Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


This Comment is an environmental justice critique of the ongoing use of methyl bromide. Part I provides an overview of methyl bromide, the Montreal Protocol, the CAA, and the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. Part II critiques the system of CUEs by arguing that the ongoing use of methyl bromide, facilitated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), places an undue burden on minority and low income communities and, therefore, violates the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. In addition, Part II illustrates other instances in which the EPA has violated the Executive Order; argues that the CUE system violates the environmental and health policies behind the phaseout; examines the meaning of “critical” under both the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Montreal Protocol; and demonstrates that the CUE system prioritizes agribusiness profit over human health. Therefore, Part III proposes alternatives to methyl bromide and shows that some alternatives satisfy the CAA criteria for sound alternatives by reducing the overall risk to human health and the environment, while others violate the criteria for sound alternatives. In analyzing alternatives to methyl bromide, Part III discusses the importance of government commitment to alternative technologies, the pursuit of legal remedies, and the role of community organizing in developing solutions to the ongoing use of methyl bromide. Part IV advocates for the immediate elimination of methyl bromide as the only guaranteed means of protecting the ozone layer and human health.