Reassessment of methyl bromide
The submission period has closed on a modified reassessment of the fumigant methyl bromide.
Application information and updates
10 February 2020
Expert conferencing regarding air dispersion modelling took place on 30 January 2020. The experts have produced a Joint Witness Statement regarding the content of the expert conferencing.
The Decision-making Committee (DMC) has directed an additional session of expert conferencing to address the discussion points which could not be concluded in the original session of expert conferencing. The DMC has issued a seventh Direction and Minute (WGT007).
The DMC has also directed that upon the conclusion of expert conferencing, the applicant should undertake air dispersion modelling using the model, parameters and inputs determined in expert conferencing. The DMC has directed the applicant provide a timeframe for the completion of modelling following completion of expert conferencing. The DMC has issued an eighth Direction and Minute (WGT008).
28 January 2020
The DMC has amended the agenda for expert conferencing to include validation of modelling data following a request from the applicant. The DMC has issued a sixth Direction and Minute (WGT006).
13 January 2020
The DMC has confirmed a new date for expert conferencing following information provided as directed by WGT004. The DMC has issued a fifth Direction and Minute (WGT005).
7 January 2020
The DMC has considered a proposed new date for expert conferencing to allow for all the nominated experts to attend. The DMC has issued a fourth Direction and Minute (WGT004).
20 December 2019
The DMC has met to (i) consider the persons nominated by organisations to attend expert conferencing to discuss the air dispersion modelling of methyl bromide, and (ii) the lead-in time required for any new controls. The DMC has issued a third Direction and Minute (WGT003).
28 November 2019
The DMC has met to consider Worksafe's response to the EPA Direction of 18 November 2019, and the 3rd Memorandum of Council for the applicant. The DMC has issued a second Direction and Minute (WGT002).
18 November 2019
We have received some new information which the DMC is considering. In light of this, the DMC has issued a Direction and Minute:
As part of this direction, the DMC has postponed the hearings which had been set down for December, to allow for further information to be obtained and reviewed.
New hearing dates will be provided here once they have been confirmed.
Notice of Hearing (pdf, 596KB) - hearing dates are no longer current.
We received 72 submissions as part of the public notification step. These submissions can be found in our application database for this reassessment.
We are evaluating the application to reassess methyl bromide and these submissions will be incorporated into that evaluation. We will produce a Staff Report summarising our evaluation and our recommendations to the Decision-Making Committee (DMC).
The reassessment application
Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Inc (STIMBR) applied for a reassessment of the approval for methyl bromide.
Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant in the quarantine and pre-shipment treatment of logs, produce, flowers and other goods. It is also used for the treatment of potato wart.
We are processing this application as a modified reassessment. This means that the reassessment will only consider specific aspects of the approval, such as the required controls. The approval to import or manufacture methyl bromide cannot be revoked in this type of reassessment.
STIMBR has asked us to consider:
- proposed new controls regarding the definition of recapture
- the time that such recapture would have to be used when fumigating ship holds with methyl bromide
- the buffer zones associated with all methyl bromide fumigations.
We can consider the first two of these requests. Buffer zones and many other workplace controls are now set in Part 14 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations, rather than in the HSNO approval for methyl bromide.
We have asked for further information from STIMBR and from a number of third parties. Responses from third parties are available for information but do not form part of the application from STIMBR.
Grounds for reassessment
In April 2018, we decided that grounds existed for a reassessment of methyl bromide, following an application by STIMBR.
Grounds to reassess were granted based on data that evidenced New Zealand’s use of the fumigant has increased from over 400 tonnes a year in 2010, to more than 600 tonnes in 2016. One of the criteria required to be met to meet grounds for reassessment under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, is a significant change in the quantity of a substance imported into or manufactured in New Zealand.
We have produced a timeline showing the progress of this methyl bromide reassessment application to date.
Questions about the reassessment
You can contact:
- STIMBR's representative, Ian Gear, if you have questions about the technical information in the application or the information provided to the EPA.
Email Ian at email@example.com
- the EPA with any questions about the application or the submission process. Include 'methyl bromide reassessment' in the subject line.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org