Web Date: May 17, 2007
Methyl Bromide Inventory Shrinks
The U.S. is continuing its required phaseout of the ozone-depleting fumigant methyl bromide, with the total inventory of the compound falling from 16,422 metric tons in 2003 to 7,671 metric tons last year, according to figures released by EPA on May 14.
The data indicate "a steady decline in the aggregate methyl bromide inventory held by approximately 35 companies in the U.S. at the end of 2006," the agency says. Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, developed countries were required to phase out production and import of methyl bromide by 2005, except for some limited "critical uses" in agriculture and for quarantine purposes where no feasible alternatives exist.
The U.S. stock is now more than two-thirds smaller than the 25,500 metric tons inventoried in 1991, the phaseout???s baseline year. "The phaseout of new production and import and the orderly reduction in the existing inventory are facilitating a transition to alternatives in a manner consistent with previous successful phaseouts of ozone-depleting substances, such as CFCs and halons," EPA says.
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