critical use exemptions for calendar year 2013. The Notice also announces that in an upcoming proposed rulemaking the Agency will invite comment on a possible end date for critical use exemptions in order to complete the U.S. phase-out of methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
EPA’s critical use exemption program has provided U.S. growers an additional six years beyond the 2005 phaseout of methyl bromide to implement ozone-safe alternatives. Growers have made good use of this time in shifting to alternatives, as well as to practices that reduce their use of fumigants, as shown by the dramatic reduction in U.S. consumption of methyl bromide: since 2005, U.S. critical use nominations have decreased by 88 percent.
Recognizing this progress, and the international context (by 2013, the other two developed countries with significant critical use amounts are expected to complete their transitions; in 2015, developing countries too must phase out methyl bromide), the notice indicates that the Agency is considering a year in which EPA will no longer seek applications for critical uses. In an effort to identify a possible end date, EPA will invite comment in our proposed rulemaking allocating 2011 critical uses – to be published soon.
After EPA has reviewed the 2013 applications, the U.S. Government (including EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and State Department) will submit a critical use nomination to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. Application forms and instructions are available at www.epa.gov/ozone/mbr; applications are due to EPA by September 15, 2010.