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Log Fumigation Rules Hearing to Be Online

Planned public hearings for proposed changes to state log fumigation rules that were canceled in March will be replaced with an online hearing set for May.

Methyl Bromide

The hearing on the proposed rule changes is to begin at 6 p.m. May 4. Participants can join the meeting starting at 5:45 p.m.

The state Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality said the online hearing to receive comment on the proposed rules to regulate emissions of the insecticide, a federally listed hazardous air pollutant, at log fumigation operations will allow the public to listen in. Anyone who wishes to comment during the hearing is asked to register by noon May 4.  The public comment period was also extended to 5 p.m. May 8.

The public hearings initially scheduled for March 17-18 were canceled based on guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The hearings are on the adoption of the Control of Emissions from Log Fumigation Operations rule and the amendment of the Toxic Air Pollutant Guidelines rule, and to receive comment on the accompanying revised fiscal note for the proposed adoption and amendment.

The division said that the general public adjacent to log fumigation operations may experience both acute methyl bromide exposures, or exposures of  24 hours or less, as well as longer-term chronic exposures.

The respiratory tract and the nervous system are the most affected by methyl bromide inhalation, and adverse effects may not be evident until several hours after exposure, according to division documents. Chronic exposures to low concentrations in humans are associated with headache, nausea, weakness and neurological effects including muscle ache, fatigue and dizziness. Effects from acute exposure to higher concentrations include olfactory and respiratory tissue irritation and damage, lung edema, muscle tremors, seizures, neurotoxicity, kidney and liver damage and death.

State regulators proposed an additional risk management option for controlling methyl bromide emissions beyond the fence line of log fumigation operations that is based on risk data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the federal Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Listen or comment

  • Join the online hearing via WebEx using 614 804 792 as the meeting number or access code. The meeting password is NCDAQ
  • To submit comments, email, including “Revised Log Fumigation Rule” in the subject line, or send by mail to Rule Development Branch Supervisor, N.C. Division of Air Quality, 1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641.
  • Comments may also be sent by fax to 919-715-0717, addressed to “Rule Development Branch Supervisor.”
  • Finally, comments may be left by voicemail at 919-707-8430. State your name and any affiliation before commenting.

Learn more

  • Information on the public hearing, including the proposed rule, amendment, and fiscal note are available online.
About the Author

Staff Report

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