Registration of Ethanedinitrile for Export Log Fumigation

Three days of public hearings of submissions finally ended on 29th August and after seeking further expert scientific advice the EPA will make a decision on the use of Ethanedinitrile (EDN). It is expected that this will not be until late January 2019 at the earliest and potentially later if EPA determine that a further hearing is needed.

Once EPA release a decision on whether EDN can be used and the controls for its use, WorkSafe NZ then need to prepare Work Safe Instruments that set out recommended best practice for log fumigation with EDN. These then require Ministerial approval and Work Safe have advised these could take 6 – 12 months. Once EPA approve its use for log fumigation government to government discussions over its use can begin and applicators can begin applying for regional council consents to use the fumigant. Regional Council requirements vary but in some areas at least applications will need to be publicly notified.

EDN was developed by CSIRO scientist in Australia in 1996. It is produced from hydrogen cyanide, a well-used industrial product that is used to fumigate all bananas coming into New Zealand. EDN contains very low levels of hydrogen cyanide and unlike methyl bromide that is used currently, is not an ozone depleting or greenhouse gas product. Research by STIMBR has shown that it is a very effective fumigant and used safely is a suitable replacement for methyl bromide.