New state regulations on methyl bromide use in log fumigation take effect Tuesday.
The new state emissions rule and amendment to North Carolina’s state air toxics rule resulted from a multi-year process involving the Environmental Management Commission, Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board, community groups and stakeholders across the state, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Department of Air Quality announced Monday.
“This is the first time in over 28 years that we have added a toxic air pollutant to our state air toxics rules,” said DAQ Director Mike Abraczinskas. “This is a significant and unique event that continues our mission to improve air quality.”
The odorless, colorless gas can cause neurological and respiratory effects. It’s also an ozone-depleting compound, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which phased out most uses between 1999 and 2005. Methyl bromide is still allowed for fumigating logs.
DAQ began the rulemaking process in July 2018 after an increase in industry interest in using methyl bromide highlighted the need for specific state regulations.
The amendment to the state air toxics rule establishes a 0.005mg/m3 annual acceptable ambient level 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 the new rule by Dec. 30. These facilities are required to submit a permit modification application with changes to include, but not limited to, appropriate control measures, monitoring protocols, and recordkeeping.