NEW INFO: Community Meeting Set For Proposed Methyl Bromide Use At Morehead City Port

A date has been set for a community meeting to provide more information about a proposed facility in Morehead City that would fumigate logs at the state port using a gas the EPA considers hazardous. Hundreds of people have signed a petition against the plan.

Royal Pest Solutions has applied for an air quality permit to use methyl bromide.

The town of Morehead City says a community meeting is planned for August 28th 4:00- 6:00 p.m. at the Crystal Coast Civic Center. The meeting is to provide information to the public and government officials on the application for an air permit by the company.

This is not a public hearing. The Division of Air Quality will schedule that for a later date.

There is growing concern along the coast and a petition drive now underway to stop a proposed facility that would fumigate logs using a gas the EPA considers hazardous.

That facility would be at the State Port in Morehead City and use methyl bromide.

For the most part, methyl bromide is being phased out by the EPA because it can be really dangerous to humans and animals and has been known to affect the ozone layer. It is still widely used to kill insects.

The company Royal Fumigation has applied for an air quality permit to operate a fumigation facility at the Morehead City State Port.

Nelson Owens started a petition against the proposal that already has more than 1000 signatures. Owens says, "There have been hundreds of signatures by people who visit this area as tourists. They said based on this if they start emitting this pesticide they would no longer come to this area which would be devastating to the area."

Deonard Harris has lived in Carteret County all his life, and owns the marina next door to the port. He still has questions about the proposal. Harris says, "My questions are two-fold. Number one, what are the good parts in terms of benefits to the community? Because it's still unclear. Number two, what are the bad parts? We got a pretty good idea we think of what the bad parts are. But we really don't know what the good parts are."

We have reached out to Royal Fumigation to get those answers but have yet to hear back.

Facilities that use more than 10 tons a year of methyl bromide have to have a special permit. Under this current proposal the company claims they will use about 140 tons.

A public hearing on the permit will be held with the NC Division of Air Quality but a decision on where and when hasn't been made yet.