POSTPONED: Additional Comment Period and Public Hearings Announced for Proposed Log Fumigation Rule

Raleigh, North Carolina

*UPDATE 3/13/2020: The public hearings scheduled for revised log fumigation rules on Tuesday, March 17 in Raleigh and on Wednesday, March 18 in Wilmington, have been postponed based on the current guidance to avoid gatherings of over 100 people to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Read more here

RALEIGH - The public is invited to comment on the proposed air quality rule changes to regulate emissions of methyl bromide at log fumigation operations. The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will also host public hearings on the proposed rules in Raleigh, on March 17, and Wilmington, on March 18.

WHAT:   Public Hearing on Proposed Log Fumigation Rule and Methyl Bromide AAL
WHEN:   March 17, 2020 6:00 pm
WHERE: Department of Environmental Quality, Green Square Training Room 1210
                217 West Jones St, Raleigh NC  27603

WHEN:   March 18, 2020, 6:00 pm
WHERE: Cape Fear Cape Fear Community College, Union Station
                502 N Front St., Wilmington, NC 28401

In 2019, DAQ began the process of regulating methyl bromide as a toxic air pollutant due to the increase in businesses interested in using methyl bromide for log fumigation in North Carolina. This resulted in an initial public comment period and two public hearings to receive public input on an Acceptable Ambient Level (AAL) in North Carolina. On January 9, 2020, the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) approved receiving additional public comments on proposed AAL values and averaging times.

A proposed amendment adds methyl bromide to the toxic air pollutant list with an acute AAL of 0.078 mg/m3 with a 24-hour averaging time, paired with a chronic AAL of 0.005 mg/m3 with an annual averaging time. The 0.005 mg/m3 value is based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) chronic reference concentration (RfC). The 0.078 mg/m3 value is based on the minimal risk level (intermediate) from the April 2018 Draft for Public Comment Toxicological Profile for Bromomethane prepared by the federal Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

In addition, the EMC also requests public comment on an acute AAL value for methyl bromide within a range of 0.078 mg/m3 to 1.29 mg/m3 with a 24-hour averaging time. These AAL values would be paired with a chronic AAL of 0.005 mg/m3 with an annual averaging time. The acute toxicity value of 1.29 mg/m3 is included in the Draft Human Risk Assessment for Registration Review for methyl bromide, a Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide, Fungicide (FIFRA) pesticide re-registration review document prepared by the U.S. EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The public comment period will be open until April 3, 2020.  Comments may be submitted by email to  daq.publiccomments@ncdenr.gov with the subject line “Revised Log Fumigation.”  Written comments can also be mailed to:

Patrick Knowlson
Division of Air Quality
1641 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1641

The proposed rule, amendment, and fiscal note are available online at https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/air-quality-rules/rules-hearing-process.

 

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