USDA takes closer look at methyl bromide for treating wood packaging
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said it’s preparing a supplemental environmental impact study on the use of methyl bromide fumigation to treat U.S.-bound wood packing materials against pests.
The USDA said the study would accompany previous work published in August 2003. The purpose of the new study is to “reevaluate and refine the estimates of methyl bromide usage.”
The USDA has recently obtained information about how various countries are complying with the agency’s wood packaging rules and the International Plant Protection Convention Guidelines, which these rules are based.
“These data include reports from different countries on whether cargo is routinely fumigated along with wood packaging material, which would result in more methyl bromide usage, or whether WPM is fumigated separately from cargo, which would result in less methyl bromide usage,” the USDA said.
The USDA also has information about which countries have chosen to use heat treatment instead of methyl bromide fumigation to treat their wood packaging for cargo.
When the USDA completes its draft report, a Federal Register notice will be published inviting industry comment.