Reassessment of methyl bromide

The submission period has closed on a modified reassessment of the fumigant methyl bromide.

Application updates

Application update: 28 November 2019

The Decision-making Committee (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). 

Read Direction and Minute WGT002 28 Nov 2019 (pdf 1.3MB)

Read the 3rd Memorandum of Counsel for the Applicant 25 Nov 2019 (pdf 108KB)

Read WorkSafe's response to EPA Direction 18 Nov 2019 (pdf 134KB)

Application update: 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:

Read the Direction and Minute WGT001 18 Nov 2019 (pdf 1.4MB)

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.

Hearing Procedures

Notice of Hearing (pdf 596KB) - hearing dates are no longer current.

Submissions

We received 72 submissions as part of the public notification step. These submissions can be found in our application database for this reassessment.

Read the submissions received

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.

Reassessment timeline

We have produced a timeline showing the progress of this methyl bromide reassessment application to date.

Look at the methyl bromide reassessment timeline

Read the application documents and submissions

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 ian@ingearglobal.com

  • the EPA with any questions about the application or the submission process. Include 'methyl bromide reassessment' in the subject line.

Email us at: reassessments@epa.govt.nz