Target: North Carolina Division of Air Quality
Goal: Prevent open-air methyl bromide fumigation at the Morehead City Port
Recently Royal Pest Solutions in New Castle, Delaware submitted a permit application to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Air Quality. This application is to allow the use of methyl bromide, a gas that is both highly toxic and a hazardous air pollutant, for the purpose of fumigating logs in the open air at the North Carolina Port in Morehead City. Methyl bromide, the chemical Royal Pest Solutions wants to introduce, has proven so toxic that its use has been strictly prohibited in most countries.
Despite the risks associated with methyl bromide, the Port of Morehead City is still considering negotiations with Royal Pest Solutions to bring mass numbers of fumigants to the port in exchange for the business that accompanies them. If the permit is given, Royal Pest Solutions will be allowed to emit up to 140 tons of pollutants per year. This massive volume of hazardous air pollutants would circumvent the Clean Air Act by virtue of a technicality found by the company’s attorney’s that allow it to skirt around the act’s limitations by deeming their activities “an extension of prior port business activities” predating the act.
Just because a company has the capacity to render their activities legal by way of loopholes in the legal system does not mean it should be allowed. The damage to Morehead’s air quality would be irreparable. This must not be allowed; a deal with Royal Pest Solutions will result in a long term cost that far outweighs any short term profits afforded by dealing with the company. For the sake of Morehead City, this company must not receive any permits.
Dear Members of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality,
Attempting to garner short-term monetary gains at the expense of a city’s environmental future is lamentable. This kind of short-term sellout would be the case if Royal Pest Solutions were to be granted the permit it seeks to use methyl bromide, a highly toxic and hazardous air pollutant, for the purpose of open air log fumigation at the North Carolina port in Morehead City.
Many countries have already banned the use of this product because it is harmful to the environment even in moderate levels. Those levels are not what Royal Pest Solutions would be subjecting Morehead, to however. Royal Pest Solutions is looking to potentially emit as much as 140 tons of hazardous waste per year. This number would massively exceed regulatory limits put in place by the Clean Air Act, which was passed to combat such activities. The existence of a loophole that could allow this egregious act to become legal should not be remotely considered a justification. The clause that would make this usage acceptable would slip it through as an “extension of prior port business activities.” The spirit of this law was to not cause an unrecoverable burden upon companies with longstanding activities, not to create a loophole that unscrupulous companies can exploit.
Royal Pest Solutions must be denied the permit it seeks. It is harmful to the environment of Morehead and entirely contrary to the spirit of the Clean Air Act even if it does not officially break the law. The long term damage from the use of methyl bromide will far outweigh any short-term financial gains. Because of this I again urge you not to allow Royal Pest Solutions its permit for open-air fumigation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Maritime Union of New Zealand via Munz.org.nz