MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2018
An application to determine whether grounds for a reassessment of methyl bromide’s flammable gas classification existed,
has been declined by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
This latest decision does not invalidate the grounds for reassessment established earlier this year as a consequence of
an application, made by the Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Inc (STIMBR), based on the volume of methyl bromide
being used and imported into New Zealand.
Although those grounds for reassessment have been established, the EPA has not yet received any application to reassess
By October 2020 users of methyl bromide in New Zealand will still need to meet the EPA’s requirement to use recapture
technology and safely recover or dispose of the gas used in their fumigation activity.
General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances Group Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter says the EPA appointed Decision-making
Committee has decided that none of four possible factors required to approve the grounds for reassessment were present,
and the application was declined.
“Grounds for reassessment need to be established before any reassessment application can be accepted under the Hazardous
Substances and New Organisms Act,” says Dr Thomson-Carter.
“In their application, Pest Management Association of New Zealand (PMANZ) presented information that methyl bromide is
“only flammable in extreme concentrations, extreme heat and a high voltage spark”, and as such should not be considered
to be a flammable gas.
“The EPA agrees with the supporting information but does not consider that it meets the “significant new information”
factor for grounds to change the flammability classification of methyl bromide,” says Dr Thomson-Carter.
Anyone can make an application for grounds; and once grounds are approved, anyone can apply for the subsequent