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DAQ Seeks Log Fumigation Rule Comments

RALEIGH – The public comment period has been extended from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30 on the proposed air quality rule changes to regulate emissions of methyl bromide at log fumigation operations, the state Division of Air Quality announced Friday.

The purpose of the comment period is to collect feedback on the adoption of the Control of Emissions from Log Fumigation Operations rule, the amendment of the Toxic Air Pollutant Guidelines rule and on the accompanying fiscal note for the proposed adoption and amendment.

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) employee inspects fumigated logs near the Port of New Orleans in 2013. Photo: USDA, Anson Eaglin.

The proposal to regulate methyl bromide by establishing an acceptable ambient level is because the lack of specific federal or state regulatory measures for the use of this hazardous air pollutant creates a potential public health risk, according to DAQ.

“Neurological and respiratory effects are of greatest concern from exposure to methyl bromide, which is an odorless, colorless gas. The recent increase in businesses interested in using methyl bromide for log fumigation in North Carolina prompted DAQ to take this action,” according to the division’s announcement.

The proposed rule will establish emission control requirements for hazardous air pollutants and toxic air pollutants from log fumigation operations.

Comments may be submitted by email to daq.publiccomments@ncdenr.gov with the subject line “Log Fumigation.” Written comments can also be mailed to: Patrick Knowlson, Division of Air Quality, 1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.