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Fact Sheet - The 2008 Critical Use
Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide
- On December 28, 2007, EPA created an exemption to
the phaseout of methyl bromide production and import
for 2007 critical uses. Specifically, EPA established
the uses that will qualify for the 2008 critical use
exemption, and the amount of methyl bromide that may
be produced, imported, or made available from
pre-phaseout inventory for those uses in 2008.
- EPA is granting "critical use allowances" to producers and importers
of MeBr that would allow them to produce and import up to 3,083,763
kilograms (12.1% of the 1991 baseline) for critical uses in 2008. In
addition, EPA is distributing an additional 1,729,689 kg (6.8% of
baseline) worth of "critical stock allowances" to producers, importers,
and distributers that would allow the holder to sell MeBr to critical
uses from stocks that were manufactured/imported before January 1, 2005.
- 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).
- Methyl bromide, an odorless, colorless gas, is
used to control a variety of pests in many different
situations. It is heavily used by growers of minor
crops, such as tomatoes and strawberries, to fumigate
the soil prior to planting.
- EPA promulgates separate 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.
These rules follow annual Decisions by the Parties to
the Montreal Protocol. Parties approved critical uses
for the 2008 calendar year in Decision XVIII/13 at the
18th Meeting of the Parties in October, 2006.
- 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 CAA and in accordance with U.S. obligations under the Montreal
Protocol. This rule amends EPA regulations under the authority of the CAA 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."
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