September 9, 2005
(Environment and Conservation)

Minister announces changes to Pesticides Control Regulations

Tom Osborne, Minister of Environment and Conservation, today reiterated government�s commitment to environmental and public health as he announced major changes will be made to the province�s Pesticides Control Regulations under the Environmental Protection Act that will enhance pesticide management in the province and help reduce unnecessary pesticide use.

Minister Osborne said government has carefully analyzed all comments and feedback from a discussion paper it released last year on strengthening the Pesticides Control Regulations and added that after extensive review and deliberations on the issue, government is moving forward with a number of changes that will ensure safe and environmentally responsible use and handling of both domestic and commercial pesticides in the province.

�We take our job of regulating pesticide use in the province very seriously and the changes we are announcing today to the Pesticides Control Regulations clearly demonstrate this,� said Minister Osborne. �Not only will government now proceed to make several changes to the regulations based on the feedback on our discussion paper, we are also taking action beyond the scope of the discussion paper, such as restricting pesticide use on public spaces, to address some of the concerns that have been raised about pesticide use.�

Changes to the Pesticides Control Regulations will include: mandatory certification and training for vendors of domestic class pesticides; removing fertilizer/herbicide blend products from the domestic market; restricting the use of pesticides on public spaces, such as government buildings, licensed daycare facilities, hospitals and recreational/sports complexes; only one broadcast application of herbicides, which contain 2,4-D, will be permitted per lawn per year by lawn care service providers, improved pesticide storage requirements; and violating the Pesticides Control Regulations will become a ticketable offence.

Minister Osborne said the changes to the regulations will be a phased approach with some of the changes coming into effect in 2006, including restricting pesticide use on public spaces in the province and restricting the use of broadcast herbicide applications containing 2,4-D, while others will be phased in over time, such as the new regulations for vendors of domestic pesticides which will require full compliance by 2010.

Minister Osborne added, �One of government�s main goals is to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate the unnecessary use of pesticides, as the public must be reminded that there are alternatives to addressing lawn problems besides using pesticides like proper lawn installation and maintenance. Actions such as banning the sale of fertilizer/herbicide blend products from domestic markets and mandatory certification and training for vendors of domestic class pesticides, which will also help educate consumers to make wise decisions on pesticide use, will indeed play an important role in helping us achieve our goal.�

The minister added that officials in his department will follow up with stakeholders impacted by the changes to the Pesticides Control Regulations in the near future to provide further information and address any questions stakeholders may have before the new regulations are finalized.

Minister Osborne said government will remain diligent in carrying out sound and prudent pesticide management in the province that helps to ensure the protection of our environment and the health of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Media contact: Sonia Glover, Communications, (709) 729-2575, 685-6612

Highlights of changes to Pesticides Control Regulations

  • Mandatory certification and training for vendors of domestic class pesticides. Under the new regulations, vendors will have to be licensed and have in their employ personnel who are certified pesticide vendors. The exception to this is for vendors who only sell reduced risk pesticides, or low volumes of pesticides. These vendors will be invited to take part in voluntary certification.
  • Domestic class pesticides will have to be stored and displayed in a manner that keeps them separated from food and drink.
  • There will be restrictions to pesticide use on public spaces. A list of public spaces has been developed for which there will be a restriction on the types of pesticides allowed to be used. Only reduced risk pesticides will be permitted without a Special Use Permit.
  • Only one broadcast application of phenoxy herbicides (eg., 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop) will be permitted per lawn per year by lawn care service providers.
  • Contraventions of the Pesticides Control Regulations will be made a ticketable offence. The revised regulations will set out a schedule of fines.
  • Anyone using domestic class pesticides for gain or reward (including apartment building superintendents, landlords, and lawn care or tree care service providers) must be certified and hold appropriate licences for their activities. The exception to this would be if these individuals were using reduced risk pesticides.
  • Terms and conditions, such as storage requirements and contingency plans, will be attached to pesticide vendor licences for vendors of commercial and restricted class pesticides.
  • Terms and conditions, such as buffer zones, weather conditions and on-farm pesticide storage, will be added to agriculture and greenhouse pesticide applicator licences.
  • Greenhouse growers will be permitted to purchase and use commercial and restricted class pesticides as long as they have a valid pesticide applicator licence (greenhouse category).
  • The regulations will be revised to complement Section 44 of the Environmental Protection Act to provide for the creation of a schedule of restrictions on certain pesticides, such as fertilizer/herbicide blend products being sold to home owners.

General Information

  • The province�s Pesticides Control Regulations have not been revised since 1996.
  • There are three classifications of pesticides: restricted, commercial and domestic. Anyone who uses a commercial or restricted class pesticide must have a pesticide operators licence and must hire a licensed pesticide applicator to apply the pesticide. Domestic class pesticides are for use by homeowners on their property and are normally formulated with lower concentrations of active ingredients. A pesticides licence is not needed to purchase or use domestic class pesticides.
  • Pesticides are regulated by both the federal and provincial governments. The federal government, through Health Canada�s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, is responsible for registration and classification of pesticides. The provincial government is responsible for ensuring those pesticides are used in an environmentally acceptable manner as outlined under the province�s Pesticide Control Regulations.

2005 09 09                                        10:30 a.m.

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