Starting January first, the U.S. will let farms and certain
other businesses use more of the pesticide methyl bromide. But
environmentalists may go to court over the issue. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Starting January 1st, the U.S. will let farms and certain other businesses use more
of the pesticide
methyl bromide. But environmentalists may go to court on the issue. The Great
Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Methyl bromide is used to sterilize soil before planting and to fight invasive
insects that come
into the U.S. on wooden pallets. But scientists say emissions of methyl bromide
harm the ozone
layer. In the 1980s, the U.S. agreed to phase out use of the compound, except for
where there are no feasible alternatives.
Methyl bromide use is only a third of what it was in 1991. But the Bush
administration wants to
let that figure rise to 37 percent this coming year. David Doniger is with the
Defense Council. He says he doubts whether more methyl bromide is needed.
“The problem is the critical use exemptions have mushroomed… way out of control.
The U.S. has agreed to reduce use of methyl bromide in 2006… but critics say that
promise may not be kept. The NRDC says it’s likely to challenge the 2005 plan in
Indiana company is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of methyl bromide.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.