RELEASE:New state rules regulating methyl bromide use in log fumigation take effect

Raleigh

As of November 1, 2020, the use of methyl bromide for log fumigation is regulated by a new state emissions rule and an amendment to North Carolina’s state air toxics rule. This action is the result of a multi-year rulemaking process involving the Environmental Management Commission, Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board, community groups and stakeholders across North Carolina. 

"This is the first time in over 28 years that we have added a toxic air pollutant to our state air toxics rules," said Mike Abraczinskas, Director of the Division of Air Quality. "This is a significant and unique event that continues our mission to improve air quality."

In July of 2018, DAQ initiated rulemaking as an increase in businesses interested in using methyl bromide for log fumigation highlighted the need for specific state regulations. Since methyl bromide is an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause neurological and respiratory effects, the lack of specific federal or state air quality regulatory measures for the use of this hazardous air pollutant created a potential public health risk.

The amendment to the state air toxics rule establishes a 0.005mg/m3 annual acceptable ambient level(AAL) and a 1.0 mg/m3 24-hour acceptable ambient level.  The new rule 15A NCAC 02D .0546 establishes emission control requirements for log fumigation operations.

DAQ sent letters to the log fumigation facilities to inform them of their requirement to comply with 15A NCAC 2D .0546 by December 30, 2020. Those facilities are required to submit a permit modification application with changes to include, but not limited to, appropriate control measures, monitoring protocols, and recordkeeping.

For additional information, read more here.

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