Tuesday, November 28, 2006

OZONE LAYER: Methyl Bromide Finally Making the News

If your a regular BBS reader, you'll note that I posted a press release from the EPA on methyl bromide critical use exemptions under the Montreal Protocol two weeks ago.

At the 18th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in New Delhi, India, the United States was authorized 91 percent of its request for critical use allocations of methyl bromide for the year 2008. As inventories of ozone-damaging methyl bromide continue to decline, critical use exemptions supposedly help meet the needs of American farmers as they transition to ozone-safe alternatives.

In that prior post I also provided a link to the Transcript of the Public Hearing on the Proposed 2007 Methyl Bromide Critical Use Exemption Rule that includes testimony with allegations of EPA negligence by Mr. Peter Joyce - CEO of Value Recovery, Inc. The company has developed a technology for removal and destruction of methyl bromide. His testimony, given at EPA's headquarters, stated that the agency has been negligent in doing all it can to prevent emissions and indicated how this negligence plays into the hands of the major corporate players.

  • The NRDC blog republished an Associated Press article called United States to Use Thousands of Tons of Ozone-depleting Methyl Bromide This Year.
  • Truthout is posting a LA Times story entitled US Has Been Stockpiling Banned Pesticide.
  • The Great Lakes Radio Consortium has also produced a piece that you can listen to.

    All I can say is, it's about time guys. Where have you been? I'm disappointed that BushGreen Watch is dropping the ball on this story.

    My email conversation with CEO Joyce was enlightening.

    "My testimony was specifically meant to show how involved and yet simple the situation can be and really represents our frustration of trying to work within the industry (for three years!) and the lack of support from the EPA whose responsibility is supposedly to advance technology and to protect the environment. In this case, they have done neither and we have many other examples."

    "...As a process chemical engineer, I looked at this situation as one that required exposure of the root problem because the public was not at the table and thus the major stakeholder was left out. Thus the reason to take advantage of the opportunity to testify. As I said, we tried for 3 years to get traction on this issue and I felt that I had given industry and the regulators more than enough time to understand our approach. If you would like more information on methyl bromide you can see a mountain of research at www.mbao.org. This is where the bulk of the $15 million per year is going. It is unusual for an environmental company to publicly criticize the EPA but felt that the time and fairness meant it was time to act. If you would like to see all the commentary out there from companies who wish to save methyl bromide and are commenting on its re-registration then go to www.regulations.gov and type this in the keyword field - OPP-2005-0123 and ask for all documents both opened and closed. Many large companies like Bayer, Weherhauser etc are here. One will not pick up these documents after doing a Google search."

    I'm certain other bloggers are going to add their unique perspective in the next few days. Stay on top of this issue. It is yet another nail in the Bush Administration's coffin. This story is picking up speed, and I encourage other eco-bloggers out there to pick it up. This is a significant issue that is being ignored in the mainstream press. We need a serious conversation on this issue in the United States. Lou Dobbs, get off your ass and pay attention.

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