The U.S. EPA plans to allocate 562.3 tons the phase-out fumigant, methyl bromide, for critical use exemption (CUE) in 2013. This nomination allocation covers exemptions for 12 crops or uses, including strawberries, nursery stock, orchard replants, and post-harvest uses. The proposed amount of new production and import would be 500 tons and the amount from the pre-phaseout inventory would be around 62 tons.

The allocation for 2013 is nearly only half of the 1,023 tons of that for 2012 and is equivalent to 2.2% of the U.S. 1991 methyl bromide consumption baseline of 25,528.3 tons. This 2013 request represents a continued reduction from earlier years, due to the introduction of alternatives into the marketplace and other factors. EPA will accept comments on this proposed rule until January 28th 2013.

Methyl bromide, an odorless, colorless gas, is used to control a variety of pests in a range of agricultural industries. For example, it is used by growers of minor crops, such as tomatoes and strawberries, to fumigate the soil prior to planting. On December 23, 2004, EPA published a rule establishing the framework for allocating critical use exemptions. Each year, EPA solicits applications for CUEs from methyl bromide users. The U.S. Government, after reviewing the applications, seeks authorization for those uses from the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. Once the Parties authorize critical uses and an amount of methyl bromide for those critical uses, EPA publishes a rule allowing for the production of critical use methyl bromide.