EPA to consider methyl bromide alternative

Draslovka, a Czech-based firm, has applied for approval to import ethanedinitrile (EDN) into New Zealand as an alternative to the fumigant methyl bromide which is used for export logs and timber at New Zealand ports.

The application

Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction (STIMBR), an organisation focused on reducing the release of methyl bromide into the atmosphere, has identified EDN as a possible substitute following an international review of alternative treatments.

According to 2015 data, New Zealand is the world’s fifth-highest user of methyl bromide. In 2010 we announced that by 2020 methyl bromide fumigations for logs must use recapture technology to reduce the amount discharged into the atmosphere.

The submission period for this application closed on Thursday 19 April 2018.

Directions from the Decision-making Committee (February update)

The Decision-making Committee (DMC) have identified data and information gaps related to worker exposure when EDN is used as a fumigant. In the latest Direction and Minute, the DMC ask WorkSafe and the applicant to address the issue of worker exposure. This information will then be made publicly available and submitters will be invited to comment.

The direction and associated documents can be found with the application documents:

EDN application documents

The DMC also presents two options for how this application could proceed:

  1. to proceed to consideration once the responses have been received, or
  2. extend the hearing adjournment until such a time that the applicant and WorkSafe provide the information required to address these matters (if they have indicated they will do so).

Responses from WorkSafe and the Applicant are required by 22 February 2019.

Further comments from submitters on this information must be received no later than 8 March 2019.

Public hearings

There were two public hearings held for this application:

Wellington Hearing

Tuesday 21 August 2018 - 9.00 am – 4.35 pm approx.

Clifton’s Conference Centre, Level 28, Majestic Centre, 100 Willis Street, Wellington.

Rotorua Hearing

Tuesday 28 August 2018 - 10.30 am – 4.25 pm approx.

Wednesday 29 August 2018 - 9.30 am – 11.45 am approx.

Rydges Rotorua, 272 Fenton Street, Rotorua.

Application documents

You can read WorkSafe and our assessments of this application. 

EDN application documents

Please direct any enquiries to EDN@epa.govt.nz

Application documents

Read all the documents relating to the application.