On December 22, 2021, the New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released information on its website to remind companies about the stepped introduction of additional regulations for methyl bromide used as a wood pesticide and other purposes, which started on January 1, 2022. Beginning January 1, 2022, the requirement for recapture of methyl bromide from containers and roofed log stacks will be gradually increased. Buffer zones will be expanded to prevent people from entering the surrounding area while the gas is in use. In addition, local councils and other stakeholders, including neighboring marae(*) and other community facilities, must be notified before fumigation is carried out. The use of methyl bromide in ship’s holds will be completely banned from January 1, 2023.
(*) Marae: A shared or sacred place that serves a religious and social purpose in Polynesian society.
The specific details of the additional regulations are as follows.
- The use of methyl bromide in ship’s holds will be completely banned from January 1, 2023. For a period of one year from January 1, 2022, it is stipulated that a buffer zone of 900 m should be secured.
- Recapture of methyl bromide
The recapture rate to be achieved for various usage conditions of methyl bromide, such as containers and waterproof sheets, was determined.
- Differences in buffer zone under respective conditions
|Containers||10 m or 25 m depending on the volume|
|Ship’s holds||900 m|
|Under sheets and waterproof sheets||50 m – 700 m depending on usage and recapture rate|
- Ventilation and air flow
Methyl bromide can only be discharged from one ship’s hold at a time, and operators must wait for at least two hours when discharging methyl bromide. This applies until fumigation in ship’s holds is prohibited. When discharging methyl bromide after fumigation, the air flow must be at least 2 m/s.
- Obligation to notify local communities
Local councils, neighboring marae, and other neighborhood community locations must be notified at least 24 hours before carrying out fumigation.
- Monitoring, recording, and reporting
Details of all fumigation work must be recorded. The required information is as follows:
- Details and parameters of fumigation work (date, time, location, quantity, etc.)
- Methyl bromide concentration
- Air flow
- Exposure measurements
- Technical specifications of the monitoring equipment used
- Annual reporting
Annual reporting is required to ensure that recapture targets are met, that all controls are adhered to, and that measures are taken to reduce emissions and use of methyl bromide. Annual reports for the previous calendar year must be submitted to EPA by June 30 of each year.
The EPA press release can be viewed at the following URL:
“Latest methyl bromide requirements incoming”