Fact Sheet - Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: The 2013 Critical Use Exemption from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide
EPA is proposing the uses that will qualify for the 2013 critical use exemption from the phaseout of methyl bromide. In addition, EPA is proposing the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced, imported, or come from inventory for those uses in 2013. The proposed amount of new production and import would be 500 metric tons and the amount from the pre-phaseout inventory would be 62 metric tons. In total, this rule proposes to allocate 2% of the methyl bromide baseline, which was the amount used in the U.S. in 1991.
Critical use exemptions may be available for those uses of methyl bromide that the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer agree have no technically or economically feasible alternatives. The framework for critical use exemptions was created on December 23, 2004 (69 FR 76982).
For information on how to comment on this proposed rule, please see the HOW TO COMMENT section below. EPA will accept comments on this proposed rule for 45 days.
Methyl bromide, an odorless, colorless gas, is used to control a variety of pests in a range of agricultural industries. For example, it is used by growers of minor crops, such as tomatoes and strawberries, to fumigate the soil prior to planting.
EPA promulgates rules on an annual basis to provide notice and comment on the amount of methyl bromide to be made available for specifically identified critical uses during each calendar year. This proposed rule is consistent with Decision XXIII/4, which was taken at the 23rd Meeting of the Parties in November 2011. In that decision, the Parties authorized critical uses in the U.S. for 2013.
Today’s action affects regulations that govern the production, import, and export of methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting substance, under the authority of Title VI of the Clean Air Act and in accordance with U.S. obligations under the Montreal Protocol. Specifically, today’s proposal would amend EPA regulations under the authority of the Clean Air Act to create critical use exemptions, in accordance with Article 2H paragraph 5 of the Montreal Protocol, “to permit the level of production or consumption that is necessary to satisfy uses agreed to them [the Parties to the Montreal Protocol] to be critical uses.”
EPA will accept comments on this proposed rule for 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.
All comments should be identified by Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0280. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:
1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
2. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Fax: (202) 566-9744
4. Phone: (202) 566-1742
5. U.S. Mail:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Docket Center Air and Radiation Docket, Mail Code 28221T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
6. Hand Delivery or Courier:
EPA Docket Center - Public Reading Room
EPA West Building, Room 3334
1301 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Additional information on methyl bromide can be found at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/mbr
For further information about this action, contact Jeremy Arling of EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs at (202) 343-9055.