[House Hearing, 108 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
METHYL BROMIDE: UPDATE ON ACHIEVING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLEAN AIR
ACT AND THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND AIR QUALITY
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JULY 21, 2004
Serial No. 108-118
Printed for the use of the Committee on Energy and Commerce
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/
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COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
JOE BARTON, Texas, Chairman
W.J. ``BILLY'' TAUZIN, Louisiana JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan
RALPH M. HALL, Texas Ranking Member
MICHAEL BILIRAKIS, Florida HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
FRED UPTON, Michigan EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
CLIFF STEARNS, Florida RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York
JAMES C. GREENWOOD, Pennsylvania FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CHRISTOPHER COX, California SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
NATHAN DEAL, Georgia BART GORDON, Tennessee
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
ED WHITFIELD, Kentucky BOBBY L. RUSH, Illinois
CHARLIE NORWOOD, Georgia ANNA G. ESHOO, California
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming BART STUPAK, Michigan
JOHN SHIMKUS, Illinois ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico ALBERT R. WYNN, Maryland
JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona GENE GREEN, Texas
CHARLES W. ``CHIP'' PICKERING, KAREN McCARTHY, Missouri
Mississippi, Vice Chairman TED STRICKLAND, Ohio
VITO FOSSELLA, New York DIANA DeGETTE, Colorado
STEVE BUYER, Indiana LOIS CAPPS, California
GEORGE RADANOVICH, California MICHAEL F. DOYLE, Pennsylvania
CHARLES F. BASS, New Hampshire CHRISTOPHER JOHN, Louisiana
JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania TOM ALLEN, Maine
MARY BONO, California JIM DAVIS, Florida
GREG WALDEN, Oregon JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY, Illinois
LEE TERRY, Nebraska HILDA L. SOLIS, California
MIKE FERGUSON, New Jersey CHARLES A. GONZALEZ, Texas
MIKE ROGERS, Michigan
DARRELL E. ISSA, California
C.L. ``BUTCH'' OTTER, Idaho
JOHN SULLIVAN, Oklahoma
Bud Albright, Staff Director
James D. Barnette, General Counsel
Reid P.F. Stuntz, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel
Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality
RALPH M. HALL, Texas, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER COX, California RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina (Ranking Member)
ED WHITFIELD, Kentucky TOM ALLEN, Maine
CHARLIE NORWOOD, Georgia HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
JOHN SHIMKUS, Illinois EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
Vice Chairman FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona ALBERT R. WYNN, Maryland
CHARLES W. ``CHIP'' PICKERING, GENE GREEN, Texas
Mississippi KAREN McCARTHY, Missouri
VITO FOSSELLA, New York TED STRICKLAND, Ohio
GEORGE RADANOVICH, California LOIS CAPPS, California
MARY BONO, California MIKE DOYLE, Pennsylvania
GREG WALDEN, Oregon CHRIS JOHN, Louisiana
MIKE ROGERS, Michigan JIM DAVIS, Florida
DARRELL E. ISSA, California JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan,
C.L. ``BUTCH'' OTTER, Idaho (Ex Officio)
JOHN SULLIVAN, Oklahoma
JOE BARTON, Texas,
C O N T E N T S
Bair, James A., Vice President, North American Millers'
Bogenholm, Vanessa, Owner, VB Farms, Chair, Board California
Certified Organic Farmers.................................. 59
Brown, Reginald L., Executive Vice President, Florida Tomato
Doniger, David, Policy Director, Climate Center, Natural
Resources Defense Council.................................. 54
McMurray, Claudia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Environment, Bureau of Oceans and International
Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State;
accompanied by Hon. Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Assistant
Administrator for Air and Radiation, Environmental
Protection Agency; Rodney J. Brown, Deputy Under Secretary
for Research, Education and Economics, Department of
Agriculture; and Burleson Smith, Director, Pest Management
Policy, Department of Agriculture.......................... 12
Mellano, H. Michael, Senior Vice President, Mellano & Company 37
Mueller, David, President, Insects Limited, Incorporated..... 48
Wenger, Paul, Second Vice President, California Farm Bureau
Wolf, James, Vice President, Trane Corporation............... 62
Additional material submitted for the record:
Sprenkel, Reid, Global Business Leader-Fumigants, Dow
Letter dated August 2, 2004, to Hon. Ralph M. Hall....... 83
Letter dated August 27, 2004, to Hon. Ralph M. Hall...... 88
METHYL BROMIDE: UPDATE ON ACHIEVING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLEAN AIR
ACT AND THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2004
House of Representatives,
Committee on Energy and Commerce,
Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 11 a.m., in
room 2322, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Ralph M. Hall
Members present: Representatives Hall, Whitfield, Norwood,
Shimkus, Radanovich, Bono, Issa, Otter, Allen, Waxman, Capps,
Also present: Representative Foley.
Staff present: Mark Menezes, majority counsel; Bob Rainey,
fellow; Kurt Bilas, majority counsel; Margaret Caravelli,
majority counsel; Michael Goo, minority counsel; and Bruce
Harris, minority counsel.
Mr. Hall. The subcommittee will please come to order.
Without objection, the subcommittee will proceed pursuant to
Committee Rule 4(e), which governs opening statements by
members and the opportunity to defer them for extra questioning
Hearing no objection, prior to the recognition of the first
witness for testimony, any member, when recognized for an
opening statement, may defer his or her 3-minute opening
statement and instead have 3 additional minutes during the
initial round of witness questioning. It is not out of reason
that you would get those 3 minutes anyway, if you wanted them.
We appreciate you being here.
These meetings usually are limited to just a few members
because it is near the end of the last week for a month and a
half, and they have a lot of other committees to attend. So, I
recognize myself for an opening statement.
I want to welcome all of our witnesses here today, and
thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to
testify before this subcommittee. I would like to recognize and
welcome Congressman Foley--is he here? Congressman Foley will
be here, from Florida. He has requested the opportunity to sit
in on the hearing. With that, I will waive my opening and we
will get underway, and recognize Mr. Allen for his opening
Mr. Allen. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding
this hearing. I appreciate the chairman's efforts to bring a
balanced panel here today. Our witnesses represent agricultural
interests, the Federal Government, the environmental community,
and industry. I understand from the majority that all the
witnesses will remain here until they are dismissed by the
chairman. In the recent past, witnesses left the subcommittee
before responding to questions from members, and I trust that
all witnesses will respond to questions from all members that
wish to ask them.
Is there an international treaty the Bush Administration
likes? The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful
international environmental regimes ever created. The treaty,
negotiated by the Reagan Administration, phases out the use of
chemicals that damage the ozone layer. It has markedly slowed
the depletion of earth's stratospheric protective shield,
however, we are by no means out of the woods.
NASA, NOAA, and the Naval Research Laboratory report that
last year's ozone hole grew to 10.9 million square miles, an
area larger than all of North America and the second largest
The Montreal Protocol depends on its 187 ratifying
countries to comply with mandatory phaseouts of ozone-depleting
substances. With little enforcement mechanism, if any single
Party fails to comply with the regime, the regime may fail. The
treaty allows for exemptions to its chemical use bans in
situations where the chemicals are considered to be of critical
use. Clearly, it makes sense to allow some exemptions to an
all-out ban, but exemptions have the potential to be abused,
defeating the effectiveness of the entire regime. Methyl
bromide is a powerful ozone-depleting gas and we should be
working to minimize its use.
In February, the United States was one of 12 nations to
demand and receive a 1-year critical use exemption for methyl
bromide from the limits in the Montreal Protocol. According to
the U.N. environmental program, the exemptions for the 12
nations total 13,438 metric tons. The U.S. allowance of 8,942
metric tons is about twice that of all the 11 other countries
combined, but the administration wants a larger exemption. For
2006, the Bush Administration seeks to increase our waiver from
35 percent to 37 percent of the methyl bromide the Nation used
in 1981. Some accounts suggest that 37 percent exceeds our
current level of use, permitting this country to actually
Why does the United States need to increase its allowable
methyl bromide use above the 35 percent of the 1991 baseline
level that it agreed to in February? What possible economic
interest can be more important than getting rid of ozone-
depleting substances? We need the best information these
panelists can give us.
The threat of ozone depletion is known, it is real, and we
must uphold our commitment to address it. We need to meet the
deadline set within the Montreal Protocol, and encourage other
countries to do the same.
I thank all of the witnesses for being here. I look forward
to your testimony and, with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Mr. Radanovich [presiding]. Thank you, Mr. Allen. I want to
make a brief opening statement, then I will allow the others to
do it as well.
I want to thank in particular Chairman Hall for calling
this most important hearing. And I want to first welcome my
constituent, Paul Wenger, of Stanislaus County. Paul is a
walnut and almond farmer in my district, and I look forward to
his testimony. Welcome, Paul.
The hearing today is about the process taking place within
the Montreal Protocol with respect to the critical use
exemptions, or CUEs, from methyl bromide. Many of us were here
last year when we discussed the uses of methyl bromide, and we
learned about what to expect during the critical use exemptions
process at the Montreal Protocol. Now that the process is
underway, I have some serious doubts with the direction that it
First, I fear the process has become extremely politicized,
and that Protocol is moving away from science-based decisions
given some statements to that effect in the February 2004 T-
Report. Additionally, I've heard some comments from folks from
the U.S., who have been at these Montreal Protocol meetings,
who say that International Delegation members have said point
blank that they are awaiting the election of a new U.S.
President in order to achieve their agenda within the Protocol.
I am also disturbed that the goalpost seems to be moving at
the Protocol. At the most recent meeting of the Protocol, a
consumption and production limit for methyl bromide was set.
This was disconcerting because the Protocol itself states CUEs
should be granted according to consumption and not production.
So, it doesn't make sense to me for the Protocol to address
this issue that is outside the terms of the treaty.
Furthermore, I want to encourage our negotiators to
continue to fight for a multiple-year CUE. Farmers in the U.S.
need more certainty and reliability until a reasonable
substitute can be found than the 1-year CUE that was granted
recently in Montreal.
Finally, as many of you know, I have sponsored H.R. 3403,
which is a bill to ensure the critical uses of methyl bromide,
as approved by the EPA, are available in the United States
after the 2005 phaseout of the chemical, regardless of what the
Protocol decides. I want to make it clear that I am open to
suggestions and comments regarding my legislation. It certainly
is not a perfect solution to our CUE concerns, but I still
believe it opens the discussion to address the difficulties for
the United States and what it faces at the Montreal Protocol.
Again, I want to thank Chairman Hall, and will recognize
Ms. Capps from California.
Ms. Capps. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I understand the
difficulty facing our growing and farming communities with the
phaseout of methyl bromide. It is important for the production
of many important farm products, including strawberries and cut
flowers, both important in my district in California. But as a
public health nurse, I do worry about methyl bromide's highly
toxic nature and the harmful effects its continued use poses to
our ozone layer.
Methyl bromide is designated a Class I acute toxin by the
EPA, and is known to be hazardous to the health of farm workers
who work in the fields where it is applied. In fact, last year,
in a troubling report, the National Cancer Institute linked
methyl bromide to increased rates of prostate cancer in product
handlers. In addition to those directly involved with this
application, the pesticide is often used in fields that are
near homes and schools, exposing school children and families
through air and water pollution, and causing eye and skin
irritations, dizziness, headaches, and other health-related
problems. This is an immediate concern for the health of my
constituents, many of whom live in close proximity to the
fields where methyl bromide is still in current use.
In addition to endangering human health, methyl bromide is
the most powerful ozone-depleting chemical still in use. Its
continued use will widen the hole in the ozone layer,
increasing ultraviolet radiation and potentially causing an
increase in skin cancer and other serious illnesses.
Fortunately, over the past decade, great progress has been
made under the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol to
phaseout production of methyl bromide. Production has been cut
70 percent in industrialized countries since 1999 under the
Treaty's timetable. Unfortunately, the administration's recent
proposal for critical use exemptions would reduce these gains
and cause methyl bromide production and use to start rising
The administration's most recent request totaling 39
percent greatly exceeds the limits now allowable under the
Treaty. Importantly, it is far beyond what is actually being
consumed by methyl bromide users in this country today.
According to EPA's own data, methyl bromide consumption in 2003
was just 25 percent of 1991 baseline levels, even though the
Treaty and the Clean Air Act permit up to 30 percent. In other
words, Mr. Chairman, methyl bromide users do not even consume
as much methyl bromide as this administration is seeking for
them, and that is why this request for increase is so
troubling. The Bush Administration is again undermining a
successful international environmental treaty. It also
continues to punish responsible users in this country who have
invested time and money into adopting safer alternatives, and
the administration's actions encourage growers and others to
continue to use this dangerous pesticide instead of prompting
them to find safer alternatives.
Mr. Chairman, since coming to Congress, I have worked to
find a balance between the needs of growers in my district and
public health concerns. I have assisted farm groups and key
stakeholders with their transition away from methyl bromide. In
California, these growers are employing crop management
techniques and using other fumigants. More specifically,
organic growers have proven that fruits and vegetables can be
grown without pesticides, and that consumers will rush to
purchase them. From the point of view of protecting
communities, farm workers and the atmosphere, the only
acceptable plan should be to continue the phaseout of methyl
bromide with all deliberate speed. Under no circumstances
should we adopt legislation that prevents us from achieving
such a goal.
Thank you again for holding this hearing, and I do look
forward to hearing our witnesses.
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you, Ms. Capps. The Chair recognizes
Mr. Otter from Idaho.
Mr. Otter. Mr. Chairman, I am going to submit my formal
statement for the record, and ask that it be included, and just
use my time to make a couple of observations, and one of them
would be that you can't have it both ways. We can't be
complaining 1 day about all the outsourcing that is going on in
the United States, all the food processors that happen to be
moving to Canada and Mexico and other places, and then turn
around in the same week but a day later and complain about some
of the tools that our farmers and our producers most
effectively use, and I suspect that even the outsourcing could
be handled for flowers and strawberries, and I suspect that
they would be eventually.
So, I would hope that we would try to be a little bit
consistent with a national view and a broader view of what it
needs to make this country go. And with that, Mr. Chairman, I
yield back my time.
[The prepared statement of Hon. C.L. ``Butch'' Otter
Prepared Statement of Hon. C.L. ``Butch'' Otter, a Representative in
Congress from the State of Idaho
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today. I am glad
the committee has taken this opportunity to get an update on the
international discussions regarding the use of methyl bromide. This is
a timely hearing on an issue that could have a significant impact on
agriculture production in the United States.
About this time last year the committee held a hearing on the
issues associated with methyl bromide. We talked about the importance
of methyl bromide to many agriculture producers and food processors.
The importance of this fumigant remains the same, so I won't restate my
earlier comments. However, I continue to have concerns that American
efforts to comply with the Montreal Protocol will remove a valuable
tool for our farmers.
I said this last year but I will repeat it again. The United States
enjoys a safe and relatively cheap food supply. If we want to maintain
that safe and cheap supply, we cannot institute policies that drive
American producers out of business.
I remain concerned with the trade and international agreements that
the United States has signed which allow foreign competitors to use
products that are disallowed in this country. There is a competitive
advantage for farmers in countries where methyl bromide is allowed. It
is unfair to ask our farmers to compete with producers in those
countries. My concerns with the implementation of existing agreements
make it very difficult for me to support future agreements that this
administration is asking the committee to consider.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the testimony from the witnesses. I
also would like to work with the Committee to find a solution to the
situation in which the Montreal Protocol has placed American farmers.
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you, Mr. Otter. Mr. Waxman.
Mr. Waxman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On April 5, 1988,
President Ronald Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol on
substances that deplete the ozone layer. On October 26, 1990,
the House of Representatives voted 401 to 25 to pass the Clean
Air Act and implement the Montreal Protocol. And then in 1990,
on November 15, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the
implementing legislation for the Montreal Protocol. It is a
remarkable story of bipartisan achievement and environmental
victory. The United States demonstrated that we were able to
work together and with the international community to answer an
environmental problem that threatened the entire planet, and
for 15 years this bipartisan approach has been working to
phaseout ozone-depleting chemicals and to protect and restore
the ozone layer, but now we are told that could change.
At this subcommittee's hearing on methyl bromide last year,
we first learned that the Montreal Protocol might be under
threat by the House Republican leadership. Chairman Barton
issued what amounted to an ultimatum to the international
community. He suggested that if these exemptions were not
issued, this subcommittee would move legislation to grant
exemptions presumably even if it takes the United States out of
compliance with the Montreal Protocol. This didn't appear to be
an idle threat.
On October 29, 2003, Representative Radanovich introduced
legislation which would authorize methyl bromide use regardless
of the Montreal Protocol. This Protocol has the flexibility
necessary to address appropriate needs for methyl bromide until
alternatives are identified. We have every reason to believe
that the exemption process works. After all, the United States
was a leader in developing and drafting every detail of the
Protocol. Moreover, it appears that the administration has been
using questionable numbers to advance its case for exemption,
and I hope this committee will get the facts straight.
Today, we are going to hear from David Doniger of the
Natural Resources Defense Council. Mr. Doniger will testify
that actual methyl bromide use is far below what industry and
the administration have insisted they need.
I want to put into the record, Mr. Chairman, if I might, a
letter from Senators Jeffords, Sarbanes, Lautenberg, and
Lieberman, on this important issue.
Mr. Radanovich. Without objection, so ordered.
[The information referred to follows:]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T5458.001
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T5458.002
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T5458.003
Mr. Waxman. I hope this hearing will demonstrate how unwise
this approach would be, and will lead members who support
violating the Montreal Protocol to rethink their position.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you, Mr. Waxman. Ms. Bono.
Ms. Bono. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will waive my opening
statement in the hope that I get more time for questioning.
Mr. Radanovich. Certainly. Thank you very much. Mr.
Mr. Whitfield. I will waive my opening statement.
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you. Anybody else wanting to do an
opening statement? Mr. Norwood.
Mr. Norwood. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I
appreciate your holding this important hearing today. I
obviously take great interest in today's subject for all the
farmers of the Ninth District of Georgia, and that is my
responsibility as well as what is in the best interest of this
country. I would put at the very end of my priority list the
prosperity of farmers in developing countries who are getting a
helping hand from the Montreal Protocol in phasing out their
use of methyl bromide to the detriment of all of our farmers.
I would like to remind everyone here that the use of methyl
bromide has already been reduced by approximately 60 to 70
percent from the 1991 base levels, but we have still not put a
finger on good economic alternatives for our farmers.
In reading through the testimony for today's hearing, I
noticed an excellent statement by Mr. Bair, where he said, ``If
agriculture improved processing use of methyl bromide are very
harmful to the environment, that it should be banned globally
on the same date.'' And I couldn't agree with Mr. Bair more, it
is simply not fair to put pressure on our farmers to cutoff
their use of methyl bromide earlier than their competitors in
the developing countries.
I am pleased to be a co-sponsor of H.R. 3403, sponsored by
my friend from California, Mr. Radanovich. This bill restores
some sovereignty to the U.S. and our farmers, by authorizing
the production of methyl bromide in the same amount requested
by the United States under the critical use exemption process
of the Montreal Protocol, even if the Parties to the Protocol
do not approve of the entire amount.
Today, I encourage my colleagues on the subcommittee to
listen very closely to how our farmers, American farmers and
growers are being treated by the Montreal Protocol. If they are
being treated as I suspect, it is time we get out of this
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back what time I have.
Mr. Hall. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from
California, Mr. Issa.
Mr. Issa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for holding
this hearing. I will put most of my formal opening statement in
the record, to save time, but I would like to note that on the
second panel, Dr. Michael Mellano will be testifying, and he
has been a key resource for those of us who need to learn more
about agriculture. It is the largest part of my district. Dr.
Mellano not only operates 625 acres in Southern California,
most of it in my district, but the type of area he is in, the
nursery business and the like, is California's fourth largest
industry, and it is the largest agricultural producer in my
district. And as we all agree that methyl bromide does need to
be phased out, I want to join with the other members of the
subcommittee in recognizing that it should have been, and
should be done, at a single time, and it should be done when
science permits alternatives, something that I think all of us
on this panel can agree with. And with that, I yield back, and
put the rest in the record.
Mr. Hall. Thank you. I recognize myself for as much time as
I may require, and I will not require too much.
The issue of methyl bromide is, of course, obviously very
important to many members of the committee and to many members
of the House. This is the second hearing we have had on this
issue in a year, which I think attests to the importance. And I
want to thank Ranking Member Boucher, and the entire staff over
there, for their good assistance and cooperation, which speaks,
I think, to the bipartisan nature of the issue that we are
We need to gain a fuller understanding of the current
status of methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol and the
Clean Air Act. We also need to understand the progress being
made to develop effective and economically competitive
alternatives to methyl bromide.
The use of methyl bromide is critically important to many
of our farmers and others involved in the Nation's agricultural
businesses. This is due to its superiority to existing
alternatives, and many applications and lack of alternatives
are a substitute for many of these applications.
As we on this committee are already keenly aware, the
Montreal Protocol requires the phaseout of methyl bromide by
2005, except for certain critical uses. It is on the critical
use exemptions under the Protocol that we will focus much of
our attention here today, however, we are just as keenly
interested in the progress being made to provide effective and
economically competitive alternatives to methyl bromide, and
want to hear what the witnesses have to say about them.
We asked representatives of the administration to come here
today to provide an update on the activities under the Protocol
with regard to methyl bromide. I understand members are very
interested in how the administration developed the
recommendation for the critical use exemption for 2005. Members
want to know how and why the United States' request was scaled
back. We are also asking these witnesses to report on the
current status of international negotiations under the
Protocol, the results of the meetings in Geneva last week in
preparing for the meeting of the parties, and to brief us on
the status of the upcoming meeting of the Parties to the
Montreal Protocol scheduled for this fall. As well, we are
interested in learning more about the use of methyl bromide
outside the United States. It is obvious that the uncertainty
over future availability of methyl bromide has caused great
Therefore, as you give your oral testimony and answer our
questions from both sides, please consider ways that this
committee might help. We need your help to ensure that the U.S.
obtains an adequate critical use exemption under the Protocol.
That is the reason we have you here, you men and women who know
more about this than we do. That is the way we write
legislation, and you are giving us a base to go to when we get
ready to try to get to the finality of it.
After today's hearing, I fully expect that my colleagues
and myself will have additional questions, and it is my
intention to leave the record open for a record period of time,
to accommodate the sending and receiving of questions and
answers, as well as other information and testimony that the
subcommittee may receive. So, you all probably will be getting
other letters, and we ask you to expedite the return of them,
if you possibly can. It would be very helpful.
As was emphasized in last year's hearing on methyl bromide,
we need to let the facts tell the story, and let any policy
judgments flow from accurate information. Any additional action
by the committee will be based to a large part on the
information we hear today and from the follow-up information we
receive from witnesses. In the House of Representatives, the
matter of the Montreal Protocol in Title 6 of the Clean Air Act
is within the sole jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce
Committee, and this subcommittee in particular.
So, we are all aware that the Montreal Protocol is an
international treaty that was ratified by the Senate in 1986
and 1988. This Treaty has been amended two times and ratified
by the Senate in 1991 and 1994. Protection of our Nation's
agricultural business is serious business. You can be assured
that the subcommittee is going to approach this issue and any
other issue respecting the Treaty signed by President Reagan
and by President Bush Sr.
With that, I will yield back whatever time I had, and we
will now go to our distinguished witnesses.
[Additional statements submitted for the record follow:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Steve Buyer, a Representative in Congress
from the State of Indiana
In 1987 President Ronald Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol, an
international treaty designed to eliminate the production of ozone-
depleting substances. The implementation of the Protocol has maintained
a delicate balance between the need to phase out substances, such as
methyl bromide, which are harmful to the environment while protecting
the agricultural communities of the signatory nations by identifying
critical use exemptions from phase-outs where adequate substitutes do
not yet exist. This process melds environmental and economic factors in
order to cost effectively manage our way towards feasible solutions.
The current process works and has been successful for the past 20
I commend my colleagues on the Committee for maintaining careful
oversight of this process. It is important that we ensure that our farm
community is protected and that adequate supplies of compounds for
fumigation of crops, milling and storage be available. In addition, it
is also important that we fairly apply the laws we have adopted,
whether it be the Montreal Protocol, or the domestic implementation
laws under the Clean Air Act, so that those industries who have
invested in these new technologies have the opportunity to earn a
return on their investment.
Over the last 20 years, U.S. businesses, including some in my
district, have invested billions of dollars to develop environmentally
acceptable alternatives to the ozone-depleting substances regulated by
the Protocol, including methyl bromide.
The US has shown a strong commitment to the success of the Montreal
Protocol. The committee should stay focused on ensuring that the U.S.
remains in compliance with the Protocol so as not to jeopardize
billions of dollars in past investments and discourage additional
investments in the future. It is possible for the U.S. to protect
agricultural interests while maintaining the success of other key
industries within the context of the Montreal Protocol provisions.
Here at home, the committee should also ensure that our government
agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental
Protection Agency, are doing all they can to assist those reliant on
methyl bromide to make significant progress in identifying alternatives
to this compound by providing transition assistance, such as education,
and, in the case of EPA, completing its allocation rule on these
critical use exemptions.
With the help of this committee, I believe we can achieve
significant reductions in methyl bromide use while protecting the
interests of our agriculture community.
Thank you Mr. Chairman
Prepared Statement of Hon. Joe Barton, Chairman, Committee on Energy
I want to welcome our witnesses today and thank Chairman Ralph Hall
for conducting this follow-up hearing concerning the legal status of
I also want to acknowledge the strong interest of several members
of this Committee in having today's hearing. I understand that many of
my colleagues have constituents who have used methyl bromide in farming
and other agricultural uses for many years and who are greatly
concerned with the phase-out of this broad-spectrum fumigant under the
Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air Act.
The roots of this situation extend back to 1986 when the United
States ratified the Vienna Convention. This action was followed by
ratification of the Montreal Protocol in 1988 and enactment of Title VI
of the Clean Air Act in 1990. These actions set the legal table, so to
speak, for subsequent decisions and actions relating to methyl bromide.
This committee has sole jurisdiction over this matter in the House of
Representatives and it takes that responsibility seriously. We are
responsible for providing oversight to ensure that the integrity of the
Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air Act are preserved and these laws
are appropriately implemented. However, this committee is also
obligated to make sure that our farmers and others in agriculture have
the tools necessary to protect their crops and maintain their domestic
and international competitiveness. This includes making sure that they
have sufficient access to methyl bromide and to alternatives that are
adequate and cost effective as substitutes prior to reducing our
dependence on methyl bromide. We understand that EPA is currently
working on registering several products that may help replace methyl
bromide in some applications. We are anxious to get a progress report
on these alternatives and to learn from the agriculture community their
experiences with these products as they become available.
We are well aware that upcoming decisions may be critical regarding
methyl bromide use in this country. So now is the time to ask questions
and to probe deeply. We need to get all the facts on the table and to
hear from our Administration and a variety of perspectives in the
private sector. I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses.
Mr. Hall. We have with us Claudia McMurray, Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Environment, Bureau of Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, of the
State Department. We thank you and those over at the State
Department for your time here today.
We have the Honorable Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Assistant
Administrator for Air and Radiation, Environmental Protection
Agency, an important witness and important testimony here, and
Dr. Rodney J. Brown, Deputy Under Secretary for Research,
Education and Economics, accompanied by Mr. Burleson Smith,
Director, Pest Management Policy, Department of Agriculture.
With that, I want to start out and recognize Ms. McMurray
for, we hope, 5 minutes, but just stay as close as you can to
what you really need to get your word over to us, and then we
will open up and have a chance to answer more fully when
questions come your way. Ms. McMurray.
STATEMENTS OF CLAUDIA McMURRAY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR
ENVIRONMENT, BUREAU OF OCEANS AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL
AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE; ACCOMPANIED BY
HON. JEFFREY R. HOLMSTEAD, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR AIR AND
RADIATION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY; RODNEY J. BROWN,
DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND ECONOMICS,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; AND BURLESON SMITH, DIRECTOR, PEST
MANAGEMENT POLICY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Ms. McMurray. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If the subcommittee
would permit, before I start my opening statement, there was
mention made of a witness leaving a subcommittee hearing of
this committee early last week. It was me. And just to
underscore the importance of the Montreal Protocol to this
administration, I was trying to catch a plane to go to the
meeting of the Montreal Protocol. So, my apologies. I have no
plane to catch today.
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for
the opportunity to deliver this statement to update the
subcommittee concerning the phaseout of methyl bromide under
the Montreal Protocol.
Mr. Chairman, as you know, I make this statement on behalf
of the Department of State, Department of Agriculture, and the
Environmental Protection Agency. I have a longer statement that
I would like to submit for the record, with your permission.
Mr. Chairman, before I discuss the specifics of our
activities concerning methyl bromide, I would like to spend a
moment reviewing the broader progress the United States and its
global partners are making to repair the stratospheric ozone
layer. Some of that has already been mentioned in opening
statements here today.
I do this because the global phaseout of ozone-depleting
chemicals under the Montreal Protocol is seen around the world
as an unparalleled triumph of sound science, economics, and
diplomacy. Actions we are taking in the United States and that
are also taking place worldwide serve to protect human health,
while still seeking to meet critical needs that the Protocol
The United States continues not only to meet all of its
obligations under the Montreal Protocol, but also to exert
strong leadership in phasing out all ozone-depleting
substances. In fact, in the United States, we have already
phased out nearly 97 percent of all ozone-depleting substances
controlled by the Protocol.
We were ahead of the curve globally in negotiating the
original Montreal Protocol under President Reagan. President
George H.W. Bush continued these efforts in 1991 and 1992 by
accelerating the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances. During
his administration, the list of regulated substances was
expanded to include a number of newly identified ozone-
depleters, including methyl bromide. President George W. Bush
has maintained the legacy of strong U.S. support for the
Protocol, the goal of which is to protect public health. On
that score, we are clearly moving in the right direction.
An evaluation required by legislation estimated that full
implementation of the Montreal Protocol will save 6.3 million
U.S. lives from skin cancer between 1990 and the year 2165.
Skin cancer is a preventable disease that kills one American
every hour. The Montreal Protocol has helped us make great
strides in combatting this threat to health by controlling the
chemicals that damage stratospheric ozone.
Methyl bromide, as you have heard, is one of those
chemicals. As the world's largest producer and consumer of this
substance, the United States has seen its wide use for decades.
It has also been widely used around the world. Growers and
other users find it efficacious and are now using it
While there are alternatives available today for many uses
in particular situations, there is no alternative that can
operate as effectively as methyl bromide for all crops in all
situations on which methyl bromide is used. Nevertheless, the
U.S. has made tremendous progress over the last decade by
phasing out over 60 percent of our consumption of methyl
bromide. We have achieved these reductions through action on
several fronts. USDA has spent approximately $150 million in an
aggressive research program to find alternatives to this
chemical. The private sector is actively conducting research as
well. Finally, since 1997, EPA has expedited review of methyl
bromide alternatives, and has registered a number of chemical
and use combinations to effect that change.
While we continue our domestic programs aimed at
facilitating the phaseout of methyl bromide, the international
process has recognized that there is a profound difference
between it, methyl bromide, and other industrial chemicals that
have been controlled in the past under the Montreal Protocol.
Accordingly, the Parties created three types of exemptions to
acknowledge the challenges that methyl bromide presents. We
need not discuss the first two today. One is for emergencies,
one is for quarantine and pre-shipment of goods in trade. At
this hearing we focus our efforts on the critical use
exemption, or CUE, which is in some ways similar to a safety
valve that is available for chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, under
the Protocol, and that exemption is called the essential use
The Protocol's criteria allow any developed country that is
a Party to the Protocol to seek an exemption from the 2005
phaseout, if it determines that the absence of methyl bromide
would cause a significant market disruption. The Parties must
agree that the nominating Party has demonstrated that there are
no technically or economically viable alternatives for the use
in the context of the application, and that the Party continues
to make efforts to find alternatives for the use and to limit
The United States was one of 13 countries that submitted
nominations for a critical use exemption for the year 2005. The
amount of methyl bromide nominated by the United States was 39
percent of our 1991 baseline for 2005, plus a supplemental
request of 2 percent. For 2006, we have submitted a request of
37 percent of the baseline.
I am happy to report that for the first year following the
phaseout--that is, 2005--the U.S. request for critical uses met
with success. At an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the
Montreal Protocol held in Montreal in March 2004, the Parties
granted nearly 90 percent of the U.S. request, and will
consider our request for the additional 2 percent supplemental
request for use in 2005. Under the agreement reached earlier
this year, U.S. growers will have access to 35 percent of the
1991 baseline use amount in 2005, with up to 30 percent coming
from new production and the remainder coming from inventories.
This agreement on critical use exemptions for 2005 was the
result of a concerted U.S. effort, including extensive
diplomatic outreach at the highest levels of the State
Department to gain support from the other Montreal Protocol
Parties for our request. This was by no means an easy process.
In fact, the Parties could not agree on CUEs at their regular
annual meeting in November 2003, and had to, for the first
time, hold what is called an Extraordinary Meeting to resolve
We are now working actively with other countries on the
U.S. request for 2006 and our supplemental request for 2005,
both of which will be considered at the next meeting of the
Parties in November 2004, in Prague. Last week, I led the U.S.
delegation to the meeting of the Montreal Protocol Open-Ended
Working Group in Geneva, a meeting that was designed to allow
an exchange of views on all issues in preparation for the
November meeting of the Parties. From our perspective, the
Open-Ended Working Group meeting was successful, and gave us
the opportunity to begin building support for our CUE request,
and for improvements in the process by which the Montreal
Protocol's technical body, the Methyl Bromide Technical Options
Committee, or MBTOC, reviews CUE nominations.
Mr. Chairman, I would now like to draw the subcommittee's
attention to the groundbreaking aspect of the decision we
reached at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties in Montreal
earlier this year.
As I mentioned earlier, the Montreal Protocol Parties have
already agreed to a U.S. critical use exemption for 2005
amounting to 35 percent of the 1991 baseline level. Up to 30
percent can come from new production, with the remainder coming
from existing inventories. This new approach is important
because it limits the new manufacture of this ozone-depleter
for the very first time, and it calls also for a drawdown in
inventory to assure adequate supply for our farmers.
EPA is currently in the final stages of preparing a
proposal to allocate these amounts so that through the Notice
and Comment rulemaking process, we will be able to engage
stakeholders in designing a workable and fair approach to
allocation. The use of inventories will be factored into this
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, in
conclusion, my testimony should indicate the level of
importance the administration places on taking action on methyl
bromide in a manner that protects public health while still
meeting the needs of our farmers. We have done this without
doing harm to the unqualified success story of the Montreal
One delegate at our Geneva meeting last week recognized
this by saying, despite our recent difficulties, ``the Protocol
is, indeed, alive and well.'' I believe that our efforts to
work with other countries to solve this problem have helped
make that statement a reality. I also believe that through
continued work with other Protocol Parties, we will achieve an
outcome on methyl bromide at the upcoming Meeting of the
Parties that is consistent with the Protocol's overall goal,
while still ensuring that critical needs are met.
I thank you for this opportunity to testify before the
subcommittee on behalf of these three Agencies, and I would be
happy to answer any of your questions, as would my colleagues.
[The prepared statement of Claudia McMurray follows:]
Prepared Statement of Claudia McMurray, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Environment, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and
Scientific Affairs, Department of State
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the
opportunity to deliver this methyl bromide statement on behalf of three
federal agencies--the Department of State, the Department of
Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency. We realize that
methyl bromide, and its phase out under the Clean Air Act and Montreal
Protocol are issues of great importance to many of you and your
constituents. While the focus of the statement is on methyl bromide, I
would like to begin by providing a brief overview of our ongoing
efforts to protect the ozone layer under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and
the Montreal Protocol.
The global phase out of ozone-depleting chemicals is an
unparalleled triumph of sound science, economics, and diplomacy. It
rests on an overwhelming consensus within the world science community,
and enjoys near universal participation. One hundred and eighty-seven
developed and developing nations are now Parties to the Montreal
Protocol and have committed to measurable targets and timetables for
the complete phase out of chemicals that damage the ozone layer.
Since the Montreal Protocol's inception in 1987, the United States
has exerted strong leadership in phasing out all ozone depleting
substances. The United States continues not only to meet all of its
obligations under the Montreal Protocol, but, in fact, has already
phased out the consumption of nearly 97% of all ozone-depleting
substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol.
From the beginning, the establishment of clear targets for all
countries, and the flexibility allowed in implementation, have helped
create broad bipartisan support at home for the Montreal Protocol's
mission to protect the ozone layer. The United States was an active
participant in negotiating the original Montreal Protocol under
President Ronald Reagan. President George H. W. Bush continued these
efforts in 1991 and 1992 by accelerating the phase out of ozone-
depleting substances. During his Administration, the list of regulated
substances was expanded to include a number of newly-identified ozone
depleters, including methyl bromide. President George W. Bush has
maintained the legacy of strong U.S. support for the Protocol.
The goal of the Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air Act is to
protect public health from harmful UV radiation. On that score, we are
clearly moving in the right direction. In fact, the legislative
evaluation required by the Clean Air Act's section 812 estimated that
full implementation of the Montreal Protocol will save 6.3 million U.S.
lives from skin cancer between 1990 and 2165. And, we are working with
groups like the American Academy of Dermatology and the National
Council for Skin Cancer Prevention in education programs like SunWise
Schools to further reduce risks of skin cancer, especially for kids.
EPA's sun safety programs were recognized in October 2003 by the Cancer
Research and Prevention Foundation's Congressional Families Action for
Cancer Awareness. Because skin cancer is a preventable disease that
kills one American every hour, it is the government's obligation to
provide people with the information they need to mitigate the impacts
of exposure to the sun, in addition to controlling the chemicals that
damage stratospheric ozone.
Our successes so far do not mean that our task is done. In fact,
the 2002 Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, a comprehensive
overview of the state of the ozone layer involving the work of hundreds
of atmospheric scientists, life scientists, and researchers worldwide,
with significant U.S. participation, found that the ozone layer is
susceptible to damage because stratospheric concentrations of ozone-
depleting chlorine is at or near its peak, while bromine, although
still increasing, may peak over the next several years. In addition,
seasonal damage to the ozone layer resulting in the ``ozone hole'' in
the Antarctic continues; in the 2003 season the hole reached its second
largest extent, covering an area roughly the size of North America.
Ultimate recovery of the ozone layer--and the consolidation of all the
gains made so far--depends on our will, and that of the global
community of Parties, to finish the job.
Staying the course matters to public health and to the ozone layer,
but it also matters to the many businesses who took the risk of
investing heavily in alternatives that do not damage the ozone layer. A
recent letter to EPA from companies making this choice have built a $10
billion dollar business in trade with ozone-safe American products and
technologies that could be at risk if the United States were to take
action inconsistent with its commitments under the Montreal Protocol.
For all these reasons, this Administration remains committed to
finishing the job of protecting the ozone layer started by President
That brings us to the topic of today's hearing, methyl bromide. We
know a number of things about this chemical. First, it is a broad-
spectrum restricted use biocide that is highly effective in killing
pests that are of concern to U.S. agriculture. Second, the United
States has been the world's largest producer and consumer of this
substance. Third, methyl bromide has been in wide use in the United
States for decades, and users find it efficacious and are using it
efficiently. Fourth, while there are alternatives available today for
many uses in many situations, there is no alternative that can operate
as effectively as methyl bromide in all the crop situations on which
methyl bromide is used.
As to methyl bromide's current regulatory status under the Clean
Air Act, a little history is vital to understanding where we are now.
The 1990 Clean Air Act required EPA to phase out the production and
import of any newly identified substance with a significant potential
to damage ozone within seven years of listing, without exceptions or
exemptions. In 1991, the EPA received a petition to take this action
with respect to methyl bromide and promulgated a rule which established
a phase out date of 2001 in the United States. In an effort to address
both the environmental concern and an agricultural concern that a
unilateral U.S. phaseout in 2001 would put the United States at a
disadvantage among other developed nations that are agricultural
competitors of the U.S., successive U.S. delegations to the Montreal
Protocol pushed the global community to adopt the U.S. phase out date
of 2001. In 1997, the United States succeeded in moving developed
countries from their initial position of only a freeze in production
and import at historic levels to a phase out of methyl bromide in 2005
with interim reductions in 1999, 2001 and 2003. Given that progress,
and the desirability of ensuring harmonized requirements, Congress
moved to amend the CAA in 1998 to conform the U.S. phase out schedule
with that faced by other developed country Parties to the Montreal
Protocol, resulting in the phase out schedule we have today. This
schedule called for a freeze in methyl bromide production and
consumption for developed countries in 1995, a 25% reduction by 1999, a
50% reduction by 2001, a 70% reduction by 2003, and a full phaseout by
2005, subject to certain exemptions.
Users have and are continuing to make progress in reducing the use
of methyl bromide, in fulfillment of our obligations under the Montreal
Protocol, by using newly approved substitutes and implementing
innovative new technologies and practices. Under the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's (USDA) Methyl Bromide Alternatives Program (Methyl
Bromide Alternatives at http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov), agricultural and
forestry leaders from private industry, academia, state, and federal
agencies have come together to develop viable alternatives to methyl
bromide. This research program has taken into account input from
federal agencies as well as extensive private sector research and trial
demonstrations of alternatives to assess the problem, formulate
priorities, and implement state-of-the-art research.
Over a period of 10 years, through 2003, the USDA Agricultural
Research Service has spent approximately $150 million in an aggressive
research program to find alternatives to methyl bromide. Through the
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA has
provided an additional $15.8 million since 1993 to state universities
for methyl bromide replacement research and education. These federally
supported research activities are in addition to extensive private
Nearly 80 percent of pre-plant methyl bromide soil fumigation use
is in a limited number of crops. Much of the federal government's pre-
plant effort has focused on strawberries, tomatoes, ornamentals,
peppers, and nursery crops, (forest, ornamental, strawberry, pepper,
tree, and vine), with special emphasis on tomatoes in Florida and
strawberries in California as model crops. Methyl bromide users have
contributed field plots, plant material, and equipment for research
trials on potential alternatives.
At the same time, innovative U.S. technologies and practices allow
our growers to make the methyl bromide we do use go as far as possible
toward controlling key pests. The reductions in U.S. consumption over
the past few years have been successfully accomplished in part because
manufacturers and users have found that it is possible to dilute methyl
bromide with other pest-control compounds, like chloropicrin, and still
maintain the pest control effectiveness of the material. Further,
highly effective application technologies, involving the deep injection
of gaseous methyl bromide into cultivated soil, mean that more methyl
bromide remains in the ground for a longer period of time, where it can
do its important work of pest control.
Another important area of emphasis is our responsibility to help
identify, register, and implement safe and effective alternatives.
Understanding the importance of this in the phase out of methyl
bromide, EPA has since 1997 made the registration of alternatives to
methyl bromide its highest registration priority. Even under the new
``fee-for-service'' system, EPA is committed to giving methyl bromide
alternatives priority. As one incentive for the pesticide industry to
develop alternatives to methyl bromide, EPA has worked to reduce the
burden of data generation to the extent feasible while still ensuring
that the Agency's registration decisions meet Federal safety standards.
Where appropriate from a scientific standpoint, EPA has refined the
data requirements for a given pesticide application, thus facilitating
the research and development process for methyl bromide alternatives.
Furthermore, EPA scientists routinely meet with prospective methyl
bromide alternative applicants, counseling them through the pre-
registration process to increase the probability that the data are done
right the first time, thus minimizing delays.
Our efforts have paid off in some areas. Since 1997, EPA has
registered a number of chemical/use combinations as part of its
commitment to expedite the review of methyl bromide alternatives. While
there is no silver bullet among them, they are nonetheless an important
part of our overall methyl bromide strategy. They include:
2000: Phosphine to control insects in stored commodities;
2001: Indian Meal Moth Granulosis Virus to control Indian meal moth in
2001: Terrazole to control pathogens in tobacco float beds
2001: Telone applied through drip irrigation--all crops
2002: Halosulfuron-methyl to control weeds in melons and tomatoes
2003: Trifloxysulfuron sodium as an herbicide for tomato transplants in
Florida and Georgia
2004: Fosthiazate as a pre-plant nematocide for tomatoes
2004: Sulfuryl fluoride as a post-harvest fumigant for stored
In addition, EPA is currently reviewing several applications for
registration as methyl bromide alternatives, including iodomethane as a
pre-plant soil fumigant for various crops, and dazomet as a pre-plant
soil fumigant for strawberries and tomatoes. While these activities are
promising, environmental and health issues with alternatives must be
carefully considered to ensure we are not just trading one
environmental problem for another. As required by the Food Quality
Protection Act, EPA is currently conducting a tolerance reassessment
and reregistration of methyl bromide to ensure that its registered uses
meet today's health and safety standards. To facilitate this review,
EPA expects to release the preliminary risk assessment for methyl
bromide and other soil fumigants this fall for public review and
comment. EPA is also conducting a cluster assessment of a group of
pesticides known as soil fumigants, to include methyl bromide. Because
soil fumigants are used in similar ways and present potential risks
from similar paths of exposure, it makes sense to review the fumigants
together rather than on separate time schedules. To address this, we
are taking a comprehensive approach.
In that regard, ongoing research on alternate fumigants is
evaluating ways to reduce emission under various application regimes
and examining whether commonly used agrochemicals, such as fertilizers
and nitrification inhibitors, could be used to rapidly degrade soil
fumigants. In addition, EPA has adopted a comprehensive approach to
evaluating the currently registered and pending soil fumigants. A
preliminary risk assessment which includes all of the current and
pending soil fumigants is expected to be released this Fall for public
comment with stakeholder discussion of the potential risk management
options to occur during 2005. This process will assure a balanced,
comprehensive and transparent evaluation of the risks and benefits of
all fumigation options.
While we continue our domestic programs to facilitate the phase-out
of methyl bromide, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol recognized that
widespread use and elusive feasible alternatives to methyl bromide made
its phase-out more difficult than other chemicals controlled in the
past under the Montreal Protocol. Accordingly, the Parties to the
Montreal Protocol created three types of exemptions for methyl bromide.
First, the Parties recognized that methyl bromide is vitally needed
in trade to ensure that shipments do not contain harmful and invasive
pests that could be transported with commodities and introduced into
new areas. Thus, they provided an exemption for quarantine and
preshipment uses. As a consequence, while countries have committed to
find alternatives and to limit the emissions and use of methyl bromide
to those applications where its use is necessary, the production and
import for these uses can continue during and after the phase out. On
January 2, 2003, EPA published the Final Rule fully activating this
The second methyl bromide exemption, covering emergency situations,
is an exemption from the phase out for the production or import of 20
tonnes of methyl bromide per event. This exemption can be activated by
a Party to address what it considers to be an emergency. The real
possibility of emergency needs that cannot be anticipated, like anthrax
contamination, makes it especially vital for countries to have the
flexibility to make methyl bromide rapidly available for such needs.
Third, the Parties created the critical use exemption (CUE), which
is in some ways similar to the other safety valve available under the
Montreal Protocol for CFCs, the essential use exemption. The Protocol's
criteria allow any developed country that is a Party to the Protocol to
seek an exemption from the 2005 phase out if it determines that the
absence of methyl bromide would cause a significant market disruption.
The Parties must agree that the nominating Party has demonstrated that
there are no technically or economically feasible alternatives for the
use in the context of the application and that the Party continues to
make efforts to find alternatives for the use and to limit emissions. I
want to focus on this exemption today, because 2005 will be the first
year that the U.S. and other countries will make use of this provision.
The United States was one of 13 countries that submitted
nominations for a critical use exemption for the year 2005. Some
national requests were very small, covering only one use, and some were
large, covering 10 or more uses. The U.S. nominated the following 16
crops and uses: tomatoes, commodity storage, cucurbit, eggplant, food
processing, forest tree seedling nursery, ginger, orchard nursery,
orchard replant, ornamental nursery, pepper, strawberry, strawberry
nursery, sweet potato, nursery seed bed trays, and turf grass. The
amount of methyl bromide nominated by the United States for these uses
was 9,920,965 kilograms for 2005, and 9,722,546 kilograms for 2006--
this translates into 39% and 37% of our 1991 baseline level for methyl
I am happy to report that for the first year following the phase
out, 2005, the U.S. request for critical uses met with success. At an
Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, held in
Montreal in March 2004, the Parties granted nearly 90% of the U.S.
request, and will consider a supplemental request for an additional 2%
of our baseline for use in 2005. Under the agreement reached earlier
this year, U.S. growers and others with critical uses will have access
to at least 35% of the 1991 baseline use amount in 2005, with up to 30%
coming from new production and importation and the remainder from
existing inventories. I will discuss the issue of inventories in
greater detail later in this testimony.
This agreement on critical use exemptions for 2005 was the result
of a concerted U.S. effort to gain support from the other Montreal
Protocol Parties for our request. This was by no means an easy process.
In fact, the Parties could not agree on CUEs at their regular annual
meeting in November 2003 and had to for the first time in the
Protocol's history set up an Extraordinary Meeting of Parties (EMOP) to
resolve this issue.
In the months leading up to the Extraordinary Meeting, the
Department of State coordinated a diplomatic outreach effort to ensure
that other Parties recognized the importance of this issue to the
United States. We held bilateral meetings with key countries involved
in the CUE process and, through our Embassies, made demarches on this
issue to nearly 50 Montreal Protocol Parties. At our request, an ad hoc
meeting of a small number of Parties was held in Buenos Aires in
February 2004 to informally consider ways to resolve the impasse. This
extensive outreach was successful in making clear the technical and
economic basis for the U.S. CUE request and in gaining the support of
many countries at the March 2004 EMOP.
We are now working actively with other countries on the U.S. CUE
request for 2006 and our supplemental request for 2005, which will be
considered at the next Meeting of Parties in November 2004 in Prague.
Last week, I led the U.S. delegation to the meeting of the Montreal
Protocol Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), which was held in Geneva from
July 13-16. This meeting is an interim session that allows for an
exchange of views on all issues in preparation for the November
meeting. From our perspective, the OEWG meeting was successful and
allowed us to begin building support for our current CUE requests and
for our efforts to improve the process by which the Montreal Protocol's
technical body, the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC),
reviews CUE nominations.
The meeting provided a good opportunity to explain to other Parties
and to the MBTOC the economic and technical rationale for our CUE
request. During formal and informal sessions, the U.S. delegation
highlighted the extensive process through which we developed our CUE
request in compliance with Montreal Protocol criteria. I believe this
exchange on extremely technical issues will provide dividends as other
countries and the MBTOC continue to review our CUE nominations.
We also made major progress at the OEWG on the important issue of
improving the future operations of the MBTOC. During extensive
discussions on this issue, which included a three-day ad hoc meeting
prior to the start of the OEWG, the U.S. delegation pressed for
improvements in MBTOC's procedures and practices. We made proposals to
enhance transparency in the Committee's proceedings, and to allow for
improved communication between the MBTOC and a nominating Party.
Similarly, we proposed ways to ensure that the Committee adopts sound
procedures for considering the technical and economic merits of CUE
nominations and takes into account the specific circumstances faced by
each user. While these discussions were fruitful, there is still a
considerable amount of work to be done to put reforms in place at the
Finally, last week the U.S. delegation put forward a draft decision
on ways in which the Parties could consider and approve CUE nominations
for more than one year at a time. We believe a so-called multi-year
approach would provide benefits in terms of time savings for the MBTOC
and the Montreal Protocol Parties reviewing CUE nominations and for the
Parties that have to develop them. A multi-year approach would also
provide greater predictability for the user community. The delegates to
the OEWG discussed, in detail, the U.S. proposal in Geneva. It will be
a key issue on the agenda for the November meeting in Prague.
--Mr. Chairman, I would now like to return to the issue of methyl
bromide inventories. As I mentioned earlier, the Montreal Protocol
Parties have already agreed to a U.S. CUE for 2005 amounting to 35% of
the 1991 baseline level. Up to 30% of the baseline level can come from
new production and importation, with the remainder coming from existing
inventories. EPA is currently in the final stages of preparing a
proposal to allocate these amounts, so that through the notice and
comment rulemaking process, we will be able to engage stakeholders in
designing a workable and fair approach to allocation. The use of
inventories will be factored into this allocation process, with at
least 5% of the methyl bromide coming from the inventories.
It must be noted, however, that this inventory does not in any
sense belong to the U.S. government, nor do we have any direct control
over its disposition. Because methyl bromide in existing inventories
was manufactured under prior years' allocations, and fully within the
compliance schedule for the United States under the Montreal Protocol,
it belongs to the U.S. manufacturers, distributors and importers who
now hold it. The United States has historically exported a portion of
its annual production, and there is no reason to believe that this will
not continue. However, because it is also true that the United States
has historically been the largest consumer of methyl bromide in the
world, it is likely that some portion of this inventory will be made
available for use here.
Mr. Chairman, my testimony should indicate the level of importance
the Administration places on taking action on methyl bromide in a
manner that protects public health, while still ensuring the critical
needs of our farmers are met. The Montreal Protocol has been an
unqualified success story. As one delegate put it at our Geneva
meeting, despite recent difficulties, ``the Protocol is indeed alive
and well.'' I believe that our recent efforts to work hard with other
countries to solve this problem have helped make that statement a
reality. I believe that, through continued work with other Protocol
Parties, we will achieve a good outcome on methyl bromide at the
upcoming Meeting of Parties that is consistent with the Protocol's
I thank you for this opportunity to testify before this Committee
on behalf of the Department of State, the Department of Agriculture and
the Environmental Protection Agency. My colleagues and I would be
pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Mr. Hall. All right. It is my understanding, Ms. McMurray,
that you will be the only one giving testimony for the entire
group, is that correct? We thank you for your explanation for
yesterday, and we understand your need for copious use of the
airways in today's world. So, we will get underway with some
While I review these, let me recognize Mr. Allen. Go ahead,
Mr. Allen, if you would, with some questions.
Mr. Allen. Thank you very much for that presentation. I
would say I appreciate the explanation for your need to leave.
I think I wouldn't have made the comment if we had been
informed of exactly what you were doing and why you had to
leave, but we did not know that.
I wanted to ask, Ms. McMurray, both you and Mr. Holmstead,
some questions about the inventories and how--what we really
know about inventories and the use, the level of use in the
United States, and I will address this to both of you. You can
As I understand it, the U.S. is requesting a critical use
exemption for more methyl bromide, 37 percent of the 1991
baseline, than we reportedly used in recent years. I understand
there are reports that we have been using around 30 percent of
the baseline, but Adam Sharp, EPA's Associate Assistant
Administrator, told the Washington Post that EPA's figures on
methyl bromide consumption are only an estimate, and actual use
may be well above the 30 percent of baseline levels that are
reported. So, I would like your help with this.
Has EPA been underreporting the methyl bromide consumption
in the country? If 100 percent consumption is not reported,
does EPA know or does it not know if total consumption since
2003 exceeded 35 percent of baseline in any given year? I guess
since it is an EPA question, maybe, Mr. Holmstead, you could
help with that. How good are our numbers, in particular, and
the specific question is, do we know or not know if total
consumption since 2003 has exceeded 35 percent of the baseline?
Mr. Holmstead. Our numbers are very good, but I think that
some of the confusion here is that what we are required to
report under the Protocol is a defined term called
``consumption.'' And what consumption, in this defined term is,
it is the amount produced in the United States plus the amount
imported minus the amount exported. So, that is a defined term
that isn't the same as how much as is actually used. So, again,
remember that what we report every year under the Protocol is
the amount produced in this country plus the amount imported
into the country minus the amount exported.
We don't know exactly how much was used because there are
existing inventories that are held throughout the supply chain
that may be held at producers, that may be held at
distributors, that may be held at importers, that may be held
by individual farmers. So what we report as consumption and
what we are required to report, we are very confident about.
And I think that is where the confusion is, is there is a
difference between what we report as consumption and what
people estimate is used.
Mr. Allen. Another way of saying that is what you report as
consumption is a production number plus imports minus exports,
so it is not a consumption number in the ordinary sense of the
word. So, I take it, if I understand, that you really don't
know whether consumption, actual use in the United States of
methyl bromide, was above 35 percent or below 35 percent, or am
I going too far, you don't know what it was?
Mr. Holmstead. That is absolutely right. We don't know--and
I like to use the term ``consumption'' versus ``use'--in terms
of knowing exactly how much methyl bromide our farmers used in
2003. We have several estimates, and we have tried to estimate
that by doing an estimate of how much was used out of
inventory. That is this one number that I know Mr. Doniger has
focused on, and we think that is an important number to look
at. But there are other estimates that we look at. There is
actually a proprietary service that we subscribe to, that has
another estimate. The State of California, where a great deal
of it is used, does their own estimate. And so we believe that
actual use in 2003 was in the neighborhood of somewhere between
35 and 50 percent, but we don't know exactly what that number
Mr. Allen. Mr. Holmstead, I am looking here at a document
provided by EPA--you will have to help me--it is headed ``U.S.
Inventory of Methyl Bromide As Of December 31, 2003,'' and it
has baseline consumption inventory held, which is extracted by
U.S. companies as of a couple of dates, drawdown, and then it
has actual consumption--and let us stay with this, whatever
that means at the moment. U.S. consumption limit, actual 2003
is 6500 metric tons. And it says then, 25 percent plus a
drawdown, and then it has the word ``use 30.06 percent.'' I
take this to mean--help me if I am wrong--that at least this
document suggests that actual use in the field of methyl
bromide is 30 percent of the 1991 baseline, is that right?
Mr. Holmstead. That is one of several estimates that we
have. You asked whether we are meeting our obligations under
the Protocol to report, and what we report is not that 30.06
number, it is the 25 percent number.
Mr. Allen. I understand that, but my question is about how
much methyl bromide is actually being used. That is the number
I am trying to get to because if, in fact, we are only using 30
percent of the 1991 baseline, why on earth are we then asking
for 37 percent, for an allowance of 37 percent? That is the
underlying problem I have.
Mr. Holmstead. I understand the question, and I think it is
an excellent question, and I think we have been looking forward
to trying to explain this. We don't have any way of knowing
exactly how much was used last year or the year before.
The document you have is one estimate that takes this
consumption number that we do report, and then is an attempt to
estimate how much drawdown at inventory occurred. So, that is
Mr. Allen. Do you have other estimates?
Mr. Holmstead. Yes, we do.
Mr. Allen. May we see them?
Mr. Holmstead. We would be happy to provide those to you,
yes. I think a number of us, in response to this, have said we
have several different estimates, and they range from that one
up to about 50 percent, and we think it is somewhere--in 2003,
we think it was somewhere from the low 30's up to 50 percent of
the 1991 baseline.
Mr. Allen. How big a variation is that in terms of metric
tons, do you know?
Mr. Holmstead. We could certainly calculate it.
Mr. Allen. If you could get that in to us.
Mr. Holmstead. Yes.
Mr. Allen. The chairman has informed me that I have used my
time, his time, and so I think that is a signal it is time for
someone else. Thank you.
Ms. McMurray. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to just add a little
bit to the answer there.
Mr. Hall. I noticed that you probably wanted to get in
there. You go ahead, and I will yield some more of my time for
you to answer.
Ms. McMurray. Thank you. I think it is important to realize
that, first of all, when we prepared our numbers for 2005, it
was quite some time ago, before any of the figures that you
have been referring to were even available. So, 2005 is not
even a relevant discussion. You are talking now about the 37
percent number for 2006, and Jeff has already pointed out that
there are a number of different figures that we look at kind of
from the top down. We also ask for numbers from the bottom up,
from the farmers, and say, ``What do you need?'' Now, we don't
just take that on face value, we actually go through--and it is
the EPA who does this calculation--a look at where is there
double-counting, where are there alternatives that are
available that really ought to come into play here, and the
number comes way down from there. So, we have that number and
all the other numbers that EPA has already referred to in the
answer to your question.
The other part of it is we have to leave a little bit of a
margin of error in our negotiation--we don't want to leave our
farmers high and dry--so that has to factor into it as well. So
there are a number of different things that we look at before
we actually take a negotiating position in an international
body. Thank you.
Mr. Hall. My time is almost gone, but recalling whatever
time I may have, Mr. Holmstead, let me ask you this question. I
understand that a chemical called methyl iodide is a promising
alternative to methyl bromide in pre-plant application for some
high-value crops, and I guess that is a good statement?
Mr. Holmstead. It looks very promising, and the Agency is
moving very quickly through the registration process, so that
we hope that that would be----
Mr. Hall. Tell us what effort EPA is making to expedite
registration of this, or any other promising alternative,
Mr. Holmstead. For a number of years, the Agency has had a
policy of fast-tracking alternatives to methyl bromide, and
there are several new pesticides that have been registered
under this process. So, essentially, they will move to the head
of the line. We will go through the scientific studies as
quickly as we can. And this one that you mentioned looks to be
a pretty promising alternative, but it is not yet registered.
Mr. Hall. All right. I will get to Mr. Brown, then. Are you
familiar with any product that is as effective and affordable
as methyl bromide for the wide range of uses that methyl
bromide is used for and, if so, what are they and how do they
compare for effectiveness and cost, in about three words?
Dr. Brown. I think I know the words you would like to hear.
Mr. Hall. I don't know.
Dr. Brown. It is a little more complicated than that
because methyl bromide has such a broad spectrum of uses with
regard to climate, soil, crops, and so on, that the question
really is, do we have replacements for each of these
combinations of conditions that add up to the use of methyl
Mr. Hall. I am going to--Mr. Foley has, like all the rest
of us, other needs, and he has arrived. I would like to ask
unanimous consent for him to be allowed to sit on this
committee. And we have a vote, and four votes to follow it, and
we have 15 minutes to vote, and how many minutes are gone.
Ms. Capps. We have 10 minutes left.
Mr. Hall. We have 10 minutes left.
Mr. Shimkus. Mr. Chairman, could you just allow Dr. Brown
to follow up on the question that he, in essence, asked us, as
whether there was the product that would meet all the various
spectrum of the need for methyl bromide in every category now?
Dr. Brown. Well, no, that is why we have exemptions.
Mr. Shimkus. That is all I need to know. Thank you.
Mr. Hall. That is in one word, easy--``no.'' I guess we
ought to recess for 30 minutes. Four votes is 20 minutes. We
had an abstractor in Rockwell, Texas, named Rollie Steiger,
that used to have a sign on his door that said ``Gone for
coffee, be gone 5 minutes, been gone 3.'' He just couldn't
afford to miss any business. I ask the witnesses, if they
would, to remain. We will be at parade rest for about 35 or 40
minutes. We will be back as quickly as we can get back.
Mr. Hall. We will come to order, and the Chair recognizes
Ms. Capps. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to try to do in
a very short time ask questions of three people--Mr. Holmstead,
Ms. McMurray, and Mr. Smith. So, I hope we can kind of do
``yes'' and ``no'' in very brief because this is all the time I
have, and you can tell I am out of breath already.
To continue with the topic of the stockpile, how big is it?
Is the information submitted in response to last year's hearing
still accurate? Start with that.
Mr. Holmstead. Just quickly, there is no such thing as a
stockpile. We have some estimates about the inventory that are
being held by the major distributor----
Ms. Capps. Okay, call it ``inventory.''
Mr. Holmstead. The issue with the inventory is that is
considered to be confidential business information.
Ms. Capps. Can you answer why it is, briefly?
Mr. Holmstead. Yes. There are a very small number of major
producers and importers, and if we were to release the
aggregate number of what our estimates are, then that would
essentially tell the competitors how much their competitors
have, and the concern----
Ms. Capps. Our competitors in our country?
Mr. Holmstead. Yes. The way our CBI statute works, if it
would give someone a competitive advantage, then that is
something that we consider to be CBI.
Ms. Capps. So it is for business reasons.
Mr. Holmstead. Yes.
Ms. Capps. Are we still increasing our inventory? Is it
being increased currently?
Mr. Holmstead. I think our most recent estimate is, no, it
is actually coming down, that we are eating into the inventory.
Ms. Capps. Could I ask one guess on your part, just an
estimate, could it be in the area of 22 million pounds?
Mr. Holmstead. I think even if I knew the answer, I
wouldn't be able to--I don't know what that number is, but I
think, again, we consider the size to be CBI.
Ms. Capps. Thank you. I want to ask you, Ms. McMurray--and
just, again, very briefly--some of the witnesses' testimony
that we have seen in writing, that are on the next panel,
suggest that the CUE process is broken, that the expertise of
the Government, including the EPA, is not being considered in
the process, and our sovereignty is therefor being jeopardized.
Would you say yes or no to that?
Ms. McMurray. If I had to answer yes or no, I would say,
no, it is not broken, but I would like to add a sentence to
that, if I could, which is, this is the first year that we have
gone through the critical use exemption process, and I think
all the Parties, including the United States, acknowledge that
were a lot of problems with it, and that we are now attempting
to solve them so that we can work within the process.
Ms. Capps. So you are not giving up. If it is the case, and
I am assuming that that is what the intention of the second
panel is, that some of the members on the panel are saying it
is broken, you would disagree?
Ms. McMurray. I would.
Ms. Capps. Because I would think that your job is to make
sure that it isn't broken.
Ms. McMurray. You bet.
Ms. Capps. And, finally, Mr. Smith, I have asked this
question as long as I have been in Congress and been aware of
the situation with respect to methyl bromide. We have spent
nearly $150 million on alternatives, it is my understanding.
Could you briefly, in whatever--I guess I have a minute left--
explain what the status of that is, of that research into
Mr. Smith. The research that is being performed through the
auspices of the Department of Agriculture is continuing. We
look at the opportunity to continue to search for alternatives
until such time that our grower constituents feel that their
needs are being met.
Ms. Capps. Everyone touts methyl bromide, it is so cheap,
it does everything for everybody, and yet such a toxic
substance to both our ozone layer and the people exposed to it.
Why, in the past 10 years, has there not been more progress
made in alternatives?
Mr. Smith. Well, I would say that because the U.S. has
phased out successfully over 50 percent of the use so far, that
those alternatives that are successful have been adopted. The
difficulty is under the critical use exemption process, we
recognize that there are still instances where there are not
technically and economically feasible alternatives for those
Ms. Capps. So you are saying that there has been progress
in alternatives, given the fact that we have reduced our usage,
which then, to me, flies in the face of the fact that we are
asking for higher amounts to be allowed because part of it is,
would you agree, the incentive to use alternatives as well? We
are going to have to use alternatives that are going to be a
little more complicated, perhaps involve more retraining, or
maybe you would like to go into that, in whatever seconds I
have left, and say also when can we expect to see this research
result in widespread alternative use?
Mr. Smith. Again, I would characterize it as a continuum.
We have made certainly the easy substitutions that were
available. WE continue to go through those that are more
difficult, but we have some that will continue to be vexing to
our efforts to substitute methyl bromide uses, according to the
terms of the Protocol, which are technically and economically
Ms. Capps. And some of your mission then is also to make
those alternatives widely available, or the knowledge of them,
and encourage and incentivize farmers to use alternatives.
Mr. Smith. Most all of the alternatives have been
commercially available for some time. There are some that are
still awaiting further registration action by EPA.
Ms. Capps. Oh, EPA needs to register some of them? Are they
in the pipeline?
Mr. Smith. They have certainly been----
Ms. Capps. Is there any time line for how soon they could
be registered? I would turn to someone else and ask, is there a
holdup for registering alternatives?
Mr. Holmstead. Again, there is no silver bullet. These have
moved to the head of the queue, and there is this one in
particular that I think the chairman mentioned, iodomethane,
which is nearing the end of the registration process. I can't
give you an exact date, but it is in the relatively near future
that a decision will be made on that product.
Ms. Capps. I know I am borrowing on time, but once that
does receive acceptance, can you estimate how quickly it could
impact the amount of methyl bromide being used? I understand
this is speculation in a way.
Ms. McMurray. I think it varies chemical by chemical, crop
by crop, but at a minimum, 6 months to a year sometimes it
takes to fold it into the growing process. Now, the Agriculture
Department may have more precise figures than that. But if I
could also add, part of what the EPA looks at in their
registration process of these new chemicals is the
environmental impact of those chemicals, and if they have a
problem, groundwater contamination problem, or some other
problem, we don't want to just trade one problem for another,
in other words. So, those are the risks that have to be
balanced in the re-registration process.
Ms. Capps. I guess my final concern is that given this
interest in alternatives, that we are working against it
perhaps to some degree, by asking for an increase in use,
consumption and manufacturing more methyl bromide.
Ms. McMurray. Well, in response to that, I would say that
we are asking, in our opinion, for nothing that is not
justified under the exemption process, which means it has to be
technically and economically infeasible to use anything else
but methyl bromide. And so that is the criteria we use when we
prepare our application.
Ms. Capps. Even though its use is down.
Ms. McMurray. Well, as the discussion went this morning,
there are several numbers that we are looking at that reflect
use, and not all of them are below the number that we have
asked for, there is a range. And, therefore, we have to take
all that into account when we prepare our request.
Ms. Capps. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hall. Thank the lady. The Chair recognizes the
gentleman from Florida, Mr. Davis.
Mr. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I would ask the
witnesses please to correct me if I am covering matters that
have been covered extensively in the past.
One of the things I think everybody can agree upon here
today is the level of uncertainty is pretty maddening and
I understand that if things continue on their current
course--and I think Representative Capps has covered the
research issue which I would have covered--there will probably
be an application submitted for 2006 by the United States, to
get further relief under the critical use exemption. And if it
is not too premature to talk about that, since we are all
trying to look ahead here, is that in fact the case? Will the
process be dramatically different than what was just
experienced in 2005? It will be tougher? Will the issues
Ms. McMurray. Mr. Davis, I think, if I understand your
question, are we going to prepare a supplemental request to our
2006 request, we have already got a 2006 request that is
pending with the Technical Committees. And I will just run
through quickly what the process is. It is the same as last
year. We had one review by the Technical Committees already. We
have had a number of questions asked about our numbers that we
are now in the process of responding to, and I think we will
have that complete by the middle of August. And then the final
decision gets made in November.
If there is a 2006 supplemental request, which is allowed
under the Protocol, that would come later this year. That
decision probably wouldn't be made for another 8 to 10 months
finally by the Parties, as to whether or not that would be
Mr. Davis. Are you willing to speculate on the outcome of
the 2006 request, or any supplement to it?
Ms. McMurray. I think it is too early to tell right now. We
have so many questions of a technical nature that have to be
answered about our request, that I can't predict the outcome. I
am hopeful that we will have a similar result to what we had
for the 2005 request, in that we, I think, made our case that
our numbers were technically justified, and I hope we can do
the same thing for 2006.
Mr. Davis. I suppose that there is a committee with other
countries who review and vote to approve or disapprove our
application in this process.
Ms. McMurray. There are two Technical Committees, and they
are broadly representative of not every Party to the Montreal
Protocol, but a range of Parties, including good representation
from the United States.
Mr. Davis. Over the last couple of years or so, have you
all seen any dramatic changes in the attitude or receptivity
that these countries have had to our applications? Is it
getting tougher, are people losing patience, or do people seem
to tend to believe the facts are essentially the same and it is
not a big change?
Ms. McMurray. I think I can give you two answers to that.
First of all, the process really only began about a year ago,
maybe a little bit longer than that, for the first set of
exemptions that were requested. And I think at that point there
was a great deal of opposition to our application. I think it
stemmed from the fact that there wasn't good understanding of
what we were asking for, and why. And we spent a good amount of
time, either through diplomatic channels or through our
technical experts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the
Environmental Protection Agency, in explaining exactly how we
got to the numbers we did. So, it took us maybe 7 or 8 months,
but I feel like we made a good case, and that finally there is
an understanding of what our numbers represent.
But I should add that there is an impatience. There are a
number of countries who want to get to zero, and they don't
understand why our numbers aren't close to zero. So, we are
going to have to make the case again, it is not going to be
easy. Whether the standards will be tougher this year or not is
unclear. That we will know probably in the next 2 or 3 months.
Mr. Davis. One of the arguments that is obviously made by a
number of people in the agriculture community, including from
my State, Florida, is that there are no effective alternatives
available yet. Are the Parties that judge our application in
disagreement with those facts and, if so, what is their view of
the facts in that regard?
Ms. McMurray. I think one of the things we have been
struggling with with the Technical Committee is an inclination
on their part to look at an alternative and assume that it is
able to be used in every part of the world, on any crop, rather
than taking into account specific circumstances--either
climate, or soil, or whatever it might be--in the United
States, or in Italy, or whatever country might have a different
I think we are finally getting over that hurdle, and it is
not an automatic reaction now when they look at alternatives.
We can come back to them and explain why it doesn't work in one
Mr. Davis. If any of the other witnesses would like to
comment on any of these matters.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Return my 30 seconds--25 seconds.
Mr. Hall. I thank the gentleman. I understand Ms. Capps has
further questions. Would you like to ask them at this time?
Ms. Capps. If you would be so kind, I have been waiting a
long time, and I will try to not take the whole 5 minutes.
Mr. Hall. I gave away most of my time earlier this morning.
Ms. Capps. You can't give me anymore?
Mr. Hall. I will yield to you what I have left.
Ms. Capps. You are a good friend. Thank you very much.
Mr. Holmstead, getting back into this topic a little more,
it just means a lot to me to get some more information from
you. You have testified that the estimates of methyl bromide
use range from 30 to 50 percent of the 1991 level, correct? I
wonder if there are other estimates from EPA beside this 30
Mr. Holmstead. The only estimate we have done is the one
that I explained to you before, and that looks at 2003 usage,
and the estimates are in that range. It is really important, I
think, to get a sense of how much work goes into----
Ms. Capps. That is what I am trying to get a handle on.
Where do these estimates come from? Are they confidential, the
sources, or how do you arrive at that percentage?
Mr. Holmstead. We would be happy probably just to send you
a document that has all of the different sources, that would
probably be the easiest.
Ms. Capps. I would appreciate that.
Mr. Holmstead. The other thing--and Ms. McMurray mentioned
this before, too--is the amount of work that goes into the CUE
process. We have literally dozens of people from EPA, from
USDA, Ph.D. agricultural scientists who work with State people
in Florida, California, Georgia, Michigan, throughout the
country where methyl bromide is used, to really understand
where it is necessary, given the soil conditions. And so when
we come up with this estimate of a critical use need for 2005
of 37 percent, it is based on an awful lot of work by a lot
people looking at the best available data.
Ms. Capps. I am sure that you have worked hard for this.
Because our panels aren't all at the table at the same time, I
want to just quote from someone who is going to speak at the
next panel, Mr. Brown, farmer, Executive Vice President of the
Florida Tomato Exchange, from page 3 of his testimony. He says,
``The USDA and EPA aren't substantiating their alternatives,
their numbers, but we can substantiate that substantial
progress has been made in identifying alternatives for a number
of uses. This has resulted in a 60 to 70 percent reduction in
the amount of methyl bromide used in the United States using
1991 as the baseline year.'' Where is that in the mix of
things, and perhaps others, too, who would have similar kinds
of estimates, how does this square with the statements that you
are making of use that could be as high as 50 percent, if they
are reducing by 60 percent in the field? And that is why I am
just wondering how credible this 50 percent could be.
Mr. Holmstead. Again, I don't know how that number was
derived, but it falls within our range. I mean, if he is saying
we have reduced by 60 to 70 percent, that means the remaining
use would be 30 to 40 percent, and that is within the range
that we are already talking about.
So, I think all these numbers are----
Ms. Capps. They are estimates, I understand, but let us
take the high of his, 70 percent reduction, and you are saying
the range could be as much as 50 percent.
Mr. Holmstead. Right, but we are saying it could be as low
as the low 30's, which is consistent with what he estimates--I
think we are saying exactly the same thing. And I don't know if
he--I am not quite sure how he would know about----
Ms. Capps. Well, he will explain it when he testifies.
Mr. Holmstead. Because he may know a lot about tomatoes in
Florida, but I don't know if he has the kind of information we
have about total usage and total consumption of methyl bromide.
Ms. Capps. He is talking about the whole United States.
Mr. Holmstead. Well, I should let him speak for himself.
Ms. Capps. And I should, too.
Mr. Holmstead. I would just point out that it is consistent
with our estimates. We have looked at a number of different
ways of doing this, and it is somewhere between 30 and 50
percent, and he is saying, well, we reduced 60 to 70 percent.
That falls right within our range--unless my math is wrong.
Ms. Capps. I guess there is about a 10 percent discrepancy.
I guess I would like to urge us paying attention to that part.
Mr. Holmstead. This is something that obviously is
important to everyone.
Ms. Capps. Thank you. I think I have used way more than the
time that I should. Thank you.
Mr. Hall. Mr. Davis, do you have additional questions?
Mr. Davis. No, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hall. All right. We want to thank this panel,
appreciate your patience in allowing us to go vote not once,
but I think five times, and during that time they passed my
resolution lauding the Apollo astronauts, so you have been part
of the process. We thank you for your time and thank you for
your assistance, and thank you for what you have done, are
doing, and will do for us. Thank you.
I want to thank the second panel also because while those
who were sitting at the table, you were also waiting.
All right. We thank this Panel No. 2, Mr. James A. Bair,
Vice President, North American Millers' Association; Mr.
Reginald Brown, Executive Vice President, Florida Tomato
Committee--and you can expect some questions, Mr. Brown, and I
think that one of your Members of Congress has been here off
and on, waiting to try to make some inquiries. Congressman
Foley, Mark Foley, has an interest in this, but he is one of
the busier Members of Congress, he's on several very important
committees, and we were trying to leave on Friday, now I think
we're trying to leave on Thursday, and it is to your benefit if
we leave on Wednesday, so we are trying to get out of here.
We have Dr. Michael Mellano, Senior Vice President, Mellano
& Company; Mr. Paul Wenger, Second Vice President, California
Farm Bureau Federation; Mr. David Doniger, Policy Director,
Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council; Dr. David K.
Mueller, President, Insects Limited, Incorporated; Ms. Vanessa
Bogenholm, Owner, VB Farms, Chair, Board California Certified
Organic Farmers, and Mr. James Wolf, Vice President of the
At this time, recognize Mr. Bair, ask you to stay within
about 5 minutes, if you can, but cover your subject adequately,
and we won't be tough on you about time. Thank you.
STATEMENTS OF JAMES A. BAIR, VICE PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICAN
MILLERS' ASSOCIATION; REGINALD L. BROWN, EXECUTIVE VICE
PRESIDENT, FLORIDA TOMATO COMMITTEE; H. MICHAEL MELLANO, SENIOR
VICE PRESIDENT, MELLANO & COMPANY; PAUL WENGER, SECOND VICE
PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION; DAVID MUELLER,
PRESIDENT, INSECTS LIMITED, INCORPORATED; DAVID DONIGER, POLICY
DIRECTOR, CLIMATE CENTER, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL;
VANESSA BOGENHOLM, OWNER, VB FARMS, CHAIR, BOARD CALIFORNIA
CERTIFIED ORGANIC FARMERS; AND JAMES WOLF, VICE PRESIDENT,
Mr. Bair. I will be brief. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and
members of the subcommittee. To your point about Mr. Brown's
Congressman, I would just say that every member of the
subcommittee that has been here today has a flour mill either
in their State or in their specific district. Some of you have
many flour mills in your district.
My name is Jim Bair. I am Vice President of the North
American Millers' Association. We represent the U.S. wheat,
corn and oat milling industry, which is comprised of 46
companies that operate 169 mills and collectively produce more
than 160 million pounds of milled grain products every day, and
that is more than 95 percent of the industry total.
You have heard us in previous hearings and briefings over
the years, talk about the importance of methyl bromide for
sanitation, but today I am going to focus on the Montreal
As you have heard from multiple witnesses already, talking
about the reductions that have already been made, and likewise
we have also reduced our reliance on methyl bromide by more
than 60 percent over the last decade. And, in fact, as you have
also heard, as all industries and as a country, we have reduced
our reliance on all those ozone-depleting substances by 97
Well, I would say, as with any problem, the closer you get
to the goal, the more difficulty incremental gains become, and
I think that eliminating that last 3 percent is going to be
obviously the most difficult to reduce.
We believe that the Montreal Protocol process is flawed,
and we seriously doubt whether we can ever expect a fair shake
from it, and I would like to cite just a few examples. For
example, one of the Technical Committees that Assistant
Secretary McMurray referred to, in the Spring of 2003, they
reviewed our critical use exemption application and gave it a
``recommended'' status for consideration by the Parties to the
Treaty. But then several months later, last fall, a new report
came out and said that it had slipped from being
``recommended'' to merely ``noted,'' which, by the way, wasn't
even an option available to them, but they said it is now in
this netherworld of being just ``noted,'' neither
``recommended'' or ``not recommended,'' just noted.
Well, nothing had changed between the spring and the fall.
No new chemicals had been registered. No new alternatives had
been made available. But, yet, somehow this group of
individuals changed its recommendation. Didn't talk to us.
Didn't tour any mills. Didn't send us a letter, or ask us any
questions. How does that happen? How do these decisions get
made? Frankly, the committees are made up of just individuals.
Many of them are consultants who are beholden to not even their
own countries, maybe just their own clients, and who knows who
they are. So, we doubt the sanctity of that process.
Another example, in February of this year, one of the
technical committees issued another report, and Representative
Issa referenced science--well, this Montreal Protocol
committee, in its report of just February, said that they had
recommended CUEs, but they recommended more liberally than
would be recommended in the future. Well, if they are making
decisions based on sound science, how can they say today that
``we were too liberal in our review of your CUEs, and we are
going to be tougher in the future,'' rather than say, ``sound
science will prevail, we will review the data, and we will make
our decisions when they are presented to us,'' but they are
announcing in advance that they are going to be more strict.
I would say that the Montreal Protocol that Mr. Waxman
referred to, that was passed when the Clean Air Act was amended
to put the U.S. on the same phaseout schedule, that is a
different Montreal Protocol than we are seeing today. There
have been many changes, significant changes that have affected
the intent and the operation of how the Protocol works.
Another example, in my own industry, our critical use
exemption application, the amount of methyl bromide we had
requested was cut by this technical committee, but yet our
competitor industries in, say, the U.K. and Canada, same
milling equipment, same operations, received no cut. How would
that decision be made? How is it that would happen?
I want to point out at this juncture that we have a great
deal of respect for Assistant Secretary McMurray and her
people, and she is, I think, an eternal optimist and probably
wouldn't give you the same sense of frustration perhaps that
the rest of us who are sitting at this table, who have been to
these Montreal Protocol meetings. I have been there multiple
times, and I have seen the way the parties from other countries
disrespect the U.S. negotiators, ignore our requests. It,
frankly, is very frustrating.
I have been forced to leave meetings. We wanted to just sit
in and observe the process, and were told, ``No, you can't even
sit in the back row of this gigantic auditorium and listen to
the deliberations of the parties, this is a closed meeting.''
So, these are people who are making decisions that affect
industries of strategic national importance to the U.S., and we
are not even allowed to be in the room to observe.
In 1900, the largest industry in the United States was the
flour milling industry, my point being this is a very mature
business. We have squeezed out all the inefficiencies that we
can. We are the opposite of high-tech or dot.com. Our margins
are razor-thin or nonexistent. So, when people talk about
alternatives--and you hear a lot about alternatives--I am happy
to debate those alternatives here or in any other forum, but
when the alternatives add cost to the business like they do,
that is something that is not an attractive proposition for us.
We have nowhere else to squeeze inefficiencies out of our
In summary, I would just say that we agree with the
chairman and Mr. Radanovich and 42 other Members of Congress,
who are co-sponsors of H.R. 3403. We think that the
decisionmaking authority ought to be returned to the U.S. EPA.
It was hardly in our back pocket. These are people that ask
tough questions, give thorough analysis and review, and we
think that the authority for granting or denying critical use
exemption applications ought to remain with the U.S. EPA and
not with bureaucrats from countries who, frankly, may be
competitors or antagonistic toward us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of James A. Bair follows:]
Prepared Statement of James A. Bair, Vice President, North American
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee. I am Jim
Bair, vice president of the North American Millers' Association. NAMA
is the trade association representing 46 companies that operate 169
wheat, oat and corn mills in 38 states. Their collective production
capacity exceeds 160 million pounds of product each day, more than 95
percent of the total industry production.
In Congressional hearings and briefings over the years, grain
milling executives have discussed with you how methyl bromide is used
to meet government regulations, and consumers' expectations, for clean
and wholesome food.
They have testified that methyl bromide is easily the most
technically and economically effective tool available to protect grain
processing facilities and the food produced in them against insect
They have described how, even in advance of the Montreal Protocol
phase-out, the industry cut its usage of methyl bromide by more than 60
percent over the last decade.
You have also heard that food and agricultural uses of methyl
bromide are of little environmental significance since, according to
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ``Anthropogenic (man-made)
methyl bromide has contributed a total of about 4% to ozone depletion
over the past 20 years. Of this, about 2.5% can be attributed to
agricultural fumigation activities.''
But there is another point upon which I will focus my remarks
today. It is this: The Montreal Protocol process to eliminate methyl
bromide is broken. Its penchant for secrecy and undemocratic decision-
making is irrational and unfair to U.S. farmers and food processors.
Congress ratified the Montreal Protocol treaty with an
understanding about the details of the agreement. Yet, year after year,
Montreal Protocol committees have acted to change the rules,
significantly altering the original intent of the treaty.
When Montreal Protocol changes are debated, the debates usually
take place in secret meetings. There is no chance for affected parties
to even sit and observe.
When changes are adopted, the changes are never voted upon. The
chairman simply declares that there is, in his view, a consensus and he
declares the outcome.
When the U.S. attempts to suggest changes to make the Protocol
better, developing nations rise in protest. Why? Because the Protocol
allows them an additional 10 years to comply with it, an advantage of
huge economic value. Those countries, the U.S. agricultural
competitors, have made it abundantly clear that their first objective
is maintaining an ill-gotten economic advantage, not in fine-tuning a
treaty to address an environmental goal.
When the U.S. asked for a simple accounting of the many millions of
dollars, much of it from U.S. taxpayers, spent in developing countries
for demonstration projects, there was outright refusal and indignation.
Is Congress willing to sit by and watch U.S. sovereignty be
diminished by bureaucrats at the Montreal Protocol and competing
American agriculture is justifiably skeptical about fair treatment
from the United Nations. The Montreal Protocol approval process is
agenda-driven and highly politicized. Ultimately, the fate of the U.S.
Critical Use Exemption (CUE) applications that are recommended to the
parties of the Montreal Protocol are determined by a handful of
individuals unaccountable to U.S. taxpayers, behind closed doors,
despite the hours and expertise EPA committed to this process.
Some of the U.S. critics in the Montreal Protocol negotiations are
from countries that have no significant agriculture or food processing
industries and therefore never used much methyl bromide to begin with.
So it's easy for them to say it ought to be banned.
Others are from countries that are agricultural competitors of the
U.S., and they are unlikely to surrender the competitive advantage that
has been handed to them.
If agriculture and food processing uses of methyl bromide are very
harmful to the environment, then it should be banned globally on the
same date, and the sooner the better. But banning methyl bromide in the
U.S. while allowing our competitors to continue using it merely shifts
jobs and economic activity to those competitors with no real gain to
the environment. That is a false choice and the U.S. should not be
pressured to make that choice.
It is our view that rule changes implemented since Congress
ratified the treaty have drastically changed the intent and operation
of the treaty. It is further our view that there is no chance of
reforming it to return it to its original intent. Therefore, we endorse
the bill HR 3403 introduced by Representative Radanovich and co-
sponsored by Chairman Hall and 42 other Members of Congress. The bill,
if passed, would simply recognize the expertise of the EPA in granting
or denying exemption applications, and thereby return to the U.S. the
sovereignty to make decisions affecting the viability of an industry of
strategic national importance.
That concludes my testimony, Mr. Chairman. I would be happy to
answer any questions you or other committee members may have.
Mr. Hall. Thank you.
The Chair recognizes Mr. Brown.
STATEMENT OF REGINALD L. BROWN
Mr. Brown. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee. We appreciate this opportunity to discuss the
dilemma that we are in relative to methyl bromide phaseout
under the Montreal Protocol.
I represent the tomato industry in Florida, which is the
largest tomato production system for fresh tomatoes in the
country, and I am also currently the Chairman and President of
the Crop Protection Coalition, which represents food and
agricultural industries, including nurseries and horticultural
industries that rely on methyl bromide to produce, store,
handle, and ship a number of agricultural products in the U.S.
The Coalition is made up of about 30 agricultural organizations
that represent thousands of farmers, processors, and shippers,
and billions of dollars of agricultural production, with
employment running into the hundreds of thousands.
We are very concerned that we have a situation that does
not give us stability in planning and security of supply of a
compound that is extremely critical to these enterprises. We
have been very active in the process of trying to procure
dollars for research for alternatives. All these industries
have been engaged in finding resources for alternatives, and
have been testing resources for alternatives and, as a
testament to that, many of the phaseouts have been a result of
those industries adopting alternatives that research has found
and that they have been able to bring into their own individual
The U.S. use of methyl bromide is down by anywhere from 60
to 70 percent of what its 1991 number was. Now, there is no
absolute guarantee what that number is because no one has the
ultimate record. But when you review the applications for CUEs
and you look at the numbers that were reviewed by the EPA and
deemed to be critical uses in the U.S., and you weigh that
against the cost of methyl bromide, which is not cheap--it is
used because it is a compound that is effective, far from being
cheap--that equates to a use number that the industry is going
to as quickly as they can, provided they don't risk their
Now, every CUE request that came in 2003 for 2005, and the
current 2004 requests going in for 2006, were monumental tasks
for the industries that made those applications. The
applications from Florida alone, if you included the reference
material, would have been in excess of 3,000 pages. The EPA-
USDA review team had in excess of 40 Ph.D.s, and they spent
many, many man-days reviewing these requests from all the
parties that made critical use applications in the U.S. They
reduced the gross critical use application requests from around
60 percent down to the 37-38 percent range, with that review
process. Then that application goes forward to the MBTOC TEAP
process, and it gets further reviewed by a group with
international authority for a period of 3 days, when they are
looking at 116 different applications from around the world,
and they further want to cut it again. The review process in
the U.S. alone, the application review process, is burdensome
to the industry, and it is probably receiving the best science
review, with the most knowledgeable scientists that exist in
the world. And then we go on to the Montreal Protocol.
Now, if you had to risk your individual enterprise on the
basis of when you would have electricity in your home to
operate your calculators and your computers today, and you
might not have it tomorrow, how would you feel? Methyl bromide
is an essential of the enterprises that are making these
critical use applications to the process.
You go to the Montreal Protocol, I have been to two of the
meetings in the last year, and you sit there as a non-diplomat,
looking at the process, and you listen to the conversation on
the floor among the delegates, there are parties in those rooms
that are basically receiving monies indirectly from the U.S.,
for a phaseout of methyl bromide. There are parties in there
making accusations that those industries in the U.S. that want
to use methyl bromide are subsidized and should get more
subsidies so that they don't have to continue to use methyl
bromide. And I will attest to you that our industry and most of
the horticultural industries in this country that I am aware of
receive no government subsidies whatsoever.
We are basically bearing the cost and paying the cost of
making that change for the betterment of the ozone layer. But
when you get us down to the point we don't have anywhere else
to go but out of business, it becomes a very unfair and
impractical process. Even our own U.S. delegation pled with the
group in Geneva just last week for a measure of reasonableness
in the evaluation of CUEs and reasonableness in the evaluation
and modifications of the MBTOC process, as opposed to an air of
suspicion or distrust, which basically is, from a non-
diplomatic point of view, what we are seeing.
Then we see countries that manage to coalesce together to
look at the U.S. market and say, ``Ah, here is an opportunity
for us to export.'' Simple solution to that is keep U.S.
producers from producing. We have an opportunity here, don't
we, from their perspective. And we do this by consensus.
Now, would you like to risk your farm to an enterprise in a
system operated in this fashion that is absolutely
nontransparent, not open, no recorded vote, obviously not
having a very high scientific standard--because I would venture
to say the science standard of the review process here in the
U.S. is probably better than any in the world, as a credit to
our EPA-USDA and State Department staff as they have looked at
the proposals of the U.S. industries, and then we go on among
our friends to have them make a decision about our future.
Don't you know we feel real comfortable being in that position.
And, unfortunately, there are not many ways out of it, as we
currently see it.
We are going to live day-to-day, year-to-year, in an effort
that we have undertaken in good faith to phaseout methyl
bromide to get us down to the last gasp, the last ounce, and
there are forces out there that would just as soon have the
solution for getting us down to that last ounce, to let us go
out of business because the critical use process was put in the
Montreal Protocol to ensure that the process of phasing out
methyl bromide and other compounds under the Protocol didn't
put people out of business, but yet the process is being
subjected to manipulation where we run the risk of going out of
business, and that is American jobs and American farms. And I
appreciate the opportunity to be here with you this morning.
[The prepared statement of Reginald L. Brown follows:]
Prepared Statement of Reginald L. Brown, Executive Vice President,
Florida Tomato Exchange
Good morning Mr. Chairman, I am Reggie Brown, Executive Vice
President of the Florida Tomato Exchange. On behalf of the tomato
growers of Florida, I thank you for holding this hearing on a subject
of critical interest to the industry. Florida Tomato growers produce
the largest volume of fresh tomatoes in the United States. Prior to
working for the industry, I was employed as a County Extension Agent in
Southwest Florida where many of Florida's winter vegetable are grown. I
grew up in the vegetable business in North Florida and my family
continues to operate a family farm in that area. Methyl bromide is a
key component in the production systems for of tomatoes, strawberries,
bell pepper and other vegetables.
I am also President of the Crop Protection Coalition (CPC). The CPC
represents food and agricultural industries, including nursery and
horticultural industries that rely on methyl bromide to help produce,
store, handle or ship foods or other agricultural products. The
Coalition is comprised of 35 agricultural organizations in the United
States representing thousands of American farmers, processors and
shippers of billions of dollars of agricultural production and
employing hundreds of thousands of people. Our commodities, farms and
the economic contribution they make are an extremely important economic
factor in many communities in the United States. While the crops we
produce or handle are diverse, we share a common concern about the
potential loss of an important crop protection tool--methyl bromide.
Consequently, we are very interested in assuring that adequate tools
are available to address the plant pest and disease problems
confronting our members.
Since the early 1990's, members of the CPC have been actively
engaged in addressing the issues raised by the phase-out of methyl
bromide. These include, for example, supporting the increased and
targeted investment in research to find alternatives to methyl bromide,
working on changes to reduce the potential for emissions from the
application of methyl bromide and working with both international
bodies as well as our own government on the development of a phase-out
policy for methyl bromide.
CPC wishes we could tell the Subcommittee today that viable
alternatives to methyl bromide have been found for the remaining uses
of methyl bromide. We cannot. The USDA and EPA cannot either. We can
state that substantial progress has been made in identifying
alternatives for a number of uses. This has resulted in a 60-70%
reduction in the amount of methyl bromide used in the United States,
using 1991 as the baseline year. All of this was fully documented in
the extensive hearing held in June of last year by this Subcommittee to
consider methyl bromide and the Critical Use Exemption (CUE) process.
The hearing record developed at that time reflects excellent
information on the continued need for methyl bromide as well as efforts
that had been made to identify and implement potential methyl bromide
replacement products by the American agricultural industry and
government. CPC was pleased to also hear statements from the
Subcommittee making it clear that if the then upcoming First
Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol scheduled
for Montreal in March 2004, did not resolve the material substantive
issues confronting American agriculture, legislation from this
Subcommittee would be forthcoming.
In the opinion of the CPC, despite the excellent, persistent
efforts of the U.S. delegation to the Montreal meeting, they were not
successful in having the U.S. issues appropriately addressed,
particularly on a long-term basis. Rather, we are left with having to
run the CUE gauntlet each and every year. This is both frustrating and
unfair. I would like to examine the shortfalls of the process relied on
by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol using the First Extraordinary
Meeting of the Parties in Montreal, the Nairobi and recent Geneva Open-
Ended Working Group meetings as a backdrop.
Briefly stated, there appears to be a lack of due process under the
Montreal Protocol. Decisions are often not scientifically based. The
scientific review of CUE nominations of individual countries appears to
be both irrational and extremely weak. Deliberations and discussions on
substantive issues are conducted in secret. There are no recorded votes
on issues. Rather, the Chair of the meeting apparently exercises
discretion to determine how and if particular issues are addressed.
Then Subcommittee Chairman Barton and now full Committee Chair,
described this very well in the last hearing when he said: ``If you
have never taken a vote, I think touchy feely is a pretty good
definition of how it works. It is not hanky panky. But we have got a
problem here in that I am going to stipulate that we are really trying
to come up with alternatives that the Bush administration, previous
Clinton administration really wants to take methyl bromide off the
market so that we can stop the ozone depletion, but it apparently is
really difficult to do so. We have these 183 parties who signed the
Protocol, but only two countries make methyl bromide and only 5 or 6
really use much of it. So you got 183 decision-makers, but you don't
have that many really vested sufferers if it is taken off the market.''
In short, there appears to be a lack of accountability for persons
involved in the decision-making process under the Protocol,
particularly co-chairman of Protocol committees such as the Technology
and Economic Assessment Panel.
Having attended most of these meetings, I continue to be amazed
over how much the views of other countries towards U.S. proposals
appear to be influenced more by those countries' feelings towards the
foreign policy initiatives of our country rather than the logic or
science surrounding the U.S. delegation's proposal. Based on our
understanding from our Nation's negotiators, even simple attempts to
reduce the burden of the CUE process for applicants, nominating
countries and the Parties are not given fair consideration. From the
developing nations' perspective, some of whom the U.S. agricultural
industry have to compete in the marketplace, the most important thing
in the methyl bromide debate appears to be their continued ability to
gain access to the Multilateral Fund, a significant part of which is
funded by the United States. Our Nation's farmers and processors do not
have access to the Multilateral Fund. Therefore, in the U.S. methyl
bromide transition costs must be absorbed by the particular commodity
involved. The ability to pass these costs onto consumers is next to
What is particularly frustrating is the attitude of the Parties
towards CUE nominations. For example, the 2005 U.S. nomination for CUEs
was based in large measure on applications submitted by the various
affected sectors. In a number of instances, the applications included
hundreds and even thousands of pages of supporting material. These were
then carefully subjected to critical review by over 40 scientists from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA). From these applications, the U.S. government
developed the amount of methyl bromide and the uses involved that it
wanted to nominate for CUE consideration by the Parties under the
After this extensive effort, an advisory group to the Protocol
reviewed all the U.S. nominations as well as those of the rest of the
world in just under 3 days. Initially it appeared that the advisory
group was not going to recommend approval for over 60% of the U.S.
nominations. However, they subsequently changed their mind but advised
that since this was the first CUE nomination, they were being
``liberal'' in their review of the nomination requests. In the future,
the reviews would be more demanding and rigorous. The clear message was
that they can appease the U.S. for one year, but thereafter they don't
have to worry about the U.S.
CPC members were struck by this attitude. It reflected a certain
arrogance as well as a decision making process that was not based upon
demonstrated need. No one from the advisory committee bothered to call
me to request to tour our productions area and see how we use methyl
bromide and have utilized alternatives where possible. What we have
been told is that the attitude under the Protocol is there is no God
given right to grow any crop in the United States if it can't be grown
without methyl bromide. Rather, production areas simply have to shift
to other areas if the chemical is needed, or in their view, have our
U.S. consumers be more dependent on imports. In other words,
communities must be uprooted to eliminate this chemical regardless of
the impact from such disruption.
Something must be done to fix this process because it simply does
not work for methyl bromide. U.S. agriculture is clearly transitioning
away from methyl bromide. It continues to need time to help make that
transition without unnecessarily disrupting people's jobs, their homes
or their communities.
I appreciate this opportunity to provide this testimony. We
certainly look forward to Congressional action including the action of
your Subcommittee to help resolve our problem. Congressman Hall clearly
annunciated an approach at the last hearing that we would support and
recommend to this Subcommittee for action, namely: ``But they ought to
renegotiate, the United Nations, for our people, the Montreal Protocol
that allowed the United States more time beyond 2005, because it was
pushed on us by developing countries such as Mexico and China and
others that have the chemical available at least until 2015. To our
detriment, a lot of them in northern Europe, those countries led the
effort in the Montreal Protocol to eliminate the product, but these
nations have a very little need for it because of favorable climatic
conditions. And if they can't do that, then we ought to have the
courage to put some legislation on the books to amend the U.S. Law to a
phase-out level of 50 percent that was in effect prior to 2003. I think
we owe that.'' Certainly the legislation authorized by Congressman
Radanovich (H.R.3403) provides another opportunity for this
Subcommittee to exercise leadership on this issue.
Mr. Hall. Thank you, sir. The Chair recognizes Mr. Issa to
introduce Mr. Mellano.
Mr. Issa. From the great State of California. Dr. Mellano
is a major employer in my district, and happens to be involved
in what my district is best known for, which is the nursery
production industry. Among other things, we are called the
``Flower Capital of America,'' at least by ourselves. Thank
you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hall. And your Congressman is a major part of this
committee. He attends most of the meetings, asks very good
questions, and always stands up for California, especially
Mr. Issa. As best I can, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF H. MICHAEL MELLANO
Mr. Mellano. My Congressman is a good guy. We appreciate
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we appreciate
the opportunity to testify. I am here for the Society of
American Florists, the American Nursery and Landscape
Association, and the California Cut Flower Commission.
As you now know, I am a cut flower and foliage grower, and
we also produce bulb crops in Southern California, in San Diego
With your permission, I submit my written testimony, and I
will summarize it here. Before I start that, I would like to
remind you that our crops represent 11 percent of the value of
the U.S. agricultural crops, and we are the No. 3 crop in the
United States, after corn and soybeans.
I think the main point I want to make today is that our
industry, the flower and nursery industry, we have met our
obligations under the terms of the Protocol. The Protocol calls
for us to do research to find alternatives, and actually we
have been doing that at our company for 40 years because we are
looking for a cheaper way to go than methyl bromide, and we
have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last few
years, to come into compliance with the Protocol. And we are
using the alternatives that are technically and economically
feasible. We are using all of them in some way. However, in
some of our cases, the reduced productivity and the increased
production costs don't allow us to switch to methyl bromide. In
addition, many at the United Nations recommended alternatives
that don't work in our operation, and I don't believe the
Protocol calls for us to use somebody else's data.
Now, the Treaty specifically says that until technically
and economically feasible alternatives are available, we are
entitled to an exemption. But we, as cut flower growers, have
very little confidence that we are really going to get what we
are entitled to, and it is going to be very difficult for us to
remain competitive without the use of methyl bromide, for the
reasons that have already been mentioned.
Now, my written testimony talks about alternatives in
detail, and I won't go over that, but if there are questions, I
will be glad to answer them.
In addition to that, I brought along a copy of our CUE
application for 2006, and this is it. And I would like to turn
it in because it gives the details of some of the research that
we have done.
Mr. Hall. You are going to put it into the record?
Mr. Mellano. I would like to, if that is possible.
Mr. Hall. Is there objection? The Chair hears none. It will
[The information referred to is retained in subcommittee
Mr. Mellano. Now, based on our research results, and we are
prepared to stand on our results--we have the data, we are
entitled to a CUE, but we are afraid we are not going to get it
from the United Nations, that is our concern, same as the
Now, I attended the meeting in Montreal, and to me the
process is not science-based. It is very, very political. In my
personal opinion, it is not working because several countries
have an underlying agenda, and that agenda is to undermine U.S.
businesses. It is very obvious when you are there. They ignore
the data. They say what they want to say. They quote data that
has not been made public, and I don't see how you can do that.
Now, I will give an example of what I think is wrong. I
will just give one, and I think that example is China. China is
not a party to the Protocol. China is producing and marketing
methyl bromide on a worldwide basis. And China is rapidly
expanding their horticulture business for export. So, because
they are not a party to the Protocol, they don't have to abide
by it. But they are arguing in favor of banning methyl bromide,
even though they themselves don't have to comply. Now, that
just doesn't seem fair to me. That is not the system I am used
Now, it is clear to me that the EPA is doing a good job,
but I don't think the U.N. decision-makers want to listen to
us, and their rulings as to feasible alternatives just don't
work all the time here.
So, in closing, I appreciate your time, and we appreciate
all the help you are giving us. And we ask you to support
Radanovich's bill, H.R. 3403, because that is going to
guarantee that we get a fair shake, and that is all we want,
and a fair shake based on the science. That is what we want.
[The prepared statement of H. Michael Mellano follows:]
Prepared Statement of H. Michael Mellano, Senior Vice President,
Mellano & Company on behalf of the Society of American Florists and the
California Cut Flower Commission
Chairman Hall, Ranking Member Boucher, and Members of the
Committee, we are grateful for the opportunity to present joint
testimony on behalf of the nursery, landscape and floriculture industry
of the U.S. The topic of continued availability of methyl bromide to
U.S. nursery and floriculture growers is of huge importance to our
The Society of American Florists (SAF) is the national trade
association representing the entire floriculture industry, a $19
billion component of the U.S. economy. Membership includes about 14,000
small businesses, including growers, wholesalers, retailers, importers
and related organizations, located in communities nationwide and
abroad. The industry produces and sells cut flowers and foliage,
foliage plants, potted flowering plants, and bedding plants.
The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) is a non-profit public
corporation formed in October 1990 by and for growers, under the laws
of the State of California. Its mission is to provide a unified effort
by growers to enhance the performance of the California cut flower and
greens industry, by providing promotion, marketing, government
education, and research on behalf of the industry. It was voted into
being by a referendum of cut flower growers and is financially
supported by grower assessments on the sales of fresh cut flowers and
In crop value, nursery and greenhouse crops have surpassed wheat,
cotton, and tobacco and are now the third largest plant crop--behind
only corn and soybeans. Nursery and greenhouse crop production now
ranks among the top five agricultural commodities in 24 states, and
among the top 10 in 40 states. Growers produce THOUSANDS of varieties
of cultivated nursery, bedding, foliage and potted flowering plants in
a wide array of different forms and sizes on 1,305,052 acres of open
ground and 1,799 million square feet under the protective cover of
permanent or temporary greenhouses.
I. THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL CRITICAL USE EXEMPTION (CUE) PROCESS IS SIMPLY
NOT WORKING, AND CONGRESS MUST ACT TO PROTECT U.S. GROWERS.
The Montreal Protocol, to which the United States is a signatory,
clearly sets out a Critical Use Exemption process. If practicable and
economical alternatives are NOT available, then growers are to be
allowed to continue use of methyl bromide. This concept is not complex,
and its intent is clear. If growers have made an effort to find
alternatives that work, and have failed to do so, they should not be
put out of business because of the requirements of the treaty.
Yet growers being put out of business is exactly what we are facing
today, because the Critical Use Exemption (CUE) process is not
functioning as it should.
U.S. growers can--and will--comply with the terms of the Montreal
Protocol. When we have economical and practical alternatives to methyl
bromide, we will use them. We have made our best efforts, and invested
hundreds of thousands of dollars in research to find workable
alternatives. But today, we remain without those alternatives--and we
are faced with the January 1, 2005 deadline, after which the future is
This testimony will outline the difficulties faced by the
floriculture and nursery industry in what has become a very dire
situation. We will first discuss how methyl bromide is used, and the
complexity of the industry. Secondly, we will discuss the alternatives
available to ornamental growers, and why we still require methyl
bromide in order to remain competitive. Finally, we will focus on the
current CUE process, and why it is not functioning as was intended by
the signatories to the treaty.
In summary, it is imperative that this Congress move to fix the
currently broken process. We support the legislation (H.R. 3403),
introduced by Representative George Radanovich, or similar legislation,
which we believe will protect U.S. interests without abrogating our
international treaty responsibilities.
II. METHYL BROMIDE USE IN THE FLORICULTURE AND NURSERY INDUSTRY
Methyl bromide is a critically important part of ornamental
production in many areas of the U.S. Field-grown cut flowers, shade
house production of some flowers in the ground, caladiums and even
treatment of dried flowers and materials such as tree fern totems (used
for some vining foliage plants), are key uses in ornamental production.
The diversity and intensity of cropping systems in ornamental
production greatly aggravates the issue of the pending loss of methyl
bromide, especially when our main competitors in third-world countries
will continue to be able to use methyl bromide well beyond the U.S.
phase-out, giving them a strong competitive advantage.
Our industry must survive in an international market, with
competitors who will have the advantage of being able to continue to
use methyl bromide.
When ornamental crops are produced in open fields, space and timing
are key issues. Think of a patchwork ``crazy quilt''--with small fields
containing different types of flowers or foliage, planted at different
times, with different pest control and other growing requirements.
Flexibility and adaptability to the needs of each specific type of crop
are key factors in pest control. As discussed below, for example,
simply applying an herbicide to one plot of land could mean that that
land becomes unusable for crops for a time of at least several months.
We cannot afford to let our land lie idle, with no crops growing on it,
for those several months. Yet that is what the CUE process, as it now
stands, would force us to do. We cannot remain competitive, in an
international market, without being able to use methyl bromide--until
economic and practical alternatives are found.
At Mellano & Company, in southern California, we produce over 50
different crops with upwards of 20 different varieties within a crop.
New crops are our lifeblood and are being introduced annually at an
extremely rapid pace, often with only a few years of market appeal.
Without methyl bromide, we will not be able to respond to these rapidly
changing market trends. The cost of establishing ornamental crops is
extremely high--in some crops, costs can exceed $50,000 -$60,000 per
acre. Methyl bromide helps insure that our investment isn't decimated
by plant diseases.
Similarly, for Florida growers, methyl bromide has been one of the
most crucial tools used by the flower industry. Due to the Florida
climate, without using a sufficiently clean soil to plant into, growers
could not compete in the world flower industry. Growing any crop is
difficult due to a variety of challenges growers deal with every day
from cold to heat to rain to drought. Florida growers have stated that,
if they lost methyl bromide tomorrow, they would have to shut down a
large portion of their businesses, due to the fact that there are no
practical chemical alternatives. Despite the fact that the whole
agriculture sector, along with the USDA, have been looking for a
substitute for years, no suitable substitute has been endorsed by
anyone involved with that effort.
We submit, for the hearing record, a copy of the Critical Use
Exemption Request For Methyl Bromide Use In Cut Flowers And Field-Grown
Bulbs, prepared by Dr. A. R. Chase on behalf of U.S. flower and foliage
growers, as their CUE exemption request for the years 2005-2006. That
report gives an excellent summary of the industry's need for methyl
Our industry, and the U.S. government, have spent hundreds of
thousands of dollars on research for methyl bromide alternatives over
the past 20 years--yet no single alternative has yet been found which
will allow growers to economically and practically replace the use of
methyl bromide in their complex and ever-changing growing operations.
Thus, under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, we must still be
allowed to use methyl bromide. However, it does not appear at this
point that we will be allowed to do so.
During the 1960s, as a graduate student at the University of
California-Riverside, I worked for five years in the laboratory of Dr.
Don Munnecke, one of the world's leading researchers on methyl bromide
and methyl bromide alternatives. During that time, we were working on
many of the alternatives that are still being considered today--
solarization, steam, and alternative fumigants, trying to find
alternatives from a production and economic point of view. Despite the
fact that 40 years have intervened, we still have not found
alternatives that are economically viable, or effective from a
production point of view.
In the early 1990s, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC)
took the lead in funding research on methyl bromide alternatives in
floriculture, by providing $150,000 to begin research projects. Since
then, CCFC has continued grants over the past 12 years, with hundreds
of thousands of private industry funds invested in research on
alternatives. Research has involved everything from alternative
fumigants, solarization, treatment of soil with steam, microwave or UV,
soil fertility and amendment with green manures and biological agents.
The current alternatives include fumigants such as 1, 3-D (Telone),
chloropicrin, Dazomet (Basamid) and metam sodium (Vapam) applied alone
and in various combinations. Those are discussed in more detail below.
In each case, it should be noted that the Montreal Protocol
requirements of ``practical and economic'' are not met. Nor do
combinations of these alternatives meet those requirements, at this
point in time.
Chloropicrin. The efficacy of this chemical is very good on diseases
and some weeds. The problem is that it does not work in all
cases, nor for all floral crops, so even if we can use it in
part, or in specific places, it will not replace methyl
bromide. It will simply supplement our use of methyl bromide.
It is also extremely toxic--chloropicrin is ``tear gas.''
Telone. Again, the efficacy is very good on nematodes. However, Telone
also does not fulfill all our needs, and it has very high
Vapam (metam sodium). Metam sodium also has a high efficacy--but it
does not work reliably under each our production regimes. Its
toxicity is extremely high--and at this point, it is uncertain
whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will
renew the registration, so that it cannot be considered for
Methyl iodide. This chemical is new, and while it has very good
potential, it is not yet registered by EPA. Its toxicity is
likely to be high.
Herbicides. Various herbicides are available on the market, many of
which are very effective. The problems are, again, that if a
crop is grown for two or three months in one spot in a field,
then to use herbicides on that spot might make it unusable
again for growing for several months to several years,
depending upon the particular herbicide and the soil
conditions. Obviously, that makes reliance on herbicides
uneconomic. Again, toxicity is high.
Solarization. This method, which is widely touted by countries arguing
against the U.S. exemptions, has only very limited geographic
potential use in the U. S. ornamentals industry. When it works,
it works well. However, it only works when the soil and climate
conditions are just right, so it cannot be considered an
Steam. Again, the efficacy of steam is good. However, it is technically
not feasible at present for field applications. It requires an
enormous investment in terms of capital and research costs as
to the specific site of use. To install steam at our own
operations in California would make our crops uneconomic. Of
course, it also requires the use of fossil fuels, with
subsequent environmental consequences.
New Application Technologies (various mulches, various formulations).
While eventually, sophisticated application and cropping
technologies may become usable, they are not yet technically
feasible. In any event, most, if not all, application
technologies will continue to require the use of methyl bromide
as one component.
Crop rotation. Of course, the efficacy is good. However, it requires
greatly increased acreage to maintain production. This
significant increase in investment makes it impossible to grow
the crops we now grow and sell, relying simply on this tool.
Various organic practices. Again, the efficacy can be good, depending
upon the specific practice. However, the problem, as with crop
rotation, is in the practicability. Organic practices are being
integrated more and more into crop production--but, among other
things, they usually require a significant increase in labor or
other costs, making them uneconomic as well as, at this point,
Plant breeding/genetic engineering. This alternative is a very good
future alternative. Again, however, it will not work in all
cases. Moreover, the resistance to acceptance by the general
population of genetic engineering makes this alternative
extremely unusable at any time in the near future.
None of these alternatives can give the control of the pests that
methyl bromide can. They very often require use of additional
pesticides to improve efficacy. This use of additional pesticides
results in an increased load on the environment over the current
scenario. There are, of course, no guarantees that these materials will
remain available in the future--many alternatives being considered
today would have to go through a lengthy EPA registration process
before they were commercially usable. In some cases, the alternatives
are much more toxic--both to the environment and to workers and perhaps
even to consumers--than methyl bromide. Our day-to-day workers, for
example, could be exposed throughout the whole crop cycle.
Economics: The combination of increased land required for
production, costs of materials, reduced production, and reduced quality
makes all of the above alternatives economically infeasible at present.
Some of these materials are very good alternatives to methyl bromide,
and are indeed being used and have allowed us to reduce our use of
methyl bromide, floral and foliage growers in the U.S. still require
methyl bromide in order to remain internationally competitive.
It must be noted that our CUE application, as submitted through the
process to EPA and the MBTOC, takes all of these into account in the
amounts requested. Our industry is not simply relying on methyl
bromide. The ornamentals industry is making efforts to move forward
into the use of alternatives. However, it is not yet economically or
technically practical for us to do so. Therefore, under the terms of
the Montreal Protocol itself, our CUE application should be approved.
The use of chemicals in our industry, in California, in Florida,
and in other parts of the U.S., is the subject of much research, both
publicly and privately funded, as growers attempt to move toward more
environmentally and worker-friendly chemicals and toward integrated
pest management (IPM) practices, which also reduces our production
costs. Yet in the case of methyl bromide, our industry is being pushed
to rely on those more toxic, more harmful chemicals, which runs counter
to all of the public policy concerns we are discussing and which our
industry is investing in and is attempting to embrace.
IV. THE CRITICAL USE EXEMPTION PROCESS
Perhaps the most troublesome aspect of the methyl bromide story
involves the application for a ``critical use exemption.'' The process
is extremely costly and burdensome, and there are no guarantees that an
exemption will get through U.S. EPA, let alone that the exemption will
be gathered by the international review panel. Our major competitors in
third-world countries, however, will continue to have methyl bromide
available for their usage for several years beyond the U.S. phaseout.
The Society of American Florists joined with the California Cut
Flower Commission and with Florida growers to file a joint application,
covering uses by ornamentals growers in both California and Florida,
for the years 2005 and 2006. The application (submitted for the hearing
record as a part of this testimony) summarized thousands of pages of
data and research into about 100 pages of ``proof'' that the growers
represented continue to require methyl bromide.
The application was submitted to EPA on time, and we understand
that EPA forwarded some version of that application on to the MBTOC.
However, we do not know what EPA's ``summary of our summary''
contained--or whether EPA's summary adequately states our case. We have
received follow-up questions from MBTOC that clearly demonstrate that
the complexity of the floral industry is not understood either by EPA
or by MBTOC, despite EPA's very diligent efforts to do a good job of
presenting our application.
V. THE CUE PROCESS SHOULD WORK TO ALLOW U.S. GROWERS TO CONTINUE TO USE
METHYL BROMIDE--BUT IT IS NOT DOING SO. WHY SHOULD THE FLORAL INDUSTRY
CONTINUE TO HAVE A CUE?
The U.S. industry has fulfilled the terms of the Montreal Protocol:
1. It has done and continues to do research to find alternatives, as
called for in the treaty.
2. It has reduced and will continue to reduce its use of methyl
bromide, as economically and technically feasible alternatives
become available--as called for in the treaty.
The Montreal Protocol requires that, where economic and technical
alternatives are not available, the industry must be allowed to
continue to use methyl bromide. Our industry does not have economic and
technically feasible alternatives at this time--therefore, our industry
should be granted the CUE as requested.
The fact is that decisions are being made by the international
treaty body, not based on the complexity of our industry or on the full
information we have provided in the CUE application, but on a very
minimal understanding and on a predetermined goal of ``getting us to
zero use.'' Getting U.S. agriculture to ``zero use'' is not required by
the Montreal Protocol. All that compliance with this treaty requires is
that the industry be without economic and practical alternatives. We
believe that we have well-stated that case--yet our hopes for obtaining
an exemption, at this point, are not high.
The bottom line is that the decision will be made on our
application for 2005-2006, at the Prague meeting of the treaty
parties--which takes place in November, 2004. We will not know until
after that meeting (if then, since the Nairobi meeting produced no
decisions), whether or not U.S. growers will have methyl bromide
available for crops that need to be planted early in 2005. No industry
can afford to live with that kind of economic uncertainty--nor should
it be required to do so.
VI. WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL THAT MAKES THE CUE
PROCESS, WHICH IS MANDATED BY THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL ITSELF, BREAK DOWN?
The discussion and stated agenda at the international meetings (the
Nairobi meeting last year, the Montreal meeting this spring, the most
recent Vienna meeting, and most likely the Prague meeting in November)
is the CUE process. However, the underlying agenda, for many of the
participants, is completely different--and has nothing to do with the
Montreal Protocol treaty.
Europe. Several northern European countries have banned the
use of methyl bromide. Thus, crops which still require methyl
bromide have moved into southern Europe or into third-world
countries. Even if the product is produced in a third-world
country on a farm owned, from a distance, by a European
company, that third-world country can continue to use methyl
bromide until 2015. Thus, the U.S. grower who wants to keep
production in the U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage.
Northern European countries are arguing vigorously against U.S.
applications for methyl bromide use--based, in many cases, on
their own ability to obtain a competitive advantage by doing
China: China is on record as being in favor of barring the
production of methyl bromide. However, because China is not a
party to the treaty, it can continue to produce the chemical--
so if production is stopped, it helps them on the world market.
It should be noted that China is also moving toward becoming a
major producer of horticultural crops--and they will continue
to use, and increase their use of, methyl bromide.
As a witness, I testified at the June, 2003 hearing before this
Committee. Many members strongly stated at that hearing that, if the
international process does not work, this Committee would consider
legislation. Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, we are at that
point. The CUE process is not working, and U.S. industry is in danger
of becoming uncompetitive as a result. The Montreal Protocol itself
provides that growers must be allowed exemptions if economic and
practical alternatives are not available. We have shown that those
alternatives are not available to us. Yet we are NOT receiving the
exemptions we need. It is time for this Committee to provide
legislative insistence that will support U.S. growers.
The United States government must support the U.S. agricultural
economy in ensuring that methyl bromide remains available to growers,
until suitable alternatives are found and can be implemented. We cannot
simply bow to decisions which appear to be predetermined and which will
put our agricultural sector at a very significant competitive
disadvantage with growers in third-world countries. The phaseout of
methyl bromide is a critical issue for U.S. agriculture, and we
respectfully request this Committee for support and assistance in
reaching a reasonable solution to what is rapidly becoming a crisis for
many producers, and the workers they employ across the United States.
[Additional materiial submitted is retained in subcommittee files.]
Mr. Hall. That is not asking for too much. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF PAUL WENGER
Mr. Wenger. Thank you, Chairman Hall, members of the
committee, for taking the time today for this very important
topic. My name is Paul Wenger. I am a third-generation farmer
from Modesto, California. My family grows almonds and walnuts.
And I also currently serve as the Second Vice President of the
California Farm Bureau Federation.
Last year, Bill Pauly, our Farm Bureau President, was
before the same committee to testify about the many benefits
that methyl bromide provide to our agricultural producers, as
well as the consumers who depend upon us for a safe and
reliable food supply. So, today I would like to focus not so
much on those as the CUE process and what Congress should do to
help solve those problems.
At the aforementioned hearing before this subcommittee last
summer, committee members voiced concerns about the
international treatment of and fairness toward the U.S.
critical use exemption requests. Then Chairman Barton went on
to suggest that if the Montreal Protocol process of granting
CUEs was not improved, the committee would be willing to take
legislative action. Regrettably, circumstances have not
improved for U.S. users who have no other choice than to depend
on methyl bromide. We hope this subcommittee remains open to
taking legislative action on our behalf.
The CUE process is designed to provide leave for the most
critical uses. Producer needs are well documented by the great
efforts of both the USDA and the EPA. We thank the
administration for their work. USDA, EPA and the State
Department have put in tremendous efforts in pursuit of a
The 2005 U.S. CUE nomination requested a consumption
allowance of 39 percent of the 1991 established baseline. This
spring, the parties allowed the United States only a 35 percent
CUE based on consumption baselines, and then added a
requirement that domestic production be capped at 30 percent.
Nowhere in the Protocol is there any mention of direct
limitation solely on production. The parties created a new
requirement. Unfortunately, because U.S. farmers need to have
an approved CUE percentage to prepare for the 2005 planting
season, our delegation was effectively forced to accept the
China and developing nations such as Chile and Mexico will
have access to methyl bromide until 2015, while the U.S.
phaseout starts in just a few months. Coincidentally, many of
these developing nations and China are major competitors with
U.S. producers in specialty crop markets.
Many individuals and groups have questioned the legitimacy
and objectivity of the CUE process. The actions of the parties
since last summer, most recently in the Working Group meetings
in Geneva, again confirmed that the international process is
not objective, transparent, or science-based.
The Farm Bureau strongly believes that the obstructionist
actions of some of the international community translate to
other countries making planting decisions for our U.S. farmers,
and threatening our competitiveness and economy.
We have seen and experienced enough of the Montreal
Protocol process to be convinced that the CUE process, as it
currently exists, cannot be relied on to fairly evaluate U.S.
agriculture's legitimate methyl bromide needs.
The Farm Bureau joins others who believe that improvements
must be made to the Montreal Protocol CUE process.
Specifically, first, the CUE process must be science-based and
fair to all participants. We believe the U.S. Government
clearly laid out the necessary information to prove that the
requirements for granting a CUE under the Montreal Protocol
were met. Unless there is a legitimate scientific question, CUE
approval should not be open to political negotiation.
Second, future CUE negotiations should not include
additional limits or reductions to production. The terms of the
Montreal Protocol intended for CUE to be granted based on
consumption, not production. Unfortunately, the parties created
new Treaty terms by limiting U.S. production of methyl bromide
to 30 percent of the baseline production. The United States has
complied with the terms of the Protocol. We believe it is only
fair the parties do the same by not including production limits
in the CUE.
And, third, the international process should allow for
multi-year CUE requests. U.S. negotiators have proposed this
concept to the Parties, but so far it has been rejected with
little debate on its merit. We support a multi-year CUE because
it would streamline the application process and relieve yearly
burden on the applicants and agencies. Most importantly, a
multi-year CUE would allow for better planning among users.
Better planning leads to more flexibility, and more flexibility
could lead to further reductions in the need for methyl
bromide. We have seen and experienced enough of the Montreal
Protocol to be convinced that there is little hope that the CUE
process, as it currently exists, can be relied on to fairly
evaluate American agriculture's legitimate methyl bromide
The Farm Bureau supports H.R. 3403, sponsored by yourself,
Mr. Chairman, and Congressman Radanovich and 42 other sponsors.
The legislation would allow use of methyl bromide, as approved
by the EPA, in accordance with international standards. H.R.
3403 provides an incentive for the Parties to the Protocol to
fairly consider future U.S. CUE requests.
We respectfully request Congress' formal consideration of
H.R. 3403 to provide fairness and certainty to domestic users
depending on critical uses of methyl bromide. Further, we
encourage Congress to support and continue to oversee the
administration's ongoing efforts to reform the CUE process as
soon as possible.
While American farmers have made great strides in achieving
reduction in methyl bromide, other countries, some Parties to
the Protocol and some not, continue increasing their usage and
production of methyl bromide. Despite our best efforts,
American agriculture has come to a breaking point on further
compliance with the phaseout. Unfortunately, the actions of
some in the international community clearly illustrate that the
Protocol is no longer about ozone protection.
I thank you for the opportunity, and look forward to any
questions you may have. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Paul Wenger follows:]
Prepared Statement of Paul Wenger, Second Vice President, California
Farm Bureau Federation on Behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation
Good morning Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. My name is
Paul Wenger; I farm in California's Stanislaus County producing walnuts
and almonds. I am second vice president of the California Farm Bureau
Federation. On behalf of the thousands of Farm Bureau members across
the nation who depend on methyl bromide, I thank you for the
opportunity to address you today regarding our increasing concern about
the critical use exemption process under the Montreal Protocol.
Methyl bromide is an indispensable pest control tool used in crop
production, grain storage, food processing and general pest management.
For some agricultural users, its availability is essential to providing
consumers a safe and reliable food supply. As you are aware, non-
critical use of methyl bromide in this country will be phased-out
starting in January of next year, in compliance with the Montreal
Protocol as incorporated in the federal Clean Air Act.
I am here to make three points:
1. Securing the continued, adequate availability of methyl bromide is
essential and justified for U.S. users included in the U.S.
critical use exemption (CUE) request.
2. The international Montreal Protocol CUE review process is flawed.
3. Congress must act to ensure U.S. farmers have access to the amount
of methyl bromide needed to provide consumers a quality and
affordable domestic product.
Methyl bromide has two main agricultural uses: fumigation of soil
prior to planting--called pre-plant treatment; and fumigation of
harvested commodities and foods--called post-harvest treatment.
The use of methyl bromide as a pre-plant treatment is essential to
the production of strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, almonds, walnuts,
peppers, eggplant and cut flowers. 2003 data suggests that 95 percent
of strawberry acreage in California and nearly all strawberry acreage
in Florida uses pre-plant fumigation. Because most domestic market
supply comes from these two states, the U.S. strawberry industry will
see some of the most significant projected losses due to the phase-out
of methyl bromide--an estimated nationwide loss of $131.5 million to
producers. A collaborative USDA and University of Florida study found
that a complete ban on farm uses of methyl bromide for annual fruit and
vegetable crops in California and Florida would result in estimated
losses of ``about $200 million annually in gross shipping point
revenues, which represented about 20-30 percent of estimated revenues
from treated commodities in each state.''
Where no feasible alternatives exist, pre-plant treatment with
methyl bromide controls soil-borne fungal pathogens and various pests
that reduce vigor of newly planted crops. Use of methyl bromide means
yields improve because the need to hand weed and cultivate soil is
reduced, allowing for more efficient irrigation. Better yields mean
better margins, and more financial stability for obtaining next
season's planting loans.
Methyl bromide is an important post-harvest treatment used to meet
sanitary standards set by the Food and Drug Administration and
importing countries for grains, dry beans, raisins, prunes, figs,
dates, almonds and walnuts. These products are typically treated before
and during storage, and prior to being packed or shipped. Storage
structures, containers and processing facilities are also fumigated to
ensure food safety.
For those without feasible alternatives, methyl bromide continues
to be the only consistently effective and economical treatment that can
be applied within a flexible timeframe. With rare exception, it works
every time, all the time.
Since U.S. ratification of the Montreal Protocol, agriculture has
devoted tremendous time, money and effort into finding technically and
economically feasible alternatives for methyl bromide. Public and
private research efforts are estimated to have totaled over $120
million. The good news is the U.S. has drastically decreased its non-
essential use of methyl bromide because some alternative treatments are
now available for some users. The bad news is no feasible alternatives
exist--or, for that matter, are expected soon--for most of the
agricultural users currently requesting CUE consideration. Despite the
claims, there simply is no one-size-fits-all replacement or combination
of replacements that works as effectively, consistently or affordably
as methyl bromide.
In the end, American consumers will suffer greatly from
agriculture's loss of methyl bromide. The phase-out means the United
States will increasingly depend on imported food sources that are
potentially less regulated, less reliable and less safe.
MONTREAL PROTOCOL PROCESS IS FLAWED
At a similar hearing before this subcommittee last summer,
committee members voiced concerns about the international treatment of
and fairness towards the U.S. CUE request. Then-chairman Barton went on
to suggest that if the Montreal Protocol process of granting CUEs was
not improved, this committee would be willing to take legislative
action. Regrettably, circumstances have not improved for U.S. users
depending on methyl bromide. We hope this subcommittee remains open to
taking legislative action on our behalf.
The terms of the protocol intend for the CUE process to provide
relief to agriculture's critical, well-documented need for methyl
bromide. American users commit huge amounts of time, expertise and
financial resources in preparing the annual U.S. CUE. With the help of
USDA, EPA invested unprecedented time and resources into submitting a
thorough, well-substantiated CUE nomination package to the
international reviewers. And, in the last year, the State Department
has expended tremendous effort in advocating for American farmers and
defending the U.S. CUE request against relentless baseless questioning
from the parties.
Farm Bureau commends the administration and expresses our gratitude
for improved communication with the U.S. delegation to the Montreal
Protocol for their aggressive pursuit of a reasonable CUE process. The
parties to the protocol have so far not granted the U.S. the amount of
methyl bromide we need. The parties continue to consider improvements
to the CUE process that would provide better certainty for users.
The 2005 U.S. CUE nomination requested a consumption allowance of
39 percent of the 1991 established baseline. This spring, the parties
instead reluctantly ``allowed'' the United States only a 35 percent CUE
based on consumption baseline, and then added a requirement that
domestic production be capped at 30 percent. Nowhere in the protocol,
is there any mention of direct limitations solely on production--the
parties created a new requirement. Unfortunately, because U.S.
agriculture had to have an approved CUE percentage to prepare for the
2005 planting season, our delegation was effectively forced to accept
the objectionable terms.
China and ``developing'' countries can continue to use methyl
bromide long after the United States and other ``developed'' nations
have been cut off. China and developing nations, such as Chile and
Mexico, will have access to methyl bromide until 2015 while the U.S.
phase-out starts in just a few months. Coincidentally, many of these
developing nations and China, are major competitors with U.S. producers
in specialty crop markets that use methyl bromide such as tomatoes,
peppers and strawberries.
Many individuals and groups have questioned the legitimacy and
objectivity of the CUE process. The actions of the parties since last
summer--most recently in the working group meetings in Geneva--again
confirm that the international process is not objective, transparent or
science-based. Farm Bureau strongly believes that the obstructionist
actions of some in the international community translate to other
countries making planting decisions for American farmers, and
threatening our competitiveness and economy. We have seen and
experienced enough of the Montreal Protocol process to be convinced
that the CUE process--as it currently exists--cannot be relied on to
fairly evaluate American agriculture's legitimate methyl bromide needs.
Farm Bureau and other allied groups believe that improvements must
be made to the Montreal Protocol's CUE process, specifically:
(1) The CUE process must be science-based and fair to all participants.
We believe the U.S. government clearly laid out the necessary
information to prove that the requirements for granting a CUE
under the Montreal Protocol were met. Unless there is a
legitimate scientific question, CUE approval should not be open
to political negotiation.
(2) Future CUE negotiations should not include additional limits or
reductions to production. The terms of the Montreal Protocol
intend for CUE to be granted based on consumption, not
production. Unfortunately, the parties created new treaty terms
by limiting U.S. production of methyl bromide to 30 percent of
baseline production. The United States has complied with the
terms of the protocol. We believe it only fair the parties do
the same by not including production limits in the CUE.
(3) The international process should allow for multi-year CUE requests.
U.S. negotiators have proposed this concept to the parties, but
so far it has been rejected with little debate on its merit. We
support a multi-year CUE because it would streamline the
application process and relieve yearly burden on the applicants
and agencies. Most importantly, a multi-year CUE would allow
for better planning among users: better planning leads to more
flexibility and more flexibility could lead to further
reductions in the need for methyl bromide.
CONGRESSIONAL RELIEF IS NEEDED
Farm Bureau supports H.R. 3403, sponsored by Representative
Radanovich and 44 additional co-sponsors. The legislation would allow
use of methyl bromide as approved by EPA in accordance with
international standards. H.R. 3403 provides an impetus for the parties
to the Protocol to fairly consider future U.S. CUE requests. We
respectfully request Congress' formal consideration of H.R. 3403 to
provide fairness and certainty to domestic users depending on critical
uses of methyl bromide.
Further, we encourage Congress to support and continue to oversee
the administration's ongoing efforts to reform the Montreal Protocol
CUE process as soon as possible.
Although American farmers are drastically reducing use of methyl
bromide, some parties to the protocol continue to increase their usage
and production of methyl bromide. Production agriculture has reduced
the use of methyl bromide to the bare minimum, but we have come to our
breaking point on further compliance with the phase-out.
Unfortunately, the actions of some in the international community
clearly illustrate that the protocol is no longer about ozone
protection. Rather, rules are being changed to suit the political
agendas and advantages of other countries--agendas that have nothing to
do with environmental treaties and everything to do with putting
American farmers and consumers at risk.
I thank you for the opportunity to address the subcommittee today
regarding this complex issue and again voice our concerns over the
seriously flawed international process governing access to legitimate
use of methyl bromide for American agriculture.
Mr. Hall. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF DAVID MUELLER
Mr. Mueller. My name is David Mueller. I am an entomologist
and an owner of a small fumigation company in Westfield,
Indiana. I am also the son of a flour miller who taught me how
to fumigate flour mills 30 years ago, so I am personally very
much aware of the needs and issues of the flour millers and the
At Fumigation Service & Supply, we have used methyl bromide
for many years, however, we have developed and adopted several
alternatives to methyl bromide that are now used in commercial
practice in feed mills, flour mills, pet food plants, and many
other food processing facilities.
In recent years, we have replaced over 100 tons of methyl
bromide in more than 100 structures in the United States and
Canada. Most of the work that we do, Mr. Chairman, is in
structures and not soil. Most of those alternatives were
carried out in flour mills and cereal processing companies.
These alternatives are technically and economically feasible
for our industry, and full details are provided in my written
At Fumigation Service & Supply in Indiana, we still use
methyl bromide in some of our operations, but we are on line to
phaseout methyl bromide on December 31, 2004.
We offer training programs, workshops on alternatives not
only to our customers, but to our competitors.
Mr. Chairman, I am concerned about the excessive amounts of
critical use exemptions and who will control them. Will my
competitors have whole groups of critical use exemptions to use
and to pass out at their favor? Here we are 6 months away from
the time when these critical use exemptions will be used, and
we don't have a plan on who is going to use them and how many
will be used in our industry.
More than 1 million pounds of methyl bromide critical use
exemptions could be available next year for fumigating flour
mills and food processing plants in the U.S. I believe this is
excessive. There are, indeed, effective economical and widely
available alternatives in the U.S. for this 1 million pounds,
or 483 metric tons of methyl bromide.
Our company has reduced its use of methyl bromide
considerably by using alternatives in real-life field
applications. We are ready for the scheduled December 31
phaseout with proven techniques like heat treatment, carbon
dioxide fumigations, better use of phosphine fumigants, and a
newly EPA registered fumigant called sulfuryl fluoride. Forty-
seven States have approved sulfuryl fluoride for use in flour
mills in the United States. With these proven alternatives, I
am confident that next year we can replace all of the
applications of post-harvest use of methyl bromide. My company,
this year, has replaced 24,000 pounds of methyl bromide since
April, with the newly registered methyl bromide alternative,
I am here to report to you that replacements are available
for post-harvest applications of methyl bromide. I would
suggest that the U.S. consider adjusting its current critical
use exemptions requested for mills and processing, in light of
these proven options.
Another area that I am very concerned about is stockpiling.
You can call it what you want, but I call it stockpiling.
Stockpiling is a type of legal smuggling. I believe that methyl
bromide stockpiles are higher than the 5 percent currently
estimated in 2005 discussions. I believe that stocks should be
investigated and quantified by an independent organization. It
is important to find out the true situation before any
decisions are made about additional manufacture and imports of
methyl bromide in 2005.
If you think about it, these stockpiles that are going into
warehouses, that are going into tanker cars, could be used not
just for the next couple years, but for 20 years from now,
legally, throughout the country.
Mr. Chairman, I continue to hear over and over again that
developing countries like Mexico are providing an uneven
playing field against American agriculture. I have not found
that to be true. During the last 10 years, I have had the
privilege to work with United Nations and the World Bank as a
fumigation expert in developing countries. I have worked on
three continents. I have worked with countries like Vietnam,
Malaysia, Jamaica, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Mauritius,
Philippines, Turkey, and most recently Thailand, on phaseout
and demonstration projects for post-harvest applications.
Two weeks ago, I was working in Thailand, in Bangkok, with
the Department of Agriculture there, and the World Bank, to
develop a complete phaseout strategy, including soil, for 400
tons of methyl bromide in this Article 5 country. This country
and its stakeholders are supportive of the Montreal Protocol
because the phaseout path, the pathway for phaseout in
developing countries, was made by CFCs and some of the other
programs before methyl bromide came along. My experience is
that developing countries are very serious in their efforts to
phaseout methyl bromide. Since 1998, they have reduced their
methyl bromide usage by 37 percent. The quicker we work with
developing countries like Thailand and Mexico to find
alternatives, the more it will help the American fumigators and
the American farmers.
As an American, I always get one question when I go to
these developing countries. The question is, ``Why does America
need so many critical use exemptions?''
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise an
important question. Why should companies that have met the
challenge of developing and adopting methyl bromide
alternatives be punished by these excessive critical use
exemptions and an uncontrolled stockpile?
My company, and others, have invested our time, our effort,
and our research into alternatives. I calculate that our
company has invested over $250,000 developing new ways to
fumigate without methyl bromide. This $250,000 could have been
used for other needs to run a small business.
We have acted responsibly and taken prompt action to adopt
alternatives. I therefore ask why should the ``can't do'
companies with the ``wait and see'' strategy receive favored
treatment with these excessive critical use exemptions? Why
would Congress want to penalize companies such as mine that
have acted responsibly? We have all had 10 years' notice to
Finally, Mr. Chairman, if the United States now grants
unjustified, excessive methyl bromide critical use exemptions
to companies that did not bother to act responsibly, this
action will be exceedingly unfair to companies that acted
responsibly by adopting alternatives. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of David Mueller follows:]
Prepared Statement of David Mueller, Fumigation Service and Supply Inc.
My name is David Mueller. I am a Board Certified Entomologist and
owner of a family fumigation company in Westfield, Indiana. I am also
the son of a flour miller who taught me how to fumigate over 30 years
ago, so I am personally very aware of the needs and issues facing
millers. At Fumigation Service & Supply, Inc. we have used methyl
bromide (MB) for many years. However, we have developed and adopted
several alternatives to MB that are now used in commercial practice--
for fumigating flour mills, rice mills, pet food plants, and other food
processing structures. In recent years we have replaced over 100 tons
of MB in more than 100 structures in the United States and Canada. Most
of those alternative fumigations were carried out in flour mills and
cereal processing companies. These alternatives are technically and
economically feasible for our industry--full details are provided in my
We still use MB in some operations--when customers request it. But
we also have alternatives available for all our MB fumigations, if
customers are willing to use them.
Over 1 millions pounds of methyl bromide Critical Use Exemptions
(CUE) could be available next year for fumigating flour mills and food
processing plants in the US. I believe this is excessive. There are
indeed effective, economical, and widely available alternatives
available in the US for these one million pounds (483 MT) of MB.
Our company has reduced its use of MB considerably by using
alternatives in ``real-life'' field applications. We are ready for the
scheduled December 31, 2004 phase out date with proven alternatives
like heat treatments, carbon dioxide fumigations, better use of
phosphine fumigants, and a newly EPA registered fumigant called
sulfuryl fluoride. With these proven alternatives, our company is
confident that we can replace all post harvest uses next year.
My company has replaced 24,000 lbs. of MB since April with the
newly registered MB alternative sulfuryl fluoride. I am here to report
to you that replacements are available for post harvest applications of
Stockpiling is a type of ``legal smuggling.'' Stockpiling should be
carefully investigated by EPA and the exact amount of gas should be
deducted from the critical use exemption totals each year. In the
fumigation sector it is normal to have stockpiles that are only a small
fraction of the total annual turnover. These stockpiles could be used
20 years from now.
I believe that the MB stockpiles are much higher than the 5%
currently estimated in the 2005 discussions. I believe that the stocks
should be investigated and quantified by an independent organization.
It is important to find out the true situation before any decisions are
made about additional manufacture and imports of MB for 2005.
Mr. Chairman, I continue to hear over and over again that
developing countries like Mexico are providing an uneven playing field
against America's agriculture. I have not found that to be true. The
quicker we work with developing countries like Mexico to find
alternatives the more it will help our American fumigators and farmers.
During the last ten years I have had the privilege to work with the
United Nations (UNIDO, UNDP, UNEP) and The World Bank as a ``Fumigation
Expert'' in developing countries. I have written MB demonstration and
phase out programs for Vietnam, Malaysia, Jamaica, Ivory Coast,
Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Philippines, Turkey, and most recently Thailand.
Earlier this month I worked in Thailand with their Department of
Agriculture and The World Bank to develop a complete phase out strategy
for 400 tons of MB in this Article 5 country. Most of the MB used in
Thailand is used to fumigate rice. Thailand is the largest exporter of
rice in the world. This country and its stakeholders are supportive of
the Montreal Protocol and the need to eliminate this serious ozone
depleting substance as they did previously with their CFC phase out
projects and previous MB demonstration projects. My experience is that
developing countries are very serious in their efforts to phase out
MB--since 1998 they have reduced their MB usage by 37%.
As an American, I always get one question when I am visiting
developing countries: ``Why does your country need so many
For structures like mills and food processing facilities the main
economic issue is downtime--the length of time for which an operation
has to close down for fumigation. But our customers' experience of
alternatives clearly shows that the downtime is similar for MB. In
fact, the downtime of these alternatives is sometimes shorter. Last
month I was fumigating a large flour mill in Indiana with sulfuryl
fluoride that took 10% less time to fumigate than MB. This is valuable
time for the millers and the maintenance workers to get back in and get
the mill running.
In conclusion, Mr Chairman, I would like to raise an important
question: Why should companies that have met the challenge of
developing and adopting MB alternatives be punished by these excessive
critical use exemptions?
My company--and others--have invested our time, effort, and
research into alternatives. Since first hearing about MB being a
serious ozone depleting substance right here in Washington D.C. by
NASA's Dr. Robert Watson ten years ago, I calculate that our company
has invested over $250,000 dollars developing new ways to fumigate
without MB. This $250,000 could have been used for other needs to run a
small business. We have acted responsibly and taken prompt action to
adopt alternatives. I therefore ask why should the ``Can't Do''
companies with the ``wait and see'' strategy receive favored treatment
with these excessive CUEs? Why would Congress want to penalize
companies, such as mine, that have acted responsibly? We have all had
10 years notice on this issue--we all have had plenty of time to adopt
alternatives by now.
Finally, Mr.Chairman: If the US government now grants unjustified,
excessive MB critical use exemptions to companies that did not bother
to act responsibly, this action will be exceedingly unfair to companies
that acted responsibly by adopting alternatives.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN WRITTEN TESTIMONY
How Do We Phase Out Methyl Bromide?
``Man has done something to damage the ozone layer over the earth
and man can do something to correct this problem.'' (Dr. Robert Watson,
Recently, the ozone hole over the southern hemisphere was 72 times
larger than Texas and 15 times larger than the United States. The
intense sunshine we are feeling outside now in Washington D.C. is much
more intense in places like Argentina with a burn time of 30 minutes or
Melbourne with a burn time of 60 minutes. This is a planet-wide problem
and the United States is the largest dumper of ozone depleting
substances in and throughout the world, while the U.S. feels little
effect so far.
If one observes NASA's ozone maps from the TOMS satellites, one can
quickly see that ozone depletion remains a real problem (http://
toms.gsfc.nasa.gov/eptoms/dataqual/ozone.html). The first step in
correcting the problem is to develop a ``can do'' attitude and move
forward using skills and educational knowledge to replace methyl
bromide. MB users can copy others who have already eliminated MB
successfully, by transferring and adopting alternatives that are used
with good effect by similar companies. While MB is a useful agriculture
and post harvest biocide but it harms the protective layer that circles
the earth. It also increases prostate cancer in MB applicators
according to the National Cancer Institute (American Journal of
Epidemiology, 2003, 157(9); National Cancer Institute Division of
Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics: http://ens-news.com/ens/may 2003/2--
To allow Critical Use Exemptions and uncontrolled stockpiling will
not cure the problem. This retards progress, defeats efforts of
developing countries, and damages the image of the United States in the
rest of the world.
Meeting the Challenge
In 1991 our country was charged with a responsibility to protect
our ozone layer while we also protect our food supply. Some have
stepped up to the challenge with research and development of
alternatives. Others choose to take no action but hide behind lawyers,
associations, and lobbyists. Where is the incentive to protect the
environment in this sector? What message does this offer to our
international partners and our customers? Why would the US want to
support continued use of a known ozone depletor and prostate
Alternatives to Methyl Bromide
I wish to provide a summary of some of the proven Methyl Bromide
a) Heat Treatments (140 F for 16-24 hours, combined with IPM),
Used by US Companies such as: General Mills, Quaker Oats, Nestle
Purina, Pillsbury, Lauhoff, various milling companies. Estimated 10% of
the milling and food processing industry uses heat to disinfest
b) Combination Fumigation Method (Heat, CO2, Phosphine
for 24-36 hrs), Cost is similar to MB; $18.00/ 1000 cubic feet vs.
$20.00 for MB.
73 alternative fumigations performed by July 2004 (US, Canada,
Italy, Denmark, Germany). An estimated 100 tons of MB has been replaced
with the Combination Fumigation Method.
c) Sulfuryl Fluoride, ProFume TM. Registered by the US
EPA1/2004, registered in 47 states in the US by July 2004. 24-48 hours
exposure, cost is similar to MB.
US Companies: ProFume has the ability to replace methyl bromide on
most flour mills and structure fumigations in the US that have applied
for over 1,000,000 lbs. of MB for CUEs.
d) IPM, integrated pest management. After a structure has been
fumigated and the pest population is lowered to near zero. IPM works
well for the post harvest industries. The goal is to reduce or
eliminate the need for fumigations by denying pests harborage and food.
Some US companies have not fumigated with MB in over 10 years. This
committee needs to ask how they did it. Many mills and food processing
companies in the US and other countries produce food to very high
quality standards, by using technically and economically viable MB
Flour Mill Case Study
As one illustration, here is a case study on MB phase out in a
large flour mill in Indiana. Four years ago, this flour mill was
fumigated three times per year with MB. Understanding the challenge of
MB phase out and investigating alternatives for MB, they adopted
alternatives. They achieve a better fumigation of their inbound wheat
with cylinderized phosphine (ECO2FUME). The management has improved its
integrated pest management program with improved hygiene throughout the
mill. This step helped the mill reduce the need for structural
fumigations from three MB fumigations per year to once per year. In
addition to helping the earth's ozone layer, this pest management
program saved four extra days for running the mill each year: a big
saving. Sanitation has been improved with better construction designs,
also helping to reduce pest problems. Monitoring and inspection is a
major part of the program.
In June of 2004 this large flour mill used ProFume gas fumigant for
the first time. The fumigation gave excellent results in the same
amount of time as one MB fumigation (22 hours). The final step of
phasing out MB took a commitment from management and a ``can do''
attitude by all employees. This flour mill demonstrated that they don't
need MB any more.
The total impact will be saving about 6,000 lbs. MB per year. [- is
6,000 lb for 1 fumigation or 3 fumigations? Need to state figure for 3
MB fumigations per year] It also provides four extra working days for
the mill each year, which has great value to the milling company.
There are 220 flour mills similar to this one in the US, that can
also phase out MB. Fumigation Service & Supply, Inc. has performed 18
other Profume fumigations with similar results.
The real cost for a large manufacturing plant is the cost of being
inactive. These alternatives are faster or equal to the shutdown time
of MB of 24-48 hours. This is a very important point. The alternatives
available now allow companies to get back to work quickly, so they do
not lose time/profits. Companies that use MB more than once a year can
save valuable shutdown time by switching to alternatives.
Methyl bromide is a biocide that can burn humans and has been shown
to cause prostate cancer in a very large epidemiological study. Most MB
fumigations begin inside the building with release by hand by two
fumigators with self-contained breathing apparatus. The new
alternatives to MB require gas application applied from outside the
confined space. The fumigant under pressure inside steel cylinders is
directed with tubing to the exact location that needs the fumigant.
More fumigant can be added easily with this outdoor method. Whereas,
the risk of MB exposure is high when fumigators have to re-enter the
building to add more MB. Methyl Bromide is colorless and odorless and
will burn skin on contact. I know first hand. I spent eight days in a
burns hospital in 1985 from MB exposure to my feet and legs.
a) Grain--Eco2Fume TM Phosphine fumigant.
This cylinderize phosphine fumigant allows for better and cheaper
fumigations on stored grain than MB. (EPA registered in August 2000 as
``Fast Track'' alternative to MB)
b) Dry Fruit and Tree Nuts: Eco2Fume TM
Phosphine fumigant. This new formulation of phosphine allows for re-
dosing phosphine in case of leakage or bad weather. Since the US EPA
registered it in August 2000, Eco2Fume has proven to be an excellent
commodity fumigant. Research is currently underway to improve this
formulation to be less expensive than the solid formulation by using
100% phosphine in a cylinder and mixing it with air/CO2.
c) CPM, Commodity Pest Management is a method of keeping grain and
other commodities in favorable conditions to prevent pests from
becoming a problem.
U.S. Industries: Popcorn, Seed, Bird food
d) Sulfuryl Fluoride, ProFume Fumigant Gas, Dow AgroSciences LLP
has registered this fumigant for use on grain and specialty commodities
including dried fruit and tree nuts.
e) Storicide TM, This newly registered grain protectant
uses Reldan TM and Tempo TM in combination much
like malathion used to do. This technique could replace fumigation on
wheat and other small grains.
f) Spinosad TM, Dow AgroSciences has been researching
the use of the proven biological pesticide called Spinosad as a grain
protectant. Registration is pending on grain. University field research
has shown this technique to be effective in replacing fumigants .
g) Diacon II TM, This IGR has received exemptions from
tolerances for application to food and grain. This allows a registered
pesticide to be incorporated in food that is eaten by the consumer.
IGRs will play an important part in future IPM programs.
Ships / Barges / Railcars
Empty ship holds: heat, phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, contact
Ships/barges: phosphine (in transit)
Railcars: phosphine (in transit)
Trucks: phosphine (static), sulfuryl fluoride (under review) [???]
Inert Gases: carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, ozone (slow killing)
Phosphine: (48-72 hours above 80 F))
Phosphine and heat: (35-40C): 24-48 hours
Sulfuryl fluoride: (24-36 hours)
Methyl Bromide Alternatives Comparison for Commercial Structure
Duration Estimated costs* US$per
Treatment (hours) 1000 ft.\3\
Methyl Bromide............... 24-48 hours.... $20.00
Heat +CO2+PH3................ 24-48.......... $18.00
Year round IPM............... replacing the
Fogging + IGRs............... 2-24........... $3.00
ECO2FUME..................... 48-96.......... $12.00
ProFume (sulfuryl fluoride).. 24-48.......... $26.00
Heat treatment............... 24-48.......... $20.00-40.00
*including labor and sealing
Mr. Hall. Thank you, sir.
The Chair recognizes Mr. Doniger.
STATEMENT OF DAVID DONIGER
Mr. Doniger. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to
continue building on the last speaker, who has injected some
facts and data into this discussion. There have been a lot of
claims, with few facts and data. Let me talk about the data
that has been discussed earlier today, which came from the EPA
in a Freedom of Information Act response, through a request
NRDC had made.
This data, which is on the consumption of this chemical,
and on the use of this chemical, calls into question the
exemption asked for for 2005, and the exemption being asked for
now in 2006. In short, these data show that the phaseout is
working far better than industry or the Government has
acknowledged, and that means that farmers, millers, and other
users of this chemical need far smaller exemptions than the
U.S. Government is now seeking.
Now, I want to emphasize that I am not opposing all
exemptions. It is the size and the unnecessary amount that is
Now, this data show--and I am going to hold up this chart
which is attached to my testimony, it is an EPA chart--it shows
that every year in the phaseout process, the production and
consumption of this chemical has been below the allowed amount.
In 2003, when the limit went down to 30 percent, the
consumption was only 25 percent. Mr. Holmstead told you this
morning that this is a number that the EPA stands behind as a
This is 5 percent less than the amount--in 2003, 5 percent
less than the amount the U.S. Government asserted was essential
2 years from then. And at the same time, the producers and
distributors have accumulated a large stockpile of methyl
bromide. And Mr. Holmstead and others took exception to the use
of the term ``stockpile.'' I refer to the letter the EPA sent
Chairman Barton on February 10--an excerpt of which is also
attached to my testimony--which says, ``stockpiling has indeed
taken place.'' From that letter, one can estimate how big this
stockpile is. It is at least 10,000 tons of methyl bromide. It
is at least 22 million pounds. Further evidence of how big it
is is this blacked out number in the other page that came from
the EPA, it is five columns wide. The smallest number which is
five columns wide is 10,000. We don't know how big this number
Mr. Holmstead also asserted today that the number was
confidential. It should be noted that EPA has never ruled that
this number is, in fact, properly confidential. Under the FOIA
regulations, EPA does not rule on whether a confidentiality
claim is valid until there is a FOIA request for the records
that contain the data. And EPA's regulations set out a
procedure for deciding whether the claim is valid when a FOIA
claim request is made. Our FOIA request has triggered that
process. EPA has never decided whether the aggregate data or
the specific data is, in fact, validly confidential under the
Freedom of Information Act, the Clean Air Act, and its own
regulations. The EPA's response to the FOIA request is overdue
but, as I said, from what the EPA told the Congress and what
you can infer from the blacked out numbers here, there is a
stockpile of at least 10,000 tons or 22 million pounds, which
is bigger than the request made for 2005 and bigger than the
request made for 2006.
The fact that it was possible to accumulate a stockpile
while the production and consumption were actually below the
authorized limits tells you something important about use. It
tells you that total usage has been below the amount that has
been produced over the last 5 to 10 years, and below the amount
by such an amount that this huge stockpile has accumulated.
Now, it does appear from the EPA data which you have, that
there may have been, for the first time, a drawdown of the
stockpile, so that the numbers on this page that Mr. Allen and
Ms. Capps have and referred to earlier, indicate that the 25
percent that was produced and imported last year, plus the
difference in the size of the inventory from 2002 to 2003,
another 5 percent, suggests that the total usage in the United
States in 2003, 2 years ahead of the exemption year, was 30
percent. It is very difficult for me to understand why the
request for the exemption years is higher than the use in 2003,
especially in light of the existence of this enormous
So, this leads to important conclusions. For one thing, a
lot of the complaining about the Montreal Protocol process is
totally off-base. The parties have been asking the questions,
and the technical panel has been asking the questions that the
growers and the U.S. Government refuse to ask themselves--how
much stuff is actually needed--and they have been paring back
the numbers a little bit in recognition of the dubiousness of
the claims of exemption need.
Now, the EPA is required under the Clean Air Act to hold a
rulemaking this year, and in that rulemaking--this is for the
2005 exemption--EPA is required to consider whether in light of
the declining use there needs to be so much authorized for
2005, and required to consider in light of the stockpile
whether we need to produce the full 30 percent, or even any
methyl bromide, next year. And the parties are engaged in the
same inquiry for 2006. So, you have this domestic process
that's during the rest of this year for 2005, and an
international one going on the rest of this year with respect
Allow me two quick comments to close. First, on the idea of
a multi-year proposal, I am not, on NRDC's behalf, entirely
opposed to the idea of a multi-year proposal, not in concept.
But the question is, does the proposal start, like the
nominations for 2005 and 2006, at levels way above consumption
and use in previous years, without a guarantee against this?
Any multi-year proposal, just like an annual proposal, has to
be a non-starter.
And the second thing is, does the multi-year proposal
provide for year-by-year reductions, steep year-by-year
reductions, so that we get toward the objective of zero?
In the past, the United States has proposed a multi-year
exemption with a trivial slope in it, basically no reduction
from year-to-year, and even though it talks in this proposal
about having an interim increase, and that makes a multi-year
proposal like that a non-starter.
Finally, let me comment on H.R. 3403. This bill would take
truly an extraordinary and unilateral step of declaring that
all U.S. exemptions, if deemed approved, even if they had been
rejected under the Montreal Protocol, and this would place the
U.S. in violation of a treaty supported by the last three
Presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan, which our country has
ratified and legally bound itself to follow. I might add that I
checked my memory while sitting here, China is a Party to this
Treaty as well, and China has ratified the agreements that
pertain to methyl bromide, let me correct that part of the
record from earlier.
The bill would put more people at risk of cancer. It would
ignore rapid progress that has been made. My last two
sentences, sir. It would punish responsible companies. It would
force the U.S. to thumb its nose at yet another treaty, at a
time when our country needs the broadest international
cooperation, and it would expose U.S. businesses to billions of
dollars in trade sanctions. I urge you not to move that
legislation. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of David Doniger follows:]
Prepared Statement of David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify on the
phase-out of methyl bromide, on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense
Council (NRDC) and its more than 500,000 members.
There are few more heartening success stories than the global
effort to phase out the ozone-damaging chemicals. Every American, and
every citizen on this Earth, relies on the ozone layer to block
dangerous ultraviolet radiation that causes skin cancer, cataracts,
immune disorders and other diseases. The Montreal Protocol--which has
enjoyed bipartisan support from three presidents, beginning with Ronald
Reagan--is saving literally millions of Americans, and tens of millions
of people around the world, from death and disease and preventing
billions of dollars in economic damages--including UV-related crop
Yet the ozone shield directly over our heads has been weakened by
ozone-depleting chemicals increasing our exposure to dangerous UV
radiation. Millions of Americans--including farmers--must work everyday
in the sun. Millions more--from school children to seniors--spend hours
of their days out of doors. Millions of concerned parents check the UV
Index and cover their kids with sunscreen before letting them go out in
Methyl bromide is the most powerful ozone-depleter still in
widespread use. All of other potent ozone-destroying chemicals have
been successfully eliminated. Methyl bromide also has been linked to
increased prostate cancer risks in a study of 55,000 pesticide
applicators, including farmers, nursery workers, and workers in
warehouses and grain mills. Phasing out methyl bromide is the single
most important thing we can do to hasten repair of the ozone layer, as
well as protect those directly exposed. Now is not the time to tamper
with the methyl bromide phase-out requirements under Montreal Protocol
and the Clean Air Act.
Last week I attended the Montreal Protocol negotiations in Geneva
on critical use exemptions for methyl bromide in 2006. NRDC has been an
accredited observer at those meetings for nearly 20 years. At the
meeting, I called attention to important U.S. government data that NRDC
obtained in June under the Freedom of Information Act. I would like to
share these data with this Committee today.
These data show that U.S. methyl bromide consumption and use have
already been cut well below the critical use exemption levels requested
by the U.S. The data call into question the basis of the exemption
granted at the Extraordinary Meeting in March for 2005 and the
exemption requested this year for 2006.
In short, these data show that the phase-out of methyl bromide is
working--far better than industry or government has acknowledged. And
that means farmers, millers, and other users of this chemical need far
smaller exemptions than the U.S. government is now seeking.
The good news is that U.S. methyl bromide consumption has declined
The data show that U.S. consumption in 2003 was just 25% of the U.S.
1991 baseline level (6,507 metric tonnes or 14.3 million
pounds), even though the Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air
Act permitted 2003 consumption at 30% of the baseline level.
(``Consumption'' is defined as national production plus
imports, minus exports.)
U.S. methyl bromide consumption has been well below the applicable
limits in each year going back to the start of the phase-out.
(See page 2 of the attachment, from the June 18, 2004 FOIA
At the same time, however, U.S. producers and distributors have
accumulated a large stockpile of methyl bromide.
The Subcommittee will recall that in a letter to Chairman Barton
dated February 10, 2004, EPA indicated that it had obtained
data on methyl bromide stockpiles from a number of companies
using its information collection authority under the Clean Air
Act. (The letter is reprinted in the record of last year's
hearing.) EPA's letter stated that ``stockpiling has indeed
taken place.'' Yet the letter provided only ``qualitative''
information on the amount of the stocks, on the grounds that
the entities from which EPA had obtained the data had claimed
it to be confidential business information.
From this letter it was nonetheless possible to deduce that those
stocks were larger than the exemptions sought for 2005. Though
EPA has not yet disclosed exactly how much, we can be sure that
it is at least 10,000 metric tonnes (22 million pounds)--at
least 40% of the U.S. baseline--and may be much higher. (See
page 4 of the attachment, explaining the basis of this
It should be noted that EPA had not then, and still has not, ruled
upon whether those claims of confidentiality are legally or factually
valid. Under EPA's FOIA regulations, the agency typically does not rule
upon the validity of confidentiality claims until there is a FOIA
request for records containing the pertinent data. EPA's FOIA
regulations set out a procedure for making a determination on the
validity of such confidentiality claims, which is triggered by the
filing of a FOIA request. NRDC has requested this stockpile data from
EPA under another Freedom of Information Act request, a response to
which is now overdue. We continue to press for disclosure of this data
without further delay.
The fact that it has been possible to accumulate a stockpile
necessarily means that total usage by growers and other users during
the phase-out has been even lower than the U.S. national consumption.
In other words, all of the methyl bromide currently held in stocks
represents production from previous years that has not yet been used.
A stockpile of at least 10,000 tons is far larger than needed to
meet normal inventory needs. Common practice in the chemicals industry
is to keep inventories at only a fraction of annual demand. The methyl
bromide stockpile greatly exceeds annual demand.
The data obtained in June suggests that in 2003 U.S. users may have
drawn upon the stockpile for the first time.
The data indicate a draw down of the known inventory by some 1167
tonnes (2.6 million pounds) in 2003, bringing total U.S. use to
about 30%. (See page 3 of the attachment, from the June 18 FOIA
The most important observation to draw from this data is that the
U.S. consumption and use in 2003 are already below the upper limits
allowed in the March decision on 2005 exemptions.
U.S. 2003 consumption was 5%--some 1600 tonnes (3.5 million pounds)--
below the upper limit on 2005 consumption set forth in the
U.S. 2003 use was 5%--again some 1600 tonnes (3.5 million pounds)--
below the upper limit on 2005 critical uses set forth in the
In press reports, and again in the Geneva meeting, representatives
of the U.S. government have responded to this data by suggesting that
it may not accurately capture all of usage of methyl bromide in 2003.
That would raise some interesting and troubling questions.
We presume that the consumption data are accurate. Consumption must
be accurately tabulated and reported under both U.S. law and
The only other possibility is that in 2003 farmers and other users
drew upon even larger amounts of stockpiled and inventoried
methyl bromide--amounts above-and-beyond the stockpile data of
which EPA is aware. That would underline the need for far
better data collection on this critical question of stockpiles.
These facts lead to important conclusions for both 2005 and 2006.
The Protocol Parties, including the United States, have twice decided
that parties must use available stocks to meet critical use
needs before they may allow more methyl bromide production.
(See the 1997 critical use criteria decision, Protocol Decision
IX/6, and the critical use decision from March 2004, Protocol
Decision Ex.I/3. A copy of each of these decisions is
For 2005, the March decision of the Parties (Ex.I/3, 5) provides
for each country with a critical use exemption to take into
account up-to-date information on use levels and stockpile
availability in its domestic licensing decisions.
In the U.S., domestic licensing of 2005 production and critical use
must be made through a regulation under a rulemaking required
under Section 7671c(d)(6) of the Clean Air Act. That regulation
has not yet been proposed.
To comply with the March exemption decision and the Clean Air Act,
EPA will have to reduce 2005 critical uses below the 35%
ceiling set in the March decision to reflect the progress in
reducing use that was already made by 2003. Likewise, EPA will
have to reduce 2005 production and consumption below the 30%
ceiling set in that decision to reflect the availability of
existing stockpiles of methyl bromide.
For 2006, the Protocol Parties will need to do likewise. They will
need to decide how much critical use and consumption to permit the U.S.
in light of the progress already made in the U.S. and the existence of
the very large stockpile. There is every reason to expect further
progress in adopting alternatives between 2003 and 2006.
Allow me to comment on the proposal that the U.S. tabled in Geneva
to allow multi-year critical use exemptions. It is my understanding
that this is, in effect, a proposal for 2007 and beyond--and that the
2006 decision will need to be taken on a single-year basis. In any
event, NRDC believes the attractiveness of a multi-year exemption
decision depends on two rather central details:
Does it start (like the U.S. nominations for 2005 and 2006) at a
level well above consumption and use in earlier years? Without
guarantees against this, the proposal should be viewed as a
And does it provide for steep year-by-year reductions? If it would
allow only trivial annual reductions, or even increases in
interim years, that is another reason it should be considered a
Let me turn to some observations on H.R. 3403, which is pending
before this Committee. This bill would take the extraordinary and
unilateral step of declaring that all U.S. exemption applications are
deemed approved even if they have been rejected under the Montreal
Protocol. This would place the U.S. in violation of the Montreal
Protocol, a treaty supported by last three Presidents, starting with
Ronald Reagan, which our country has ratified and legally bound itself
to follow. The bill would put more people at risk of cancer. It would
ignore the rapid progress actually being made. It would punish the
responsible companies, university researchers, and growers who have
invested time and money into developing and adopting safer
alternatives. It would force the U.S. to thumb its nose at another
important treaty obligation precisely when our country needs the
broadest possible international cooperation. And it would expose
American businesses to billions of dollars in trade sanctions.
I cannot conclude without a word on an issue I raised last year--
the still-pending regulatory proposal to vastly expand the amount of
methyl bromide used for quarantine purposes. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) is nearing promulgation of a regulation that would
require treatment of all raw wood packing material imported into or
exported from this country. If promulgated, the new rule will lead to a
massive and unnecessary increase in the amount of methyl bromide used
for quarantine fumigation.
As I reported last year, the rule could result in a massive
increase in methyl bromide use--by more than 102,000 tons per year
according to a USDA Environmental Impact Statement. That would increase
current world use for quarantine purpose by 10 times and triple total
world use of methyl bromide for all purposes.
In 1999, USDA publicly committed to study and consider phasing out
raw wood packing material and phasing in alternative packing materials
instead of ordering huge increases in methyl bromide use. But since
then USDA has broken its commitment to consider the option of phasing
out raw wood packing. The department's EIS and its proposed rule
contain not a word examining this option. One USDA official sought to
comfort me by saying that the study of moving to alternative packaging
materials ``had not been abandoned, only shelved.''
If this regulation is issued, it will more than undo all the good
that has been done by farmers, millers, and others to reduce methyl
bromide use and its threat to the ozone layer. We have signaled USDA
that we would cooperate with the agency and industry in a reasonable
effort to move to alternative packaging materials, and we could even
accept some use of methyl bromide fumigation of current raw wood
packaging as an interim measure. But we have also served notice that we
will take legal action, if needed, to block the current proposal and
prevent the huge and unnecessary increase in methyl bromide it would
In conclusion, the Montreal Protocol is working. It is beginning to
heal the ozone layer. It is protecting the American people. But even
with absolute adherence to the phase-out of ozone-depleting chemicals,
repairing the damage--closing the holes in the ozone layer--will take
many decades. The methyl bromide phase-out process is working
successfully--just as it did for CFCs and other chemicals earlier--to
stimulate the development and adoption of effective alternatives. We
must stick to this effort and complete the phase-out of methyl bromide.
In particular, the United States must now acknowledge reality and
revise and reduce its exemption requests to conform to its own data on
the progress that is being made in eliminating this chemical and its
own data on huge existing stocks of this chemical.
Thank you for the opportunity to address these issues.
[Additional material is retained in subcommittee files.)
Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Doniger.
The Chair recognizes Ms. Bogenholm, a true farmer, I am
STATEMENT OF VANESSA BOGENHOLM
Ms. Bogenholm. Thank you, Mr. Hall, and thank you,
committee, for allowing me to testify today. My name is Vanessa
Bogenholm. I am an organic strawberry, raspberry and vegetable
farmer from California. I also am honored to sit as Chairman of
the Board of California Certified Organic Farmers. I represent
$1 billion of organic products in the marketplace annually. We
are the largest group of farmers growing organically. Our grown
every year is 10 to 12 percent, and we have really seen the
industry just boom in the last 5 years. One of the papers I put
in my testimony shows that boom in the commodities you are
hearing discussed today, especially.
The most important thing about this is that 16 years ago
when I graduated from college, the first day on the job, my
first job was sitting at the methyl bromide alternative
research plot, and that plot had 20-foot rows of all of these
chemicals mentioned here, every one of them. That was 16 years
ago. In 2002, the Strawberry Advisory Commission once again
funded all those same materials again, now with 50-foot plots.
They had not moved remarkably ahead and still looking at the
same materials again and again.
I left working for extension and became a conventional
farmer. My last year of farming conventionally, I did not use
methyl bromide, I used Telone. I had the highest production in
my commodity. Many strawberries are sold under big names--I
won't mention the name--I was the highest producer not using
methyl bromide. I have been just straight organically farming
for 6 years.
One of the things I always hear is people trying to look
for this magic bullet. There is not one pill you can take to
make you not fat anymore. There is not one pill you can take to
make you not use methyl bromide and everything is perfect.
What we do as organic farmers is much different. Very
integrated approach. It is a very much a bunch of different
steps to not have soil disease problems or insect problems in
your soil that methyl bromide gets rid of. I agree. Methyl
bromide is much easier to use. You call a fumigation company,
they come and fumigate your field.
Instead, what we have to do is rotate crops. We use what we
call ``cover crops,'' which means putting different material
into the soil to get rid of disease. We use large amounts of
compost in order to control soil diseases.
Before I can be anything, I am a businessperson, and I have
to make payroll every Friday and, believe me, you see the large
growth in organics for one reason only--people are making money
at it because of the consumer demands, and the consumer knowing
more what happens to farmworkers when they use methyl bromide
is incredibly important.
When I was a conventional farmer, I was present during
every one of the fumigations. You cannot wear plastic gloves
during a fumigation when you are shoveling soil because the gas
will get underneath your gloves and burn your hands. How dare
an employer have an employee in that kind of situation. You get
headaches every time.
In California, we have the most strict usage
recommendations for these things. You have to move out of your
house, if your house is within 500 feet of a methyl bromide
fumigation, for that farmer to use it. We cannot use it around
schools. A school system around me, a farm is near the school,
a grower asks the school when they can fumigate. They fumigated
over July 4 weekend so that they didn't have anybody around.
And their concern was that it was okay because only the migrant
Head Start kids were going to be there the following week, and
the Superintendent of Schools also knew that I would actually
stop that fumigation. In order for that grower to fumigate his
field, which is actually about, I would say, 130 feet from my
field, I would not have been able to harvest my own crop on my
organic farm, so he could fumigate his field.
I truly think that an employer needs to look at other
options. In the strawberry industry, many, many farmers refuse
to look at other options for one reason only. And you saw
somebody earlier give a big stack of paperwork and talk about
3,000 pages to get a critical use exemption. I look at that and
think of all those hours work and all that money spent on a
critical use exemption, that could have gone to other research
alternatives, and that is, I think, the main problem we see
here. When companies know you are going to get an exemption,
why would you look for an alternative? That is really what I
think we need to do. We need to start pushing to get--I am not
saying an immediate phaseout tomorrow--but really make sure
that commodity groups are using less and less by the commodity.
I really thank the chairman for allowing me to speak.
[The prepared statement of Vanessa Bogenholm follows:]
Prepared Statement of Vanessa Bobenholm, Owner, VB Farms and Chair,
California Certified Organic Farmers
To the Committee on Energy and Commerce U.S. House of
Representatives: I wish to thank the committee for allowing me to speak
on the use and hopefully the eventual phase out of Methyl Bromide in
United States agriculture. I am Vanessa Bogenholm, an organic farmer of
Strawberries, Raspberries and Vegetables shipping my products all over
the United States including Hawaii and Canada.
I also am honored to represent California Certified Organic Farmers
as the Chairman of the Board representing over 1300 organic producers
and over $1 Billion dollars of organic products in the market place
Main points to be made in this testimony:
Organic farming techniques are viable alternative to the traditional
use of Methyl Bromide use for crops such as strawberries,
raspberries and grapes.
Methyl Bromide use is dangerous to farm workers and other surrounding
land uses such as rural residential areas and schools.
Commodity Groups using Methyl Bromide need to be seriously looking at
viable alternatives to Methyl Bromide by doing full field scale
trials on other production methods or materials and not just
the 100 foot trials that have been done for over 16 years.
Many commodity groups have been spending millions of dollars to get
their critical use exemptions at the Montreal Protocol and
meetings such as this (preparing reports, travelling and
lobbying politicians) instead of putting that money into Methyl
Bromide alternative research. These commodity groups need to
have long term goals of no longer relying on Methyl Bromide for
the growing of their crops.
Individual farmers need to be encouraged to look at other farming
methods besides Methyl Bromide and not just rely on their
commodity groups or state extension agents to do the
experimentation for them.
The financial concerns of individual farmers can not be considered
more important than the environmental concerns or the health of
Organic farming systems are based on ecologically based practices
such as using composting and soybean meals for fertilization, crop
rotations that promote biodiversity in planting schemes, and non-toxic
pesticides such as vegetable oils for insect and disease control.
Organic farming has been the fastest growing area of agriculture in the
United States producing the same agricultural commodities that are
produced through conventional agriculture. The growth rate of organic
agriculture has been between 10-12% annually for the past 5 years with
fresh fruits and vegetables comprising the largest area of growth (USDA
Agricultural Information Bulletin 777).
When I graduated college with a Bachelor's of Science degree in
Agricultural Biology, I started work with the Agricultural Extension
Service in Watsonville CA as an agricultural researcher. My first day
on the job 16 years ago was setting up a Methyl Bromide alternatives
experiment for strawberry production. The other major experiment I was
working on at the time was looking at the viability of organic farming
for strawberry production by comparing a farmer with both organic and
conventional strawberries in the Santa Cruz area of California.
I left that position after a couple of years and have been a
strawberry farmer in California for 14 years. I started farming
conventionally, in 1997 I began to farm a small portion of my operation
organically, and by 1999 switched the entire operation over to organic
In the beginning of my farm business, I used Methyl Bromide. I was
present during each fumigation and worked with my employees shoveling
the soil at the ends of the field over the plastic tarps used to keep
the Methyl Bromide gas in the soil for as long as possible. One of the
first instructions I received from the fumigation company was that I
could not wear the plastic gloves I wore for most of my work on the
farm during the Methyl Bromide fumigation. This was because if the gas
got under my plastic gloves it would be trapped inside the glove and
burn my hands. Also, no matter how perfect the applicator on the
tractor would try to be, some gas would always be released at the end
of his fumigation pass and all of us in the field would have our eyes
tearing from the Chloropicrin used with the Methyl Bromide. Headaches
were always common with my employees and myself who had worked as
shovelers on fumigation sites. I personally feel it is irresponsible
for an employer to expect his employees to work around these types of
materials that are known to cause illnesses. Methyl Bromide can cause
neurological damage, reproductive harm, can damage lungs and kidneys
and possibly cause cancer. (PANNA attachment #3)
In the past few years, new larger buffer areas have been imposed on
growers wanting to use Methyl Bromide in their fields. This means that
a grower may ask a surrounding house or other farm to not be present on
their own property during the time he was fumigating his adjacent field
with Methyl Bromide. How safe can the material be if we are asking
people who live within 500 ft. of a fumigation job to go stay in a
hotel for 48 hours after the fumigation? Does a farmer have the right
to put people who may just be passing by his field at danger because he
wants to use Methyl Bromide?
I and all of my organically farming associates, use many different
methods to avoid the disease and pest problems that Methyl Bromide
eliminates from soil. We rotate crops, cover crop and use compost to
suppress plant diseases in the soil. Good healthy soil structure is our
best defense against disease pressure. We use plastic mulching, flaming
machines, tractor work and farm labor to reduce weed pressure.
Solarization, the use of plastic tarps to heat the soil up and kill
diseases in the soil is used in many areas. As farmers work more with
these types of alternatives, they have learned to farm better and can
achieve yields similar to conventional production methods. As an
example, in 1988, a farmer using conventional farming methods for
strawberry production obtained 5000 crates per acre as compared to an
organic farmer who obtained around 2000 crates per acre. As growers
have become better at farming strawberries organically, many growers
obtain yields only 10-15% less then conventional farmers (California
Extension Organic Strawberries Cost of Production Studies, 2003).
Farming without Methyl Bromide can take more time for the farmer
because of the extra tractor work needed and other land preparation.
The same parcel of land can not be farmed continuously also with the
same crop which can be difficult for growers who have never grown other
Sixteen years ago, I was researching Methyl Bromide alternatives.
California Agricultural Extension knew then that certain materials held
promise for strawberry production and others were not viable for many
reasons. In 2002, the Strawberry Advisory Commission was still funding
small 100-200 ft research plots with many of the same materials. How is
this going to teach and encourage strawberry farmers to look at and
learn to use alternatives? Research trials of + acre or more on
producing farms need to be done by many farmers so they can begin to
move away from Methyl Bromide. When I asked a large 300 acre
conventional grower how many alternatives he had tried in 2003 and
before, he stated none. This same grower had been a board member of the
Strawberry Advisory Commission and he stated ``we are going to get an
exemption until 2005 at least so I won't try one until I have to. I
will stick with what I know works.'' Because the Strawberry Advisory
Commission has been so public on working on the Critical Use Exemptions
many other growers have this same belief.
Before a grower can be anything--organic or conventional--he has to
be a businessperson. If I cannot make the payroll on Friday, it does
not matter how I farm, I will not stay in business. By looking at the
records of growth in California Certified Organic Farmers we can see
that growth in strawberries alone has been 155% over the last 5 years.
Obviously some growers are figuring out they can make money without
Thank you again for your time. I have included some attachments
that will give you some other back up that farming without Methyl
Bromide is possible. Please feel free to contact me with any questions
you may have.
[Additional material submitted are retained in subcommittee files.]
Mr. Hall. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF JAMES WOLF
Mr. Wolf. Thank you. My name is James Wolf. I am Vice
President of Trane, and Chairman of the company's Environmental
Policy Council. Trane is a business of American Standard
Companies. We manufacture heating and air-conditioning
equipment for small and large buildings and are the world's
largest manufacturer of building chiller systems.
I am pleased to tell you that we are also the leader in the
manufacture of highly energy-efficient building chillers. Also,
at our manufacturing facility in Tyler, Texas, we manufacture
air conditioning and heat pump products for the residential
market that offer consumers industry leading system
Trane has been active in the domestic and international
efforts to protect the earth's ozone layer since 1980. We have
participated in virtually all the meetings of the Parties, as
well as in domestic efforts to implement this Treaty under the
provisions of the Clean Air Act.
I am not here today because we have a specific business
interest in the use of methyl bromide or its substitutes. I am
here because we have a strong interest in ensuring that the
Montreal Protocol remains an effective vehicle for global ozone
protection. The Protocol has been recognized as perhaps the
most successful international environment treaty ever
negotiated. In our view, it has achieved this recognition
because the treaty framework has been successful at encouraging
wide scale cooperation among industry, government and
environmental representatives in order to achieve well-defined
environmental goals in a cost-effective manner.
The Protocol was one of the first policy instruments in the
environmental arena to specifically take account of economic
issues as part of its implementation process. The industry
approach to addressing this effort has been to manage the issue
rather than simply react to it. As such, we have invested
countless man-hours in participation in the scientific and
technology assessment processes that have been so integral to
the Treaty's implementation.
Industry around the world has invested billions of dollars
in developing and introducing ozone-friendly technologies. In
our company, we took advantage of the technology shift away
from CFC-based products, to develop better technology We have
improved our chillers compared to the CFC chillers manufactured
in the 1980's, to use at least 35 percent less energy. Also, we
have reduced the loss of refrigerant from these chillers from
up to 30 percent to less than half a percent a year.
While industries have invested billions of dollars over the
last 17 years in replacing ozone-depleting compounds, the
investment has been small and the disruption less than would
have otherwise occurred had we not addressed the issue in a
coordinated systematic way.
As a leading American manufacturer, our message to you
today is that we, like many other American industry
participants, have a substantial human and financial investment
in the Montreal Protocol and its processes. Our overall
impression is that the Protocol process has worked and has
worked far better than any of us had expected when it was
signed in 1987. That does not mean that the process is perfect,
or that we do not have continued policy and business challenges
ahead of us. We want to see the record of success continue.
We also want the Protocol to continue because noncompliance
status, or U.S. withdrawal from the Protocol, could result in
trade impacts of billions of dollars to U.S. industries. I am
not a legal expert, however, my understanding is that
noncompliance with the Montreal Protocol, or withdrawal from
the Montreal Protocol, could adversely affect the United
States' ability to trade with 187 countries that are parties to
the Treaty, and cause serious financial losses to U.S.
companies as well as the loss of U.S. jobs.
It is impossible for us to say for certain that such an
outcome would come about because the Treaty has never been
confronted with such a serious breach. We would not want to
risk such an outcome, nevertheless.
It has been estimated that current trade in HCFCs and HCFC
reliant technology is around $10 billion a year. This trade
could be jeopardized if U.S. status or participation in the
Montreal Protocol becomes an issue.
The Protocol has worked well over the last 17 years. It has
done so because it has made decisions based on scientific and
technical facts, and with a continued acknowledgement of its
goal of balancing key environmental and economic issues.
As part of the final chapters of this agreement, there will
be continued discussion of the need for exemptions to the
phaseout. These exemptions are a critical part of the Treaty's
effort to balance economic and environmental interests. As with
some other uses, I suspect that methyl bromide critical use
exemptions will be necessary for some time to come. From our
perspective, I can tell you that the CUE process appears to
have worked well in most other instances over the last decade.
We share the concern of the methyl bromide users, and have
been in their place. We are confident that diligent effort on
their part and on the part of the policymakers will produce
policy decisions that are fair and achievable.
To summarize, our experience has been that the Montreal
Protocol process has worked better than could have been
expected since its inception in 1987, the process can and will
take into consideration key industry supplied data in order to
arrive at credible decisions on phaseout schedules and critical
use exemptions. It is incumbent on the affected industries to
invest in developing a credible data base and in educating the
parties, including those outside the United States, on the
importance of their use category, and that the U.S. must do
everything it can to remain a party in compliance with the
Treaty so as to protect the billions of dollars of investments
already made by U.S. companies in ozone protecting technologies
and not jeopardize billions of dollars in trade value of the
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of James Wolf follows:]
Prepared Statement of James Wolf, Vice President, Trane
Good morning. My name is James Wolf; I am a Vice President of Trane
and Chairman of the company's Environmental Policy Council. Trane is a
business of American Standard Companies. We manufacture heating and
air-conditioning equipment for small and large buildings and are the
world's largest manufacturer of building chiller systems. I am pleased
to tell you that we are also the leader in the manufacture of highly
energy efficient building chillers that have been installed in the EPA
headquarters building, the White House/Old Executive Office Building,
the IRS Building, the Federal Reserve Board Building, the Department of
Interior Building, the Washington Monument, and the Washington, D.C.
convention center to name a few. The chiller system operating in the
convention center is the world's most efficient system operating at
0.45 kW/ton, a minimum of 15% better than all other systems available
and this is a 35% improvement over the CFC systems offered in the
1980's. Also, at our manufacturing facility in Tyler, Texas we
manufacture air conditioning and heat pump products for the residential
market that offer consumers industry-leading system efficiencies--up to
19.5 SEER, 50% less energy consuming than equipment meeting the Federal
standard of 13 SEER.
Trane has been active in the domestic and international efforts to
protect the earth's ozone layer since 1980. As an air conditioning
industry leader, we have been involved in all of the policy
negotiations leading to the signing of the Montreal Protocol on
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987, and we have
participated in virtually all of the subsequent meetings of the
Parties, as well as in domestic efforts to implement this treaty under
the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Further, Trane is a member of the
Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (ARAP), the industry
coalition organized since 1980, which has been the lead industry
coalition involved with the global ozone protection effort. I served
for four years as chairman of the Alliance; I am currently a board
member of this organization.
I am not here today because we have a specific business interest in
the use of methyl bromide or its substitutes. I am here because we have
a strong interest in ensuring that the Montreal Protocol remains an
effective vehicle for global ozone protection. The Protocol has been
recognized as perhaps the most successful international environment
treaty ever negotiated. In our view, it has achieved this recognition
because the treaty framework has been successful at encouraging wide
scale cooperation among industry, government and environmental
representatives in order to achieve well-defined environmental goals in
a cost-effective manner.
In 1986, American industry, under the leadership of the Alliance,
called for the negotiation of an international treaty to deal with
ozone protection efforts. This was seen at the time as the best way to
address a global environmental issue. Many of the industries then
relying on ozone destroying compounds, including automotive, air
conditioning and refrigeration, electronics, and medical supplies, were
key components of U.S. global competitiveness. Threatened unilateral
regulatory measures at that time would have been damaging to US
industries and would not have been environmentally effective towards
protection of the ozone layer
The Protocol was one of the first policy instruments in the
environmental arena to specifically take account of economic issues as
part of its implementation scheme. The industry approach to addressing
this effort has been to ``manage'' the issue rather than simply react
to it. As such, we have invested countless man-hours in participation
in the scientific and technology assessment processes that have been so
integral to the treaty's implementation. We have also invested
thousands of hours in educating treaty experts and diplomats in the
United States and from governments around the world to ensure that they
are well versed in the technical issues related to reducing reliance on
ozone depleting compounds as they are making, and continue to make,
important policy decisions.
Industry around the world has invested billions of dollars in
developing and introducing ozone friendly technologies. In doing so, we
have succeeded in eliminating the use of the predominant ozone
depleting compounds, known as chlorofluoro-carbons or CFCs, with a few
notable exceptions. While achieving the elimination of CFC compounds,
in most instances we have also been able to improve the quality and
performance of the products replacing the CFC reliant products.
As an example, in our company, we took advantage of the technology
shift away from CFC based products to develop better technology. We
have improved our chillers, compared to the CFC chillers manufactured
in the 1980s, to use at least 35% less energy.
Also, since the inception of the Montreal Protocol, and our
understanding of the science, we have taken the industry from what was
once a highly emissive application, to that where the chemical can
practically remain in the machine for the entire operating life, while
still significantly improving greenhouse gas emissions with superior
energy efficiency. For example we have reduced the loss of refrigerant
from 20-30% per year to less than 0.5% per year. In fact, we offer the
purchasers of Trane chillers a leak tight guarantee at no cost.
The industry decision to support an international agreement has
proven to be a good one. The treaty has eliminated the ``free-riders
syndrome'', where competing industries in other countries might not
have had the same requirements, and has allowed for a collegial effort
at the domestic level to meet our ozone protection commitments. While
industries have invested billions of dollars over the last 17 years in
replacing ozone depleting compounds, the investment has been smaller
and the disruption less than would have otherwise occurred had we not
addressed the issue in a coordinated systematic way. According to a
recent study prepared by the US EPA and reviewed by the Office of
management and Budget, the ozone protection regulations in the United
States have one of the best cost-benefit ratios of any Clean Air Act
regulatory program in the history of the Act.
The cost savings to industry and to the consumer have ultimately
benefited the economy. Furthermore, the industries reliant on the
former ozone depleting compounds have been able to continue in business
and meet the strong demand for products that are safe, healthy, energy
efficient, and non-flammable so that these technologies continue to
offer substantial benefits to our society overall.
As a leading American manufacturer, our message to you today is
that we, like many other American industry participants, have a
substantial human and financial investment in the Montreal Protocol and
its processes. Our overall impression is that the Protocol process has
worked and has worked far better than any of us had expected when it
was signed in 1987. That does not mean that the process is perfect or
that we do not have continued policy and business challenges ahead of
us. It is a unique international institution that has worked because of
strong American influence from all corners--industry, government,
environment, and academia. We want to see that record of success
From a more parochial perspective, we also want the Protocol to
continue because non-compliance status or U.S. withdrawal from the
Protocol could result in trade impacts of billions of dollars to U.S.
industries. I am not a legal expert, however, my understanding is that
non-compliance with the Montreal Protocol, or withdrawal from the
Montreal Protocol, could adversely affect the United States' ability to
trade with the 187 countries that are parties to the treaty and cause
serious financial losses to American companies as well as the loss of
American jobs. It is impossible for us to say for certain that such an
outcome would come about because the treaty has never been confronted
with such a serious breach. We would not want to risk such an outcome
As an example, the encouragement of the use of HCFC technologies in
transition away from the use of CFCs has been critical to assuring the
treaty's cost-effective accomplishments. These HCFC technologies are
currently employed in a wide array of uses including in air-
conditioning and foam insulation. The Alliance has estimated that
current trade in HCFCs and HCFC reliant technology is around $10
billion per year. This trade could be jeopardized if U.S. status or
participation in the Montreal Protocol becomes an issue.
The Protocol has worked well over the last 17 years. It has done so
because it has made decisions based on scientific and technical facts
available when the decision was being made, and with a continued
acknowledgement of its goal of balancing key environmental and economic
issues. It is important not to confuse hard bargaining with an
incorrect approach. History has shown that the bargaining has always
been a challenge. A challenge that has been met because of the
credibility brought to the process by frank discussions of scientific,
technical, and economic issues, as well as key political
considerations. We would hope that the Montreal Protocol will follow
the latest science and understanding of the current technology as
future decisions are made, rather than relying on the earlier science
and state of the technology available when the Protocol was first
Because of the success of the Protocol, decades have been shaved
off of the projected date of recovery of the earth's ozone layer. But
the treaty's ultimate success depends on the completion of its
remaining objectives, including the developing country phaseout of
ozone depleting compounds, and the ultimate elimination of other
compounds such as methyl bromide. U.S. influence is a desired and
needed component to effectively achieve these objectives. This requires
the U.S. to remain an active and effective party to this agreement.
As part of the final chapters of this agreement, there will be
continued discussion of the need for exceptions to the phaseout. These
exceptions are a critical part of the treaty's effort to balance
economic and environmental interests. As with some other uses, I
suspect that methyl bromide critical use exceptions will be necessary
for some time to come. From our perspective, I can tell you that the
CUE process appears to have worked well in most other instances that we
have witnessed over the last decade. This process has worked because of
the credibility brought by industry and government discussions of facts
and by the commitment of all interests towards a balanced approach. It
would be our expectation that the CUE process for methyl bromide would
be no exception to this approach.
The transition process away from ozone depleting compounds has been
very similar across the wide variety of affected industries. As in the
agricultural arena, we have large corporate producers and users of the
compounds impacted by this treaty. In many instances, we also have
thousands of small businesses whose livelihood is dependent on the
availability of these compounds or their identified substitutes. A
critical component of the Protocol process, which has been incorporated
into US domestic implementation laws, has been the identification of
suitable substitutes and reasonable expectations for market penetration
of these new compounds or technologies.
This transition planning has been a significant challenge. It has
required extensive work in planning, education, and familiarization of
thousands of small businesses with technologies being developed by
large corporate suppliers and manufacturers. Our own company had to do
this with our network of dealers, suppliers, and contractors. And we
The transitions were usually accompanied by a firm but fair
reduction schedule that recognized the needs of these user groups and
appreciated the value of the investment being made in the new
technologies. Our experience has been that the process can and will
work. It does require a great deal of hard work in developing and
delivering credible information to policymakers, and in implementing
the substitute technologies once identified.
We share the concern of the methyl bromide users and have been in
their place. We are confident that diligent effort on their part and on
the part of the policymakers will produce policy decisions that are
fair and achievable. For the sake of all who have gone before them, we
would want no other outcome so that the Protocol can live up to its
reputation as an institution that is achieving its environmental
objectives while balancing the economic needs of those impacted by its
To summarize, our experience has been that the Montreal Protocol
process has worked better than could have been expected since its
inception in1987; the process can and will take into consideration key
industry supplied data in order to arrive at credible decisions on
phaseout schedules and critical use exemptions; it is incumbent on the
affected industries to invest in developing a credible data base and in
educating the parties, including those outside the US, on the
importance of their use category; and that the US must do everything it
can to remain a Party in compliance with the treaty so as to protect
the billions of dollars of investments already made by U.S. companies
in ozone protecting technologies and not jeopardize billions of dollars
in trade value of the U.S. economy.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide information on this
Mr. Hall. Thank you very much. That completes the
testimony, and we will have some questions now, and I will
recognize myself for 5 minutes.
Dr. Mueller, you are phasing out the use of methyl bromide,
Mr. Mueller. Yes.
Mr. Hall. Can you foresee any circumstances where you might
use it again and, if so, what might these be?
Mr. Mueller. I have thought a lot about that question, and
right now--I am an entomologist, and resistance is an issue
that I am always concerned about, and resistance management is
a major part of the components that I build into my
international phaseout programs in places like Thailand and
Ivory Coast. So, if we can prevent insects from becoming
resistance to some of our more popular fumigants that we are
using as alternatives, I don't think we need methyl bromide.
Maybe something else will come along in the meantime. If we
can't, then maybe we will need methyl bromide.
Mr. Hall. Is something else coming along now?
Mr. Mueller. Yes, there is. Sulfuryl fluoride, a product
that has been used for termites----
Mr. Hall. Who produces that?
Mr. Mueller. That is a Dow AgroScience product. I think
there is a company also in Koln, Germany, that makes that
product, too. Sulfuryl fluoride looks to me--if I was asked
what I would rotate, let us say, a grain fumigation with, I
would use sulfuryl fluoride.
Mr. Hall. What impact will the phaseout of methyl bromide
have on your fumigation business?
Mr. Mueller. I guess I really won't know until January 1 of
next year. I have told everybody in our company, without methyl
bromide, that we would freeze their salary and their income for
this year, even though we know that we are going to lose some
Mr. Hall. Mr. Brown, because your Congressman might not
make it, let me ask some questions that he may want to ask you.
Have you tried alternatives to methyl bromide?
Mr. Brown. Mr. Chairman, we have been trying alternatives
to methyl bromide since we were aware that methyl bromide was
under the gun to be phased out. As a matter of fact, this year
alone the Florida Tomato Committee will invest something over
$120,000 to $150,000 in research, in conjunction with our land
grant college and USDA research facilities in the State of
Mr. Hall. Which ones have you found most effective?
Mr. Brown. In some circumstance, we have found some of the
Telone C35 compounds to work, but we have a pest in Florida--I
hope you don't have it in Texas--called ``nutgrass,'' and it
will come up through concrete pavement if you give it a crack.
And we produce many of the vegetables in Florida that use
methyl bromide during a full-bed plastic mulch, and the purpose
of that mulch is basically to cover the surface of the bed to
keep rainwater from passing through the bed and leaching
fertilizer so we have a management system for nutrition and
growth of that plant.
When nutgrass comes up in those beds, it is like growing
those crops under screen, and it doesn't work. And to date, we
don't have an effective control compound for nutgrass control
and the use of alternatives in Florida that allows us to
produce those crops with those systems.
In other areas, we have the Telone C35. The Telone compound
is not registered in some counties in Florida simply because of
the risk to groundwater. We have topography in Florida that
prevents the use of Telone in accordance to its label in
Florida due to coarse topography, and that prevents any major
migration to that alternative group by the industry. But we
continue to do research. We are doing research this season in
large field plots with virtually impermeable films, which are
films that are being imported currently out of Europe, not
produced in the U.S., that would basically cover those growth
surfaces with a plastic material that would prevent any ex-
gassing or migration of methyl bromide out of that soil system.
And if we were truly addressing the issue of ozone-depletion
and methyl bromide's risk to the ozone, if we don't let it
escape, it shouldn't even be considered to be a use, but it all
falls into the pot with scrutiny as we currently have it
Mr. Hall. You represent the tomato growers in most of
Florida, the State?
Mr. Brown. That is correct.
Mr. Hall. What steps--not you personally--but what steps
have you observed for the other growers to have taken to reduce
the use of methyl bromide up to this date?
Mr. Brown. We have been reducing the rate of methyl bromide
on a per acre basis throughout the State. We have been
combining it with larger and larger quantities of chloropicrin,
which is a compound very similar to teargas that is used for
some soil disease control programs. We do have some migration
to the Telone alternatives in some areas where we have some
legitimate use for it, but the industry has progressively moved
forward trying to solve that problem, but we have reached the
point we don't have a complete solution, and therefore that is
why we have a critical use request in place with USDA and EPA.
Mr. Hall. All right. My time has expired. Mr. Allen,
recognize you for 5 minutes.
Mr. Allen. Mr. Chairman, I will try not to take more than
that. Mr. Chairman, I would first like to ask unanimous consent
to enter into the record a copy of the membership list of the
Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, a group that Mr.
Wolf's company trained as a member of, and I want to note for
members of our subcommittee that this organization includes
some of the Nation's largest employers--General Electric, Ford
Motor Company, Maytag Corporation, and Owings Corning, among
many others--who, according to Mr. Wolf's testimony, could lose
billions of dollars in trade if we violated the Protocol.
Mr. Hall. Is there objection to the admission? The Chair
hears none. It is admitted.
[The information referred to follows:]
The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy
Aeroquip Corporation; Air Conditioning Contractors of America; Air
Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute; Air Conditioning &
Refrigeration Wholesalers Association; Air Mechanical; Alliance for
Polyurethanes Industry; Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp.; American
Pacific; American Plastics Council; Arthur D. Little; Association of
Home Appliances Manufacturers; ATOFINA; Bard Manufacturing Co.; Beltway
Heating & Air Conditioning Co.; Cap & Seal Company; Carrier
Corporation; Central Coating Company; Cetylite Industries; Copeland
Corporation; Delphi Automotive; Dow Chemical U.S.A.; Dupont; E.V.
Dunbar Co.; Falcon Safety Products; Fluorocarbon Technology Corp.; Foam
Enterprises; Foamed Polystyrene Alliance; Foamseal; Ford Motor Company;
Forma Scientific; FP International; GE Appliances; General Electric
Company; General Motors; GHG Associates; Gilman Corporation; Great
Lakes Chemical; H. C. Duke & Son; Halogenated Solvents Industry
Alliance; Halotron; Halsey Supply Co.; Hill Phoenix; Honeywell; Hudson
Technologies; Hussmann Corporation; IGC Polycold Systems; INEOS;
Institute of International Container Lessors; International Association
of Refrigerated Warehouses; International Pharmaceutical Aerosol
Consortium; Joint Journeymen And Apprentice Training Trust; Joseph
Simons Company; Kysor Warren; Lennox International; Lintern
Corporation; Luce, Schwab & Kase; MARVCO; Maytag Corporation; McGee
Industries; MDA Manufacturing; Mechanical Service Contractors of
America; Merck & Co.; Metl-Span Corporation; 3M Company; Mobile Air
Conditioning Society; National Refrigerants; Northland Corporation NYE
Lubricants; NYE Lubricants; Owens Corning; Perlick Corporation;
Refrigeration Engineering; Refrigeration Service Engineers Society;
Refron; Remtec International; Revco Scientific; Ritchie Eng. Co.;
Siemens; Solvay; South Central Co.; Society of the Plastics Industries;
Sporlan Valve Co.; Spray Foam Alliance; Sub-Zero Freezer Co.; Tech
Spray; Tecumseh Products Co.; Thermo-King Corporation; Thermoquest;
Total Reclaim; Trane Company; Tyler Refrigeration Corp; Union Chemical
Lab, ITRI; United Refrigeration; Unitor Ships Service; Vulcan
Materials; Wei T'O Associates; White & Shauger; W.M. Barr and Company;
Worthington Cylinder; York International Corp.; and Zero Zone Ref. Mfg.
Mr. Allen. Mr. Doniger, in the administration's written
testimony, the State Department witness states that parties to
the Montreal Protocol can ``seek an exemption from the 2005
phaseout, if it determines that the absence of methyl bromide
would cause a significant market disruption.'' The testimony
suggests that exemptions are only available to the 2005
phaseout, and that exemptions are not available for the 2003
reduction to 30 percent of baseline levels.
There is no critical use exemption for the interim 2003
reduction to 30 percent of baseline under the Montreal
Protocol. Is there, or is there not?
Mr. Doniger. You are correct. The exception is supposed to
be only for that last step between the 70 percent reduction and
getting to zero. And so talking about any exemptions above 30
percent is, in my opinion, a breach of the Protocol.
Mr. Allen. Has that been challenged by any other parties to
Mr. Doniger. Well, in a way, yes, because the solution that
the parties came up with in the March Extraordinary Meeting is
double-capped, that has been referred to, an upper limit on use
and a lower upper limit on production and consumption, the 35
and the 30 percent. But I would emphasize that in the decision
from March, the parties set those numbers for the United States
and different numbers for other countries as upper limits. And
each country is obliged under its domestic law, to consider
whether current data on use, current data on stockpiles, would
allow for the number to be lower in 2005. And that is the
rulemaking that EPA is required to undertake later this year.
The parties also decided in 1997 that there should be no
new production--even if there is need, there should be no new
production if there is a stockpile. And the United States has
never been forthcoming about the amount of the stockpile.
Mr. Allen. Thank you. I understand that there are critical
use exemptions to exempt activities that are in some way--I
understand the critical use exemption is there to exempt
activities that are in some way unusual. If the United States
was unwilling to ban the use of methyl bromide for its most
common function, as a pre-plant soil fumigator, we would never
have agreed, and in fact fought for, a full phaseout under the
Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air Act.
Do the critical uses listed in the U.S. application include
soil fumigation, do you know?
Mr. Doniger. Well, they do, yes. For example, two of the
big ones are for tomatoes and strawberries. But I would just
say that I don't think there is any category of use which is
not eligible to ask for an exemption, it is the amounts that
are in question. It is the huge amounts that are in question.
If there were a tail in the phaseout for which there is
genuinely no alternative, whether it is field fumigation or
mills and so on, it seems to me that as a categorical matter
they are all eligible, but I am concerned that they have not
made their case and they have not drawn down the stocks.
Mr. Allen. Were you here this morning when Ms. McMurray
testified for the State Department?
Mr. Doniger. Yes.
Mr. Allen. You may recall, she testified that in their
negotiations, they always want to ask for more than they
actually need. Did you have any reaction or comment on that
Mr. Doniger. Well, I thought it was a very honest comment,
and it should be reflected that in my opinion, the grower
groups have constructed their applications on the same
principle, that they have asked for amounts that would give
them the maximum comfort zone, so to speak. They have put in
for more than they need.
The nematodes don't attack everywhere at once. There is a
notion in these applications, though, that every single use,
every single farmer, ought to have a number which is the
reserve against the pest outbreak occurring everywhere at once.
It just doesn't happen that way.
Mr. Allen. If I could just finally turn to you, Mr.
Mueller. In Ms. McMurray's prepared testimony--she didn't
include it in what she was--she had to shorten her testimony
for this morning, but in her written testimony she struck a
theme that was much like the theme you were saying--you were
describing in your testimony. She said that ``staying the
course matters to public health and to the ozone layer, but it
also matters to the many businesses who took the risk of
investing heavily in alternatives that do not damage the ozone
layer. A recent letter to EPA from companies making this
choice''--like yours--``have built a $10 billion business and
trade with ozone-safe American products and technologies that
could be at risk if the United States were to take action
inconsistent with its commitments under the Montreal
Is there anything in that statement that adds to what you
said, or do you have any comment on that statement from her, as
reflecting the administration's position?
Mr. Mueller. Yes, I do. You know, so often we talk about
fast-track alternatives, and maybe a company is going to come
in and take advantage and build this new silver bullet out
there. I brought, in 1995, a product over from Australia. It is
a cylinderized phosphine material. We have phosphine already
registered since the 1950's in the United States. And it took 5
years and $5 million to get the first methyl bromide
alternative for structural fumigations approved by EPA.
So, if you are trying to make money in this business by
coming out with a new product and getting rich, it is going to
take a long time, and it is going to take a lot of money.
Mr. Allen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Mr. Hall. Thank you. The Chair recognizes Mr. Radanovich,
the author of the legislation, for questions.
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, again, for having
this hearing, and apologize for having to duck back and forth,
but I did want to question the panel. Ms. Bogenholm, I enjoyed
your testimony, I thought it was very valuable. And I do have a
couple of questions. One is, you are pretty much talking about
integrated pest management as a means of addressing what would
be a methyl bromide problem.
Ms. Bogenholm. Correct.
Mr. Radanovich. The other question I have is, not knowing
the size of your operation, but are those techniques
economically worthwhile in large scale farming?
Ms. Bogenholm. Definitely. And, you know, my company
grosses over $2 million a year. I am not what you would call a
small farmer, according to USDA. I ship berries all over the
world. And all these techniques I talk about, which are cover
cropping and using compost and different fish emulsions to
buildup my soil matter, all of those things are available and
they are integrated pest management techniques.
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you. Paul Wenger, welcome to the
subcommittee. As a constituent of mine, I really warmly want to
welcome you. Just because you are my constituent doesn't mean I
am going to throw you softballs, but I am kind of curious, if
you could give me your story about the use of methyl bromide.
Either there is going to be a replacement there, or there is
not. It seems to me that there is a lot of talk. I have heard
from many folks in chemical industries that say that they do
have alternatives available, but they are just not being
allowed--forcing farmers to use them.
Can you give me your down and dirty on this thing.
Mr. Wenger. Well, I think there are a couple of things.
One, you have probably seen the use of methyl bromide go down
because it is extremely expensive. So, as orchardists, during
the late 1990's we saw prices we hadn't seen so low since 30
years ago. When you came to put a second generation orchard in,
you had to look very hard at how much you were going to spend
for methyl bromide. Besides that, the fact that the Department
of Pesticide Regulation in California has come down with more
stringent guidelines about the use, so if you are around any
kind of a house or school or anything, as I said, any kind of
surrounding exposure--there is going to be certain parts of
your field you can't treat. So, then you have to take a look at
do I really treat the whole field if I only treat a part of it.
Like Mr. Doniger said, maybe nematodes aren't everywhere at
once, but tell me where they are in the soil. And we do do soil
sampling. We do an awful lot of soil sampling because we don't
want to spend up to $2,000 an acre, if we don't have to. And
that could be 50--well, it could be anywhere between 40 and 50
percent of your cost of just putting a new orchard in, not
counting land values. And so in 1999, when we put in a second
generation walnut orchard, and we followed the El Nino year of
1998, and so the trees came out of the nursery, they had been
in the nursery 2 years, very high pith, counts on the roots. A
good friend of mine had a farm next to me, he was putting in an
orchard, a second generation orchard just like mine, but doing
it for an absentee landowner. The absentee landowner had a lot
of money and they wanted to do the full route. And so they went
the full methyl bromide application, and I said, well, we are
going to lose methyl bromide, I think it is time I find out how
to do it the organic way or the biological way--not necessarily
organic, but biological.
So I talked to Tom Umasha and Cherlock Sunburs, an
agronomist, he knows these kind of things. He took soil
sampling. He came out with biological things that we could do.
We inoculated the roots, we put the trees in the ground, and
they didn't grow.
The other fellow, his trees didn't grow at first either. We
both took soil samples. We had another agronomist come in. We
took root samples, pithuniphyte was terribly, terribly high. He
had no nematodes, my nematode counts were off the charts. In
about 3 weeks, his trees started to grow. This year, he will
harvest 3 tons to the acre. I have probably got 2 more years
before I will get a ton to the acre.
Now, if you had a full planting like that, you would be
broke. Luckily, it is only a 17-acre field, so I thought I have
got to experiment, I have got to find out. Since then, we have
put on ridamil, datura, we have put on fertilizers, we have put
on cattle manure, chicken manure, we have put on sheep manure,
we have put on grape compost. We use a cover crop every single
year, and it is a fight. By the time I get the orchard going, I
will have replanted 75 percent of that original orchard.
Mr. Radanovich. Essentially, what you are saying is that
integrated pest management or any IPM approach is good, but it
is still not going to solve your needs.
Mr. Wenger. It is tough because if you are going in virgin
ground--and we call virgin ground something it didn't have--
unfortunately, we can't do crop rotations with vines and trees.
And so sometimes you have those options with other crops that
are annual, we don't have those options. But if we go into
where there has not been any perennial crop before, we will
take soil samples. A lot of times you can get away without
doing any kind of fumigant at all, and we have done that and
been very successful. But what we are looking at now in
California is second generation and third generation orchards,
orchards that have been in for 30, 40, 50 years, they are
coming through now and taking those trees out, and then what we
call the next generation, and sometimes now it is a third
Mr. Radanovich. And in your case, you are not going to be
using methyl bromide except for pre-plant for a vineyard or an
orchard that is going to last anywhere between 20 to 40 years.
Mr. Wenger. Right. And now looking back, 20-20 hindsight,
when you look back at the time in 1999, I thought I have got to
go out and borrow more money, pay more interest for what at
that time was going to cost around $1800 an acre. So, I didn't
have the money. Now, if I look back, I should have borrowed the
money. I would have been money ahead.
Mr. Radanovich. Mr. Brown, you made a comment earlier on
tomatoes, the use of methyl bromide, and how you have been able
to decrease it, part of what was used in order to decrease its
use per acre over the years have been in association with a
different chemical, and I am not really aware of that. But, Mr.
Wenger, too, you mentioned that there has been--because of the
price, has caused you to use it more efficiently. Is that the
answer, or what has been the main reason why it has decreased
in its use--I will ask both of you, maybe Mr. Brown first--over
the years? Why have you been able to accomplish that?
Mr. Brown. Margins in the tomato business are about like it
is in the nut business in California, they are real thin or
nonexistent. And every dollar you spend in producing a crop is
a dollar you have got to struggle to make back on the other end
of the enterprise. So there has been a real sense, not only
with the phaseout, but a real economic sense of trying to be
extremely efficient in use of the compound.
The chloropicrin compound is a way of reducing the poundage
of methyl bromide on a per acre basis, and we also, in effect,
do a strip mulch for the bed, rather than the sheet fumigation
that you may see in California.
Mr. Radanovich. Mr. Wenger--and if you would add in there,
too, what experience you have had in using some of these
alternatives that are out there.
Mr. Wenger. Well, one of the first things we did on hole
fumigation where we have a tree blow over and die, we come back
and we treat, have methyl bromide in a site treatment, and I
will do all that application myself, and it has been a very
safe compound to use. Just like anything, you want to be very
Mr. Radanovich. That is in like probably a 10 foot by 10
Mr. Wenger. Right. Have to go back to a tree hole, and you
will go ahead and you will put a pound and a half of methyl
bromide. It used to be that methyl bromide was 98/2--98 percent
methyl bromide, 2 percent chloropicrin. The chloropicrin was a
teargas that would let you know if you had any exposures and to
get away from it. It was a safety feature.
So then what they started doing with the phaseout is going
to a 75/25 and a 60/40. One of the things we experienced is
chloropicrin is also a fumigant, does not leave the soil very
quickly, and it takes a much longer time, especially in cold
temperatures. We usually do our transplanting in January-
February when the temperatures are cold, we will fumigate
somewhere in October-November. So, with damp moisture in the
ground from the rains and the colder temperatures, we started
planting our trees and found out they weren't growing. Now we
have learned that chloropicrin will stay in that soil for a lot
longer time. So, now you have to do a different management
practice, either fumigate way early or wait another year to go
ahead and plant. And so because of that, if you could ever
find--if you are ever able enough to get some 98 percent, then
that is what you want to use.
The other thing I might mention, too, lately now, just the
reverse of 1999, as you know, commodity prices go up and down.
We are now experiencing some very good prices in the almond
industry. And so the usage on second generation orchards is
going to go down because any orchard that will produce even a
minimal crop is staying in the ground. You know, when prices
are good, you don't take trees out. In the next couple of
years, we have seen a huge planting increase, a lot of that on
virgin soil. So, as soon as those orchards come into
production, we are going to have an oversupply mode, price is
going to go down, as we know, and all of a sudden you are going
to see an awful lot of demand for methyl bromide again, even
though you will say that in the past it has been decreasing in
its usage. But down the road, as those orchards, now the price
comes down, people are going to say, if I am getting 1,000
pounds to the acre, and it goes down to less than $1.00 a
pound, I can't even make my way on it for the annual expenses,
I am taking the orchard out, and then try to get in that cycle
again. And so there will be greater demand. So you can't just
look back and say, well, historically, we are reducing methyl
bromide. I mean, we are talking about a biological world here,
that people are keeping trees in more now, and as soon as the
price goes down, that is when growers will make the management
decision, it is time to yank those old unproductive orchards
and replant and start the cycle all over again.
Mr. Radanovich. Mr. Chairman, I realize I am way over my
time. I would like another round, if we can, before closing.
Mr. Hall. Can you continue? We are not planning to have
another round. Can you continue for another couple of minutes?
Mr. Radanovich. I can. I think Ms. Capps would----
Ms. Capps. Would you mind taking a second round, I have
some people waiting for me in my office. I am sorry. Would you
be willing, Mr. Hall----
Mr. Hall. Have you completed your questions, Mr.
Mr. Radanovich. For now. I would be happy to yield to Ms.
Ms. Capps. That would be wonderful.
Mr. Hall. The gentleman yields to Ms. Capps.
Ms. Capps. Thank both of you gentlemen for yielding to me.
I didn't want to miss an opportunity to talk with a fellow
representative from the Central Coast of California, Ms.
Bogenholm. We are neighbors to each other, if I may say. Mr.
Farr represents you, and I have farmers with good strawberry
yields as well, and lots of wine grapes, and you have
artichokes, we have broccoli, but it is a lot of the same kind
of agriculture. And we also have similar interests among our
constituents and your customers in organic farming. I commend
you for your description of ways that this can be done. Lots of
folks now are asking for pesticide-free fruits and vegetables
when they go to the market. Both you and Mr. Mueller have
played by the rules and, Mr. Wenger, your story is apropos to
my concern and interest here. You have invested time and money
into researching and using developing safer alternatives.
In the first panel, I asked the USDA about the $150 million
spent on research for alternatives, and I am asking you the
same question--is this enough money? What else can we be doing
to assist growers and farmers in this area?
Ms. Bogenholm. I would like to address the money situation
just because I know you guys have lots of things you have to be
experts on. The average acre of strawberries grosses $35-40,000
annually. So, when you hear about other fumigation situations
costing $200 more an acre, that is really a small amount
compared to what that grower is spending to grow that crop. And
there are other options that cost more money, and that is the
situation that is occurring.
Now, you talk about research dollars, and research dollars
have been very, very small in the methyl bromide situation when
I started back in 1988 to now. And so in the last couple of
years, you have really seen the money ramp up, but what you
haven't seen is individual growers doing their own research,
which growers do all the time, but in the methyl bromide
situation, growers weren't willing to try, that is where you
will see the difference.
Ms. Capps. That is why I am asking--and others can jump in,
too. Why have we not made more progress, is it because this is
a partnership and we need to be incentivizing growers perhaps
Ms. Bogenholm. I truly believe you do incentivize growers
to do more research, and I think that individual growers need
to have a situation where basically 3 to 4 percent of their
production overall is looking at alternatives in order to use
methyl bromide, in my personal opinion.
Ms. Capps. Oh, have it be that.
Ms. Bogenholm. Have it be a requirement by a commodity so
all the growers have to try something so that they have to do
it; otherwise, growers will never learn how to--you can't just
go look at somebody else's field and see what he did and say,
``Well, I can do that now.'' You have got to be trying
yourself, or else you would never learn how to do it.
Ms. Capps. And the incentive would be there, or the little
push to do it, and that would be something that could help
growers step over that line. I want some comment, if I have
time, but this is my concern. As long as we continue to delay
the phaseout, are we continuing then to disincentivize--is that
a proper word--are we working at cross-purposes with what this
hearing is about. I am thinking of farmworkers' lives,
pesticide handlers, school children in nearby communities that
get the drift--and it is really hard to protect them from
this--in addition to the ozone factor. I wonder if we are
spending enough time considering those alternatives that yield
better health and safety benefits. And in whatever time I have
left, I will leave it to whoever wants to comment on that.
Mr. Mueller. I have thought a lot about that, and I believe
that the stakeholders or the enterprises have a responsibility
to come up with alternatives themselves. It isn't like there is
one answer where you can go out and just dial it in and say it
is going to work. Even a flour miller, a flour miller with an
old mill might have different needs than a flour miller with a
brand new mill, or in different geographic locations. So, I
think it is up to the individual, and I think there is a price
to pay for protecting the environment.
Ms. Capps. Well, what do you think of her idea if, in order
to use methyl bromide on the majority of your crop, that you
would be required--because it really does come down to
individual needs, doesn't it, and what works on particular
areas--and someone else wants to respond. Thank you. Dr.
Mr. Mellano. I am very sensitive to your concern about
health and safety. This morning, you talked about methyl
Ms. Capps. I didn't, but it was brought up.
Mr. Mellano. It was brought up. Methyl iodide was
synthesized by Ord and Simms at U.C. Riverside about 10 or 15
years ago. And one of the first experiments that was done on
that was done at our place because I know them. They were
actually classmates of mine in school. And I think before you
think about methyl iodide as a full-scale substitute for methyl
bromide, you ought to take a look at the LD50's. It is highly
toxic. In addition to that, it is a liquid at room temperature,
which means it can get into the groundwater, and that is one of
the reasons why it is not registered.
Now, it works very well. We have been experimenting with it
for 10 or 15 years, and we would very much like it to be
registered. It will allow us to reduce our methyl bromide use.
But I am very much afraid that we may not want what we get
there because of the groundwater problem and the toxicity.
Now, relative to farmworkers, the methyl bromide has no
effect on the farmworkers because it is gone by the time they
come in. And the methyl iodide which is a liquid at room
temperature, stays in the soil significantly longer and,
therefore, there will be more exposure. So, those are some of
the problems that we are dealing with.
Now, I do want to say one thing. I stand corrected on the
China thing. I made a technical mistake. It is true that China
signed last year, but they still don't have to phaseout the use
of their methyl bromide, so the basic premise that I made is
still correct. And I am sorry I made that mistake.
Mr. Hall. Do you want to be heard?
Mr. Bair. Yes. In response to Ms. Capps' question about
alternatives and their uses. If you go to the NRDC Web site,
which Mr. Doniger represents, virtually every alternative that
has been discussed is a viable alternative or a potential
alternative for methyl bromide replacement in the industries
that I am familiar with, is under attack for some other
toxicity or some kind of related problem with those compounds,
which gives you a very uncomfortable feeling as are we
basically walking off the plank.
Mr. Mellano. Methane sodium is a primary material, and it
is being re-registered, and we are going to lose it, maybe.
Mr. Mueller. Just two quick comments, if I could, please.
All we really need is a menu, a menu to be able to choose from,
that we can try A, C and D and combinations to make these
things work, and not just one by itself. That is what we have
found to work for us.
No. 2, I disagree a little bit. I spent 8 days in the
hospital with burned legs and abdomen from methyl bromide. It
was the most painful experience of my life. And if you don't
believe that, anytime you get burns, second degree burns, those
are very painful.
Mr. Doniger. I think it is worth pointing out that the farm
community needs to think about some choices, too, because at
these hearings you bring forth witnesses, as they should, who
have the most compelling stories to tell, but behind them are a
lot of people who actually have less compelling stories to
tell. And when they have exemptions which are too big, it is
actually making Mr. Wenger's life more difficult, and Mr.
Mellano's life more difficult, because it is being misused in
its lower value uses.
I have never said the methyl bromide exemptions should go
to zero. What we are saying is that they are too high, and they
can be lower.
Ms. Capps. Thank you.
Mr. Hall. The Chair thanks the gentlelady, she yields back
her time. The Chair recognizes Mr. Issa, the gentleman from
Mr. Issa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and this is an important
hearing, and obviously we have way too many questions and you
have way too many answers for us to squeeze into our limited
I am a former businessman, so perhaps not having the kind
of farm expertise of even one-quarter of one of you, I am going
to have to limit my questions more to that sort of part of it.
One that I would have for Mr. Bair, what happens if insects
found in a mill--what are the consequences if an alternate
system were to fail in a mill--in other words, if you don't use
methyl bromide as the most effective system, what happens when
a mill fails inspection?
Mr. Bair. Well, two things. One would be that you would
likely be subject to FDA action, including seizure of your food
as being adulterated, which obviously is something very
serious. But perhaps even more important than that is that you
run the risk of angering your customers. I mean, food companies
have spent decades, some of them more than 100 years,
developing a consumer allegiance, a loyalty to their particular
product. And the last thing they want to do in a low margin
business is anger any customers.
Mr. Issa. So it would be fair to say you would end up in
about the same position that the company formerly known as
Firestone Tires found themselves in, you are essentially
talking about a business that has zero-tolerance for failure to
provide a healthy safe product?
Mr. Bair. It is a zero-tolerance. The gentleman who
testified in our behalf last year before the subcommittee
discussed sifting flour, and we all remember seeing grandmother
or mom sifting flour when they baked. And most people assumed
that sifting flour had something to do with imparting--it baked
a better cake, or baked a better loaf of bread. The reason
grandmother sifted flour was to get the bugs out. And the
reason nobody sifts flour anymore is because there aren't bugs
in the flour in the first place, and methyl bromide helps us do
And I would like to respond, too, there has been a lot said
about alternatives here, and I would like to just quickly go
through those. To Mr. Wolf, I just want to say, in his words,
he said ``We have been there,'' in the Montreal Protocol. With
all due respect, you have not been there.
The refrigeration and air conditioning industries, when
they phaseout CFCs, first of all, the alternatives were already
available. That was a question of engineering and physics. They
know what that molecule needs to look like to make
An example that we are talking about with methyl bromide,
it is not an engineering question, it is a biological question.
Insects evolve, insects develop resistance, they are changing
all the time, weather changes, soil patterns are different--it
is a biological problem.
Mr. Issa. I think not only have you made your point, but I
think even among people who might be not totally supportive of
the numbers, there is a consensus that at the present time, 100
percent elimination of methyl bromide is not yet appropriate,
and I apologize, but I am going to run out of time here.
I guess one quick question which would be for Mr. Brown, if
tomorrow California and Florida stopped growing tomatoes, with
the alternate--it could happen--with the alternate places that
tomatoes come from, Mexico being a major supplier, would there
be any less methyl bromide being used today if the two major
producing States went out of the business? Do the alternate
countries use something else, or do they essentially use the
same or greater amount of methyl bromide per acre?
Mr. Brown. I can't absolutely officially speak on behalf of
a Mexican industry that I don't work for and don't represent,
but the use of methyl bromide in other parts of the world
continues and has a right to continue out to 2015 for those
Mr. Issa. Okay. Dr. Mellano, in the case of the flour
industry particularly, as a San Diegan, we both know that many
growers have operations both north and south of the border. If
methyl bromide went to zero today, would your 625 acres
essentially--not that you would do it--but are they fully
transferrable 70 miles south and then until 2015 you could grow
using the techniques that are proven?
Mr. Mellano. The short answer is yes, and in addition to
that, TriCal, who is the major fumigator in California, has
already set up a Mexican company, and the marketing companies
have already set up Mexican distribution centers in
anticipation--part of it has got to be in anticipation of the
phaseout. So, basically, what is going to happen is methyl
bromide is going to move from a highly regulated area in
California to a very low regulated area in Mexico. And to me,
the total amount is going to continue at the same. That is one
of my problems.
Mr. Issa. Mr. Doniger, I know you have an answer for every
question I have, and more, but the question I have for you--I
am just trying to do the arithmetic--between you and Mr.
Mueller, I think I heard 483 million pounds are being used of
methyl bromide, and 22 million are being stockpiled. Would one
of you give me the number of use per annum that you were using
because the stockpile I got is 22 million and the gross I got
is 483 million, which is 5 percent. What is wrong with that
figure, in brief?
Mr. Doniger. Sir, I think the number being used in 2003,
the number that corresponds to 30 percent, is about 16.9
million pounds, and the stockpile, by my estimation, is about
22 million pounds.
Mr. Issa. So if, in fact--I will take the revised.
Somewhere we had this 100,000 tons and so on. I was going
through--it still is a year to a year and a half of
consumption. And I am very supportive that there should not be
stockpiling, although I do recognize that some old vehicles are
still using the old freon from stockpiling today. Most have
converted, but there are still a limited amount using it under
What is wrong at a given time with a year and a half of--
less than a year and a half of use being available. That seems
like it is inefficient, but it doesn't go to the 22 years or
decades that was being talked about.
Mr. Doniger. I asked people in the chemicals industry what
is the normal inventory, and the answer is months--for normal
chemicals, a few months max, not well over a year. So, this
inventory has not been created in conformity with normal
practice, it is much bigger than that.
If I may quickly, the tomato crop in California does not
use methyl bromide, its critical use exemption was rejected
because they don't use it and they don't need to use it, and
Mexican use has been going down. It is true that TriCal, the
distributor in California, is fishing around to grow the market
in Mexico, but it is being driven by the distributor more than
Mr. Issa. Excellent. I am glad to know that if Florida
shuts down, California will be growing profitable tomatoes.
Mr. Mellano. They would be tough in the wintertime to eat,
Mr. Issa. I will report that to Harry Sing & Sons in my
district. The Montreal Protocol limits, as we have discussed
repeatedly, to 2005, without exception, unless an exemption is
granted, the use of methyl bromide. We are discussing
extensions to 2005. In 2015, the same kicks in for developing
nations. For all of you on this panel--and I don't want you all
to answer, so just ``yes'' or ``no,'' please, because I want
Mr. Radanovich to get back to his time.
If we were to shut down today and Mexico, as our neighbor
and a major producing partner and sometimes competitor, were to
continue to 2015, haven't we, in a sense, hurt the ability--
particularly for the organic industry who have been
experimenting and finding alternatives--haven't we, in fact,
hurt the ability for them, with their lesser dollars for
experimentation, to kick in?
And the final part of this yes-or-no question is, in a
sense, don't we need to have a hybrid here of reduce methyl
bromide whenever possible, increase experimentation and
research so that by 2015 it will be a very teachable skill to
Mexico, China and other developing nations? Isn't that an
ultimate goal that we can all agree on here today, that
regardless of the size of the exemption, whether something is
granted, we have a transition problem in the developed world to
get the answers by 2015? Can I just get a yes or no on this,
and Mr. Radanovich will ask all your other questions.
Mr. Bair. Yes.
Mr. Brown. Yes.
Mr. Mellano. Yes.
Mr. Wenger. Yes.
Mr. Doniger. No, it can be done much faster than that.
Mr. Issa. But, yes, the goal is to get it done.
Mr. Doniger. To get it done in the next couple of years.
Ms. Bogenholm. And the reason it can be done is many of
those companies in the United States are growing in Mexico
also, most of those companies that are big vegetable companies
here are half-owners in major Mexican companies and, yes, it is
going to go very quickly down there, much quicker.
Mr. Issa. Thank you. Mr. Wolf?
Mr. Wolf. I don't have the information to answer.
Mr. Issa. I will take that as a yes. Thank you. Yield back,
Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Issa. The Chair recognizes Mr.
Radanovich. You were kind enough to yield part of your time to
the gentlelady from Missouri, so we recognize you for 5
Mr. Radanovich. Thank you, Mr. Hall. I appreciate it, Mr.
Chairman, and for the extra time as well. I am going to try to
take advantage of that by asking as many questions as I can, so
your short responses would be real helpful.
Mr. Wenger, I think you may have said it in the last round
of discussion, the reason for the reduction in the overall
baseline, has that been because of a large movement of row-crop
production going into fruit-nut production which would require
less methyl bromide? Did you or Mr. Brown say that?
Mr. Wenger. I don't know how many of the row crops utilize,
but definitely anytime you are talking about cropping patterns,
you see a lot going into permanent crops from row crops,
especially if they have been unprofitable for some of those in
the row crop industry.
Mr. Radanovich. But that movement means less use of methyl
Mr. Bair. Frankly, because you are either going from every
year or almost every year to once over a long period of time.
Mr. Wenger. I think that anytime you look, in agriculture,
you better not look at last year and say I am going to plant
the crop based on last year because you are going to go broke.
You have to look at trends, and I think with methyl bromide it
is the same thing. The goal is we want to phaseout. What we are
talking about here is the critical use exemption is part of it,
and what is fair. And if we are going to phaseout, then the
whole world needs to phaseout. But what we are talking about is
the critical use exemption.
Mr. Radanovich. Very good, thank you. Mr. Bair, you had a
similar example of the use of alternatives to methyl bromide in
milling that--the story being similar, and it has met with
limited success. Can you just briefly tell me that story?
Mr. Bair. Yes, thank you. There has been much said about
sulfuryl fluoride, and I am not disparaging any alternatives.
We would like there to be more alternatives. We would like to
have more tools in the toolbox. But a couple of facts that are
important to know about sulfuryl fluoride, first of all, it is
not registered for use on any enrichment, like iron, niacin,
riboflavin, thiamin, that are any grain-based foods in your
supermarket, it is not approved for use on them. So, if your
plant is making, say, a cake mix, and you have got cocoa and
shortening and salt and sugar and other things, you can't use
it in that situation. It is not approved for--again,
ingredients or enrichment.
There are very few international tolerances. So, if you are
exporting a food product, your product may very well have
illegal residues when it gets to that foreign country. And,
also, because of a concern of over-exposure to fluoride, EPA,
when they wrote the label, put in some very weird language
about exposure to the point where it basically eliminates its
use in warehouses or any stored product area.
Mr. Radanovich. Very good. Thank you. Mr. Wolf, it seems to
me that there is just a lot of debate on whether there really
is a substitute for methyl bromide yet or not. And what I get
from the testimony is that there really isn't anything out
there yet that has all the benefit of methyl bromide without
any harm to the environment. Is there something that can
exactly replace methyl bromide with all the benefits, and yet
not yield the harmful benefits to the environment?
Mr. Wolf. As I stated in my testimony, I am not here with
knowledge from methyl bromide, so I am not in a position to
answer that question. I don't have the information.
Mr. Radanovich. Mr. Doniger, I am wondering if you can give
me your thoughts on two products, Telone and Metam sodium, two
potential methyl bromide alternatives? Is it true that the NRDC
believes Telone to be highly carcinogenic, and metam sodium to
be one of the top ten most dangerous chemicals? Do you support
its registration as an alternative, or maybe you can elaborate
Mr. Doniger. These two chemicals are registered now. They
are under review, as is methyl bromide. Methyl bromide, I would
hazard a guess, was last registered in 1961. They are all
overdue for safety reviews. They do need to be subjected to an
up-to-date look at health and safety, and EPA is doing them in
a package--in other words, all the ones that are used for
similar purposes are being evaluated, quite sensibly, in the
same package. We don't have any objection to doing that, and we
don't want to see methyl bromide replaced by something more
dangerous. We want to see the range of alternatives increase.
There are some other compounds in the registration
pipeline, as you have heard, and there are practice changes
that can be made to further minimize the use of this compound.
Things have been coming down. They are lower than the current
critical use requests now. Let us take yes for an answer and
continue with the progress that is being made. That is our
Mr. Radanovich. Can anybody on the panel--I am not sure who
to specifically ask here, but can anybody give me an idea of
when a suitable alternative to methyl bromide can be available
at an economic price to the people that need to use them?
Mr. Doniger. Sir, it is happening every day, percentage-by-
percentage of the use. That is why things have been coming
down. We are succeeding. There is not going to be one single
chemical that is the drop-in replacement for all uses of methyl
bromide, but the suite of alternatives is expanding, and that
is why the use is declining. We are at the point now where the
exemptions don't have to be as large as what is requested. Not
zero yet, but smaller.
Mr. Radanovich. But that criteria will never get you to
zero. I mean, it just won't happen without a suitable
Mr. Doniger. It may.
Mr. Radanovich. Mr. Mueller.
Mr. Mueller. Five years ago, I spent--methyl bromide cost
about $1.85 a pound for our company. Today, it costs $8.17 a
pound. It was an easy insurance to be able to go in and
disinfest a building, a facility, and you didn't have to spend
a lot of time sealing or doing the extra things that took
manpower. At $8 a pound, you do go in and do all those things,
and you reduce not only the number of times you need to
fumigate, but the amount of fumigant that you add to an
existing building. So, I believe because we are getting better
at fumigating and the price is higher, almost four times
higher, that the fumigators are using less fumigant throughout
I guess the analogy that I would use is, if gasoline was 25
cents a gallon, you could go out and drive all day long, but if
it was $8 a gallon, you would be very careful how you spent it.
Mr. Radanovich. All well and good, too, everything that has
been done, I think, in reductions is a very good thing, but
everything that you are talking about will never get us to zero
without a suitable replacement to methyl bromide.
Mr. Doniger. Sir, I think you are right, except that it
won't be one suitable replacement, it will be a set of suitable
replacements, and you keep filling out the suite and knocking
off categories of use, reducing the total use, that is how the
phaseout of CFCs was won, that is how the phaseout of Haalons
was one, and there is no one solution for any one of those
chemicals that has previously been phased out, and we got
there. Now, with CFCs, there is a tiny little exception left
for asthma medicines, and it is not as small as it should be
because we are even making progress there. You get going, keep
it going, and you can get very, very close to zero.
Mr. Radanovich. Will that go beyond 2005?
Mr. Doniger. The inhaler?
Mr. Radanovich. Get down to that, because I support the
process, I just don't want people going broke in the meantime.
Mr. Doniger. I am not coming here and saying what the
number should be, I am telling you that the number that is
requested than where the use and the production are now, and
there is this huge stockpile to work down.
Mr. Radanovich. Yes. What I am saying is that it is
probably going to take a little bit longer than 2005, which is
the cutoff date.
Mr. Doniger. And that is why the exemption process,
properly implemented, is there.
Mr. Radanovich. Yes, sir?
Mr. Mellano. I want to say that I agree with Mr. Doniger,
and I never do, so I thought I better say that. However, I
disagree with his timeline. The flower growers, we are willing
to stand on our data, we have it here. Now, if he believes that
the timeline should be shorter, they ought to produce data,
scientific data, that is all we are asking for, and then we
will produce our scientific data, and then you guys can decide.
That is all we are asking.
There is no question that we want to reduce it, and we have
reduced it. The question is when, and we don't believe we can
do it in the next 2 or 3 years.
Mr. Radanovich. I agree. Thank you very much for your
testimony. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hall. Thank you, and I thank the committee. It is
pretty obvious why the minority and the majority agreed on this
panel and selected you, and Chairman Barton agreed to it,
because you have been very helpful and you have been very
patient. You obviously are all very successful in what you are
doing, and you are also generous with your time. We thank you,
and we are adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:05 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
[Additional materal submitted for the record follows:]
August 2, 2004
The Honorable Ralph M. Hall
Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality
2405 Rayburn House Office Building
House of Representatives
Washington, DC, 20510
Dear Congressman Hall, we appreciate the opportunity to provide the
Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality information on the Dow
AgroSciences' products that are alternatives to methyl bromide. Our
company has a keen interest in this issue as our products are viable,
economic alternatives for U.S. farmers and others as they continue the
phase-down of methyl bromide in accordance with the Montreal Protocol.
Dow AgroSciences has made and continued to make significant investments
in research and development, registration and production facilities for
the commercialization of effective alternatives to methyl bromide.
We hope that the information provided in this document is
informative and helpful as the Committee considers this issue. Please
feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance on this
Global Business Leader-Fumigants
cc: Mr. Kurt Bilas
Question 1. Does Dow AgroSciences (or any its affiliates)
manufacture, export or import MB in the United States? Anywhere in the
Response: No, although our parent, The Dow Chemical Company, was a
producer of methyl bromide (MB) up until the mid-1980's, Dow Chemical
has divested all its MB business and no longer manufactures, exports or
Question 2. What products does Dow AgroSciences currently market
that could serve as an alternative to MB?
Response: Dow AgroSciences currently markets several products that
are effective MB alternatives that include one of the following active
ingredients: 1,3-dichlorpropene (1,3-D), 1,3-D plus chloropicrin and
sulfuryl fluoride. Dow AgroSciences markets other products that, to a
lesser degree, also control pests for which MB is used.
1,3-D is a mainstay agricultural preplant soil fumigant for
controlling nematodes, weeds and diseases in key horticultural crops.
When combined with chloropicrin, 1,3-D controls an even broader range
of soil borne pests. 1,3-D is marketed in the United States under the
brand names Telone ', Curfew ' and InLine
'. 1,3-D products are also marketed under other brands by
U.S. formulators. In addition to these, other Dow AgroSciences'
products such as Goal ' and Treflan ' herbicides,
can be used in combination with 1,3-D in some cropping situations to
enhance weed control performance.
Sulfuryl fluoride is marketed under the brands ProFume
TM gas fumigant for postharvest applications, such as grain
processing facilities, and Vikane TM gas fumigant for
structural fumigations to control termites and other pests. ProFume
received US EPA registration in January, 2004 for use on dried fruits,
and tree nuts as well as in grain milling facilities and additional
registered uses for ProFume are expected soon.
Question 3. Can these alternative products completely replace the
use of MB at this time?
Response: Not completely, but they are viable alternatives for most
current MB applications.
Question 4. Are these alternatives registered? What is the status
of their registration?
Response: Yes. Each of the Dow AgroSciences fumigant alternatives
to methyl bromide has been registered by the US EPA. In fact, 1,3-D and
sulfuryl fluoride are the only fumigant products that have successfully
completed the US EPA re-registration process ensuring their future as
alternatives to methyl bromide.
Question 5. Are there any environmental issues associated with
these alternatives? Please explain.
Response: Successfully completing the EPA re-registration process
is a clear demonstration that Dow AgroSciences' methyl bromide
alternative products satisfy the comprehensive requirements of modern
pesticide regulatory standards, and, when used according to label
directions, do not present unreasonable risks to humans or the
Question 6. What crops are 1,3-D plus chloropicrin used on? How
long has this product been on the market?
Response: Products containing 1,3-D plus chloropicrin are
registered in the US for fumigation of soil prior to crop planting.
There is no limit to the range of crops on which the products can be
used. 1,3-D plus chloropicrin has been registered and sold in the US
since 1975. Today these products are used successfully in preplant
operations for a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops nationwide,
most notably, but not limited to, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers,
melons, onions, carrots, fruit and nut trees (replanting) and flowers.
Question 7. What pests are controlled with 1,3-D plus chloropicrin
products and how does that compare to MB?
Response: Like MB, 1,3-D plus chloropicrin products control a broad
spectrum of soil borne pests, nematodes, diseases and weeds. The broad
spectrum control provided by these products allows farmers to reliably
establish strong, healthy plants that lead to higher yields of high
There is a very large database of field trial results in the US
(much of which has been generated by USDA and university researchers
over the last 8-10 years) that show 1,3-D plus chloropicrin products
compare favorably with MB, provide comparable control of pests, and
produce equivalent crop yields. In fact, in many instances yields from
1,3-D plus chloropicrin treated crops are higher than those from MB
treated crops, as demonstrated by the increase adoption and use of this
product in the market place in strawberry and other crops .
Question 8. How does this product compare in cost to MB?
Response: 1,3-D plus chloropicrin products are typically equal to
or less expensive than MB. For example, for California strawberries,
the most widely used 1,3-D+chloropicrin product, InLine ',
costs less than half that of MB per acre. In the Southeastern US, a
typical ``in bed'' application of Telone ' C-35 (1,3-D plus
chloropicrin at 35%) combined with herbicide costs approximately $100
less per acre than the typical dose of MB. It is important to note that
prices may vary from state to state and can fluctuate. The dose used
can also affect the cost. Again, as a general rule, 1,3-D plus
chloropicrin products are favorably priced and often less expensive
Question 9. How does this product compare in efficacy to MB?
Response: The efficacy of 1,3-D plus chloropicrin, either alone or
in combination with an herbicide when needed, compares very favorably
with MB and MB plus chloropicrin combinations. Telone products have
been tested extensively in commercial scale research and demonstration
trials in the US and internationally and have demonstrated consistent,
high levels of efficacy.
Question 10. How do the crop yields using this product compare to
those grown using MB?
Response: 1,3-D plus chloropicrin, either alone or in combination
with an herbicide when needed, has provided yields as good as or better
than MB and MB plus chloropicrin combinations in numerous commercial
scale research and demonstration tests. This is validated by the
increasing adoption of Telone products on key crops in the US and
Question 11. How will township caps in California and karst
restriction in Florida impact the use of Telone products?
Response: Township caps in California: Recognizing the important
role of 1,3-D as a methyl bromide alternative, the California
Department of Pesticide Regulation (CPDR) has developed and implemented
a ``California Management Plan'' (CMP) for 1,3-D. The CMP, which
provides flexibility in the township allocations of 1,3-D within
California, permits annual uses of 1,3-D at a level of 180,500
``adjusted'' pounds per township. For areas requiring uses that exceed
this level, the CMP can accommodate a greater demand if it is justified
by region-specific assessments. This ``region specific'' facet of the
CMP is what has been utilized recently to permit annual township
allocation levels greater than the 180,500 lbs in specific ``high
need'' townships in Merced, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
It is important to stress that if 1,3-D were the only alternative
to methyl bromide, the current CMP would not likely have the capacity
to support a complete changeover from methyl bromide to 1,3-D in all of
the 350 fumigant use townships in California. Instead, in approximately
20 of the 350 townships, additional alternatives would be needed.
Methyl bromide alternatives other than 1,3-D are registered in
California (e.g. chloropicrin and metam-NA) and are well positioned to
satisfy this need.
Fortunately, the uses of methyl bromide in California are tracked
and regulated using a system similar to that required for 1,3-D within
the CMP. These methyl bromide township limits (now being converted
within the CDPR regulations to monthly air concentration limits) in
combination with the 1,3-D CMP product tracking and allocation
requirements provide an excellent framework upon which to base the
allocation of licensed methyl bromide within California following the
phase-out of that product beginning January 2005.
Karst geology in Florida: The vast majority of Florida tomatoes,
peppers and strawberries are grown in seven counties, with only 10% of
the current methyl bromide uses on these crops occurring in regions of
the state where karst conditions are known to exist.
Buffer Zones: In 2003, the US EPA approved a refinement of the
required 1,3-D buffer zone on all Telone labels from 300 feet to 100
feet for annual cropping. Farming is predominately in areas of low
housing density and buffer zones have minimal impact on acreage able to
be treated. In the worst cases of high housing density area, analyses
of satellite images of small fields show that less than 3 % of the
field acres are affected by buffers of this size. Given the predominate
areas of low housing density, this impact of buffer zone restrictions
Question 12. Are there herbicides registered and available that
will help control tough to control weeds such as nutsedge? If so, how
do they compare in efficacy and cost to MB?
Response: Yes, two new herbicides with excellent activity against
nutsedge have been registered and are commercially available. Both
received expedited review by the EPA as methyl bromide alternatives due
to their nutsedge activity. Halosulfuron methyl is registered as Sandea
' by the Gowan Company. Syngenta recently introduced
trifloxysulfuron-sodium, the active ingredient in Envoke '.
Both products are labeled for tomatoes. Sandea has a broad label and
can be used on many other crops. Efficacy of both products is very
good. Other existing products have been used to manage nutsedge. Dual
' Magnum has been approved for use against nutsedge and
peppers in Florida. In addition, fumigants and herbicides such as metam
sodium, Treflan ' and Devrinol ' have
demonstrated utility in helping to manage nutsedge when used in
combination with 1,3-D.
Question 13. 1,3-D recently received changes to the label regarding
personal protective equipment (PPE). Please explain what those changes
were and how this will affect the usage of this product? Please
describe the PPEs required for MB?
Response: In 2003, the Telone product labels received significant
changes related to the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
requirements. The PPE requirements (including respiratory protection
and dermal protection) for the 1,3-D plus chloropicrin combination
products are now consistent with other soil fumigants that are used in
combination with chloropicrin, including methyl bromide.
Question 14. Are Telone products viable alternatives for all pre-
plant uses of MB?
Response: Yes. As preplant soil fumigants, Telone products with and
without chloropicrin can be used for all the same uses as MB. It is
recognized that there are legitimate situation locations for which
other alternative solutions are needed or critical use exemptions may
be appropriate where limitations of alternatives exist, i.e., after
township caps in California are reached and in the 10% of acreage in
Florida where specific restrictions exist.
Question 15. Are Telone products economic alternatives for all pre-
plant uses of MB?
Response: Yes. As pre-plant soil fumigants, Telone products with
and without chloropicrin can be used economically for all the same uses
as MB as has been seen with the increasing adoption of Telone products
on key crops in the US and overseas It is recognized that there are
legitimate situation locations for which other alternative solutions
are needed or critical use exemptions may be appropriate where
limitations of alternatives exist. i.e., after township caps in CA are
reached, in the 10% of acreage in Fl where specific restrictions exist.
Question 16. Have Telone products been tested under commercial
Response: Yes. Telone products have been tested extensively under
commercial production conditions in the US and widely used for
commercial crop production in the US and internationally for decades.
Telone has already been utilized in place of MB successfully in US
crops such as strawberries and peppers in California. Is has also been
adopted in various crops in Europe and Australia, including tomatoes,
strawberries and peppers, and is also used in several Article 5
Question 17. Have Telone products been tested extensively inside
Response: Yes. Telone products have been tested extensively in the
US and widely used for commercial crop production in the US and
internationally for decades. Telone has already been utilized in place
of MB successfully in US crops such as strawberries and peppers in
California. Is has also been adopted in various crops in Europe and
Australia, including tomatoes, strawberries and peppers, and is also
used in several Article 5 countries.
Question 18. How will the US EPA Re-registration process affect
Response: 1,3-D has completed the EPA re-registration process. It
is important to note that 1,3-D is the only soil fumigant active
ingredient that has successfully completed this process. Following the
issuance of the 1,3-D re-registration decision by the US EPA, Dow
AgroSciences has worked successfully to refine and reduce some of the
restrictions that were placed on the product as a condition of re-
registration (e.g. buffer zone distances). These post-RED regulatory
refinements help optimize the opportunities for 1,3-D soil fumigants to
effectively serve as alternatives to methyl bromide. It is important to
note that as other soil fumigants complete the re-registration process,
it is likely their use conditions and restrictions will be similar to
those for 1,3-D.
Question 19. What types of application equipment can be used to
apply Telone products?
Response: Telone products have significant application flexibility
and can be applied in two basic ways: (1) Using the traditional shank-
injection method in the same manner that MB is applied. This method is
a direct ``plug-in replacement'' application method and requires very
little change from the current MB application technology. (2) Telone
products can also be applied by drip irrigation method whereby the
products are injected at very low concentration into irrigation water
and applied through irrigation drip tape. This application method
offers additional technical advantages, flexibility and conveniences to
growers. Drip application is not technically possible with MB.
Question 20. Are there advantages to using MB rather than Telone
products? If so, please describe them.
Response: Telone and MB have various strengths and weaknesses which
vary depending on the crop and conditions under which they are used.
Perhaps, the most significant advantage of using MB is just the
familiarity that some users may have with the product. The US Critical
Use nomination process has resulted in generous allowances for some
sectors and has not provided incentives to adopt alternatives. However,
many farmers have evaluated alternative technologies and learned to use
Telone products and other alternatives to their advantage. The adoption
of 1,3-D by California strawberry growers, so far converting
approximately 25% of the California strawberry acres, is an excellent
example of the ongoing market transition to alternatives.
Question 21. Are there limitations on the use of Telone products as
an alternative to MB? Please explain.
Response: As preplant soil fumigants, Telone products with and
without chloropicrin can be used for all the same uses as MB. It is
recognized that there are legitimate situation locations for which
other alternative solutions are needed or critical use exemptions may
be appropriate where limitations of alternatives exist, i.e., after
township caps in CA are reached and in the 10% of acreage in Florida
where specific restrictions exist. Where severe hard-to-control weed
problems exist, such as nutsedge, other herbicides can be used in
combination with the fumigation treatment to overcome this concern.
Question 22. Can U.S. farmers completely stop using MB and switch
to Telone products today?
Response: Yes, for pre-plant applications, and in fact some farmers
already have. The success of this is further demonstrated with the
increasing adoption of Telone products on key crops in the US and
overseas. While some farmers may not choose to convert all their acres
immediately to an alternative, the transition is already underway in
Question 23. Why did Dow AgroSciences develop sulfuryl fluoride
(SF) for postharvest fumigation?
Response: Dow AgroSciences began the development of ProFume to
ensure that U.S. agriculture would have an effective post-harvest
fumigant following the phase out of methyl bromide in 2005. The
development of ProFume was initiated in the mid 1990's in response to
the dried fruit and tree nut industry's expressed need for a MB
alternative. Sulfuryl fluoride had already become a widely used
fumigant for structural uses where MB had once been used. The initial
work to develop ProFume as a commodity fumigant was a cooperative
effort between the California Dried Fruit Association and the USDA
laboratories in Fresno. Once initiated, the work was expanded to
include uses in cereal grain storage, milling and food processing.
Question 24. What is the current registration status within the US
including the status of state registrations?
Response: Since obtaining the US EPA Section 3 registration for
ProFume in January, 2004, 47 states plus the District of Columbia have
granted approval. ProFume registration decisions in the remaining 3
states are anticipated before the end of 2004. Vikane has been
registered for use in the U.S. since 1961 and is registered in all
states where it is needed.
Question 25. Which pests does SF target? Does it kill all life
stages including eggs? Does MB kill all life stages including eggs?
Response: Yes, sulfuryl fluoride controls all life stages of all
pests of economic importance in structural and postharvest uses. These
pests include beetles, weevils, termites, moths and rodents. SF has
been registered for more than 40 years and effectively used in millions
of fumigations world wide that validate the effectiveness of this
compound. For postharvest uses specifically, laboratory research, field
research trials and commercial applications of ProFume have
demonstrated that SF is effective as a methyl bromide alternative.
Question 26. How does the operational down time of a facility
fumigated with SF compare to MB? Will a grain mill or other food
handling facility be required to be shut down longer due to fumigating
Response: No, users of ProFume will not be subject to longer shut
down time as compared to fumigation with methyl bromide. In developing
ProFume, the milling and food handling industry stressed the
requirement that any new pest control technology that lengthens down
time would not be acceptable. The concept of Precision Fumigation* was
developed with that goal in mind. Experience has shown that using
Precision Fumigation, the fumigator and miller have the flexibility to
alter the actual exposure time dependent on the target pest,
environmental conditions, quality of sealing, etc. In most cases, SF
fumigations have been successful with exposure times equal to or less
than those required for MB fumigations.
Question 27. How does the cost of SF compare to MB? Does the
fumigant represent a large percentage of the total cost of a fumigation
treatment? Will using SF cause a rise in the price of food commodity
due to a higher cost of fumigation for a food processing facility?
Response: Overall, the cost of fumigation is not a significant part
of the overall annual production cost for a mill. Any difference in
cost between treatments with these two fumigants is insignificant in
the overall operations costs of the food processing facility. By
incorporating good fumigation practices, like Precision Fumigation, and
effectively using the Fumiguide* Program for ProFume gas fumigant,
these differences can be minimized. Generally speaking, the cost of the
fumigant is roughly \1/3\ of the total cost of the fumigation. Other
components include labor and fumigator profit.
Question 28. Please explain the concept of ``Precision Fumigation''
and how it will be used by the fumigation industry?
Response: Precision Fumigation is based on Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) principles and is a decision making process that takes
into consideration factors like pest biology, environmental conditions,
exposure time, and sealing effectiveness in order to optimize dosage,
application rates and timing. By taking into consideration all of these
key fumigation variables, the fumigator can offer flexibility to his
customer to minimize the downtime of the mill. ProFume is the only
product that incorporates tools such as the Fumiguide and Precision
Fumigation to enable the fumigator to efficiently manage a host of
complex variables and offer the miller a variety of choices relative to
the fumigation of his facility.
Question 29. Does Dow AgroSciences have enough production capacity
to supply the anticipated demand for SF?
Response: Yes. Dow AgroSciences production capacity can meet the
growing market need today. Dow AgroSciences has made substantial
investment in expansion of its sulfuryl fluoride production capacity in
anticipation of greater demand following the scheduled phase-out of MB
in the postharvest fumigation market.
Question 30. In what uses, geographies or circumstances would SF
not be a viable alternative to MB?
Response: Sulfuryl fluoride is not being developed for use in the
control of pests in fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh cut flowers
due to the potential for fumigants to cause damage to these
commodities. ProFume would have a fit in many quarantine and pre-
shipment applications; however, exemptions for methyl bromide under the
Montreal Protocol in this use pattern have made this potential label
expansion a low priority for development at this time.
Question 31. Are there advantages to using MB rather than SF? If
so, please describe them.
Response: ProFume and MB have various strengths and weaknesses
which vary depending on the conditions under which they are used.
Perhaps, the most significant advantage from using MB is just the
familiarity that users may have with the product. Some fumigators have
been using MB for decades and may prefer to continue using what they
know, rather than make the effort to adopt alternative technologies.
Other fumigators have already successfully transitioned to ProFume and
other alternatives. As previously stated, sulfuryl fluoride marketed as
Vikane gas fumigant has replaced the vast majority of methyl bromide in
the structural fumigation market. Users accustomed to methyl bromide
for years have successfully switched to Vikane.
Question 32. Are there limitations on the use of SF as an
alternative to MB? Please explain.
Response: While sulfuryl fluoride compares favorably to MB in
performance and properties, as well as being an excellent alternative,
there are some food uses for which sulfuryl fluoride is not yet
Question 33. Does Dow AgroSciences have an estimate of the amount
of MB that can be replaced using either Telone products or SF today? In
one year? In two years? In three years? In ten years?
Response: Methyl bromide users have successfully phased-out a
significant MB volume over the past 10 years. During this time there
have been no production disruptions or economic disadvantages faced by
farmers or others who have converted to alternatives. Dow AgroSciences
believes that this trend towards phase-down can continue without
causing economic disruption to current MB users. As market adoption of
1,3-D and sulfuryl fluoride as MB alternatives continue, taking into
account the limitations discussed in this Q&A, the United States could
phase down methyl bromide use to at least 20% of the 1991 base in three
years or less. Further reduction of MB could take place if other
alternatives were also adopted.
' TM*Vikane, Telone, ProFume, Inline, Curfew,
Goal, Treflan, Precision Fumigation and Fumiguide are trademarks of Dow
' Sandea is a trademark of the Gowan Company
' Envoke and Dual Magnum are trademarks of Syngenta
' Devrinol is a trademark of United Phosphorus
August 27, 2004
The Honorable Ralph M. Hall
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Hall, er your letter dated August 17 attached are
the responses to the follow-up questions posed to Dow AgroSciences
regarding methyl bromide alternatives. We appreciate the opportunity to
add to the hearing record regarding this subject. Your letter requested
that both an electronic and paper copy of the responses be sent.
Unfortunately, we do not have electronic versions of all the supporting
documentation/studies. Consequently, only a paper copy is provided for
some of our responses. The support materials (both paper and
electronic) are contained in the accompanying three ring notebook. We
appreciate your interest in this important issue.
Global Business Leader--Fumigants
cc: Mr. Mark Menezes
Mr. Kurt Bilas
Question 1. In your response to Question No. 7, you state, ``In
fact, in many instances yields from 1,3-D plus chloropicrin treated
crops are higher than those from MB treated crops, as demonstrated by
the increase adoption and use of this product in the market place in
strawberry and other crops.'' Please provide summary data that support
this statement with regard to both increased crop yields and increased
Response: There are several studies conducted by independent
researchers that demonstrate yields with alternatives that contain 1,3-
D plus chloropicrin are as good as or better than those with MB. The
most well known and longest running study has been conducted by IR-4
since 1999. Two strawberry research trials were conducted each year in
both Florida and California. Numerous alternative treatments were
compared with the MB standard on commercial farms. Results from the
first three seasons have been summarized and are included. In these 12
trials, 15 of the 18 treatments that contained 1,3-D plus chloropicrin
were numerically superior to the MB plus chloropicrin standard in the
same trial. Similar results came from a separate study in Florida. In
this two year study, a 1,3-D plus chloropicrin treatment, in
combination with registered herbicides, was compared to the standard MB
plus chloropicrin treatment on commercial farms. Seven trials were
conducted on tomatoes and three on pepper by University or USDA
researchers. The 1,3-D plus chloropicrin treatment was numerically
superior to the MB standard in six of the seven tomato trials and two
of the three pepper trials. Average yield increases over all trials
were 7.97 and 7.17 percent for tomato and pepper, respectively. In
addition, two recent publications (Gilreath et al. 2004. Crop Science)
document the yield increase of 1,3-D plus chloropicrin compared to MB
in tomatoes and peppers. Supporting details and documentation of each
of these research trials are included as both hard copy and electronic
Documentation to demonstrate increased adoption of 1,3-D plus
chloropicrin comes from Crop Data Management Systems (CDMS) in
California. All applications of any pesticide must be recorded in
California and CDMS is the company that maintains and reports these
records. Between the years 1999 to 2003, use of 1,3-D has increased
from 632 to 2512 acres in peppers and from 0 to 5817 acres in
strawberries. Overall use of 1,3-D in the state has increased from
31,661 acres to 53,401 acres in this same time period. A hard copy
summary of this information is attached.
Question 2. In your response to Question No. 10, you state, ``1,3-D
plus chloropicrin, either alone or in combination with an herbicide
when needed, has provided yields as good as or better than MB and MB
plus chloropicrin combinations in numerous commercial scale research
and demonstration tests.'' Please provide summary data that support
Response: Data to support this question are the same as those cited
for the above question which, in part, requested information to
document yield performance of 1,3-D plus chloropicrin relative to MB.
Question 3. In your response to Question No. 25, you state, ``For
postharvest uses specifically, laboratory research, field research
trials and commercial applications of ProFume ' have
demonstrated that SF is effective as a methyl bromide alternative.''
Please provide summary data that support this statement.
Response: Laboratory research results have been widely reported
within the international community. The results of one such study,
conducted by Central Sciences Laboratory in the UK is attached in which
Dr. Chris Bell, globally recognized as an expert in stored product
insect control, characterizes sulfuryl fluoride as a ``like for like''
replacement for methyl bromide in many ways. The efficacy of sulfuryl
fluoride is also described in the May, 2002 issue of the American
Institute of Baking Technical Bulletin. Fumigation companies that are
responsible for the majority of mill fumigations within the US also
report successful experiences with ProFume ' in the attached
newsletters from both Industrial Fumigants Company (IFC) and Fumigation
Service and Supply, Inc., two of the largest fumigation companies
within the US summarize their positive experiences using ProFume.
Positive results with ProFume in the Dried Fruit and Nut Industry are
reported in the attached article found in the Pacific Nut Producer
Magazine, featuring comments from both Diamond Walnut of Californian
and the California Dried Fruit Association. Three attached articles
from the USDA publication ``Methyl Bromide Alternatives'' also discuss
the future of ProFume as an alternative to methyl bromide.
Question 4. In your response to Question No. 26, you state, ``In
most cases, SF fumigations have been successful with exposure times
equal to or less than those required for MB fumigations.'' Please
provide summary data that support this statement with regard to both
effectiveness and exposure times.
Response: The attached Louisiana Rice Mill case study describes the
efficiencies that can be achieved with ProFume and Precision Fumigation
techniques. Decreased down time for the mill results from a combination
of shorter exposure and aeration periods. This case study is
representative of what would be expected in mill and food processing
facility fumigations in general. Since the first commercial sales of
ProFume in the US in April of this year, roughly 10% of the wheat and
rice mill fumigations that have occurred (22 out of an estimated 237
fumigations) have been done using ProFume. Seventeen wheat mills and 5
rice mills across a wide geography within the US have been successfully
fumigated with this product in the first four months since product
launch. Several of these mills are planning subsequent fumigations with
ProFume based on a high level of customer satisfaction relative to
biological control, mill down time, and the flexibility which is
offered by the FUMIGUIDE ' and Precision Fumigation
'. Dow AgroSciences anticipates that in 2005 ProFume will
displace methyl bromide in 35% of the mill fumigations in the US and
that in 2006 ProFume will be able to displace 100% of the methyl
bromide used in milling, food processing and dried fruit and tree nut
fumigations in this country.
Question 5. In your response to Question No. 31, you state, ``As
previously stated, sulfuryl fluoride marketed as Vikane '
gas fumigant has replaced the vast majority of methyl bromide in the
structural fumigation market.'' Please provide summary data that
support this statement with regard to the reference to ``vast
Response: Sulfuryl fluoride as Vikane ' gas fumigant was
first sold in the 1960's as a replacement for methyl bromide in the
structural fumigation market. The development of Vikane was driven by
the need to offer the drywood termite control industry a product that
would not cause the odors which were often associated with methyl
bromide fumigation. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's both Vikane and
methyl bromide were used in this market. Throughout the 1990's, methyl
bromide experienced increasing regulatory restrictions which ultimately
led to its near demise within the residential drywood termite market
and is rarely used today. Independent market research conducted as
recently as 2003 by Specialty Products Consultants, LLC and summarized
in the report entitled ``An Analysis of the U.S. Structural Pest
Control Industry'' supports that Vikane is by far the market leader in
the residential fumigation sector within the United States.
Question 6. In your response to Question No. 32, you state, ``While
sulfuryl fluoride compares favorably to MB in performance and
properties, as well as being an excellent alternative, there are some
food uses for which sulfuryl fluoride is not yet registered.'' Please
describe the food uses for which sulfuryl fluoride is not yet
registered. Is sulfuryl fluoride now in the process of being registered
for these food uses? If so, when do you expect the registration process
to be complete? If not, why not?
Response: As described in question 24, ProFume is not yet
registered for use on ``processed foods'' beyond those specifically
listed on the current Section 3 registration (cereal grains such as
wheat, rice, corn and most dried fruits and tree nuts). The current
ProFume registration permits the fumigation of these commodities and
their processed fractions as well as the facilities (mills) in which
they are processed. Additional ``processed foods'' such as spices,
finished bakery goods, and etc. are anticipated to be added to the
federal label by first quarter, 2005. The residue research has been
completed and the registration package is at the US EPA for review at
this time. ProFume will not be developed for use in the fumigation of
FRESH fruit and vegetables or FRESH cut flowers due to phyto toxicity
concerns on fresh produce.
Question 7. In your response to Question No. 33, you state, ``As
market adoption of 1,3-D and sulfuryl fluoride as MB alternatives
continue, taking into account the limitations discussed in this Q&A,
the United States could phase down methyl bromide use to at least 20%
of the 1991 base in three years or less.'' Please provide summary data
that support this statement.
Response: 19.7 MM lbs of MB have been requested for CUE's in the US
which represent 35% of the 1991 base amount. We believe there are
approximately 11.5 MM lbs (about 20.4% of the 1991 base) being
requested for which our products today do not have a current or known
The resulting 8.2 MM lbs are in areas which our products, with or
without an available herbicide partner, can replace. This includes
1.7MM lbs requested for post-harvest uses that can be replaced by
sulfuryl fluoride, the active ingredient in ProFume gas fumigant.
Registrations and ample supplies of ProFume will be available by the
end of 2005 to displace all but 2% of the requested methyl bromide
pounds in 2006. The remaining 2% are for uses that ProFume is not known
at this time whether it will have a fit, such as smokehouse ham and
The other 6.5MM lbs of the 8.2 MM lbs come from replacement of
preplant uses of methyl bromide with Telone products. This still leaves
a total of 11.5 MM lbs of methyl bromide for which Telone products do
not currently represent a viable alternative. At the present time,
Telone is not a viable alternative only for certain types of specific
conditions. For example, acres planted which exceed allowable use of
Telone because of California township allocation limits, areas limited
by karst topography or some soil types, and insufficient product
efficacy data for some minor uses.
We believe a three year timeframe is a reasonable and necessary
period to transition to new alternatives. This timeline is also
consistent with guidelines published in a recent MBTOC report. Although
the intention of the Montreal Protocol would have been to reduce
production and use to zero by 2005, it now isn't practical to expect
such a reduction to happen overnight. For a reduction to the 20% level,
it seems reasonable to implement a plan for the user community and
others to transition at scheduled increments. So, if the starting point
in 2005 is 35%, a 5% reduction per year for three years would result in
a reduction to 20%.
' ProFume, Vikane, Telone, FUMIGUIDE and Precision
Fumigation are registered trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC