An Environmental Risk Management Authority decision to allow the continued use of the toxic fumigant methyl bromide for another decade has been greeted with disbelief by opponents.
The authority said on Tuesday that it would be impractical to require industry to recapture all used gas any sooner.
Its report acknowledges methyl bromide is highly toxic and says it has known effects on health if not properly controlled.
It says, however, that there will be tough rules on exposure limits, buffer zones, air-quality monitoring and requirements for users to notify neighbours and publish annual reports.
The Soil and Health Association, a determined opponent of the timber fumigant, says the changes are not substantial in terms of risks of public exposure.