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Pesticide News Story: EPA Invites Public Comment on Fumigant Iodomethane Petition

For Release: March 17, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is posting for public comment a petition requesting that all registrations of iodomethane (also called methyl iodide) be suspended and cancelled. The petition was filed on March 31, 2010, by Earthjustice, on behalf of several non-governmental organizations. Following a 30-day public comment period, EPA will evaluate the petitioner’s request consistent with the statutory standards set forth in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Iodomethane is a soil fumigant used to control pests associated with production of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, and turf. Iodomethane is a replacement for another soil fumigant, methyl bromide, which is being phased out in the United States and globally because it depletes stratospheric ozone.

In 2007 EPA issued a federal registration for iodomethane, and the product is registered in 47 states. The federal registration, which is based on a robust human health and environmental risk assessment, places rigorous requirements on the use of the fumigant to ensure strong protection of human health and the environment, including agricultural workers and bystanders.

Comments can be submitted to the docket (EPA–HQ–OPP–2010–0541) at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

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