Province introduces lawn care pesticide ban (09/06/18)

NB 865

June 18, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The sale and use of more than 200 over-the-counter lawn care pesticide products, and the use of all 2,4-D products on domestic lawns in the province, will be banned by the Department of Environment as of fall 2009.

In addition to the ban, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) accreditation will be mandatory in February 2010 for those carrying out lawn care services involving commercial-grade pesticides, and the 1974 Pesticides Control Act will be reviewed with a goal of further reducing the unnecessary use of pesticides in the province within two years.

Environment Minister Roland Haché made the announcement today.

"During the 90-day consultation period on the subject of lawn care pesticides which took place last summer and fall, more than 1,400 New Brunswickers shared their comments, and it was clear that the use of these pesticides is a concern," said Haché.

New Brunswick is the first province in Atlantic Canada, and the third in Canada, to adopt a comprehensive product ban on lawn care pesticides.

"New Brunswickers shared their views with us, and as a government we listened," said Haché. "We are moving ahead with a ban on over-the-counter pesticide products for homeowners and businesses alike. Reducing the reliance on pesticides in the province will contribute to a sustainable environment and a self-sufficient New Brunswick by 2026."

The product ban targets lawn care pesticide products on the retail market that are most likely to be overused and misused. This includes combination fertilizer/pesticide products, granular spreadable weed killers, hose-end products, and lawn care pesticides that require measuring, mixing or dilution by the homeowner.

The new IPM provisions will include requirements for businesses and lawn care professionals to significantly reduce their reliance on blanket treatment, and will instead promote spot treatment of problem areas.

The requirements for IPM accreditation, which include training and certification, will be included in all operating permits for professionals and companies. Individuals who sell or use a banned product, and professionals who fail to comply with the terms of IPM accreditation, will be subject to prosecution under the Pesticides Control Act.

Since the maintenance of specialty turf is the business of golf courses, they will be able to use products containing 2,4-D, providing that the products are applied within IPM provisions.

While pesticide treatment of public areas such as parks and sports fields, as well as school yards and hospital grounds, would still be possible, the new regulatory restrictions would apply.

These new changes will not affect the use of pesticides in agricultural or forestry operations. From a municipal perspective, the measures mean that pesticides will be regulated on a provincewide basis, rather than at the community level.

"Our ban focuses on products that are misused and overused, and which results in more pesticides being added to the environment than is necessary," said Haché. "In particular, the herbicide 2,4-D, which is one of the most widely used lawn care pesticides, will be banned because of its widespread use and its potential to be overused and misused. As a government, we committed to making a decision in spring of 2009 on the use of lawn care pesticides, and we believe that this decision is in the best interest of all New Brunswickers. This ban will contribute to an improved environment and quality of life for all residents of the province."

Last year, the departments of Environment, Health, Agriculture and Aquaculture, and Local Government formed a working group to address the issue of lawn care pesticides in the province.

In the coming weeks, information will be made available to the public and stakeholders about the ban and how lawns can be managed without relying on routine pesticide spraying.

Since the actions announced today can be implemented within current legislation and regulations, the province is able to take immediate steps to put these measures in place. By implementing the ban in the fall of 2009, retailers and lawn care companies will have sufficient notice to remove these products from their inventories in advance of the 2010 lawn and gardening season.

The Department of Environment is responsible for the implementation of the Clean Environment Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Pesticides Control Act, and the Beverage Containers Act through early planning, pollution prevention initiatives and the administration of permits and approvals.


MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Connor, public affairs, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.