Pesticide Legislation and Recent Changes

                                                                                       

This session followed the Manchester IOG branch AGM. The speaker was Gary Andrews who is an area representative for Nomix Enviro. Gary is also a groundsman (bowling greens) and member of the Manchester branch IOG.

 

Nomix Enviro produce and market weedkillers – mainly to local authorities and industry but with some dealings with the amenity business. Nomix will also do contract spraying.

 

Gary started by outlining the legislation surrounding use of pesticides.

 

In summary (hoping my notes are OK) this is –

 

A DEFRA Code of Practice on Pesticides

 

 – this came into effect in 2006 and replaces the “Green Book”. Gary said every amenity business using pesticides must have a copy of this. He had some copies on CD – presumably they can be ordered from DEFRA. He said it was pretty boring reading and really for sports clubs it was probably better to contact your local rep to ask for advice if unsure what chemicals to use or how.

 

NPTC Spraying Certificates

 

- anyone spraying pesticides in a public place (ie not your back garden) must have appropriate spraying certification. The relevant ones for sports clubs are

 

PA1 – foundation

PA2 – ground crop sprayer from tractor or quad

PA6 – handheld applicator

 

There is a getout to this legal requirement (the “Grandfather Rule”) if you have been using spraying machinery in agriculture or amenity business for a long time – its not sufficient to be a grandfather!

 

BASIS exam for Company Reps

 

Anyone selling you pesticides should be a regfistered BASIS rep – that means he or she has passed an exam.

 

Gary then explained how the rules are changing and how this could affect us –

 

Firstly he gave the rather worrying statistic that whilst only 4% of chemicals sold in this country go to the amenity business, 15% of “incidents” are linked to us.

 

He said that it’s the incidents – spillages, pollution, affected wildlife etc that have pushed legislators to tighten the rules.

 

Some examples of the changes …..

 

Dichlorophen products (like Mossicide) are banned from end 2007 (now no chemical moss killers except lawnsand, sulphate of iron).

 

Paraquat will be banned from June 2008.

 

Diuron residual weedkiller will be banned from end 2008.

 

Carbendozine – may be banned for use as worm suppressant.

 

Disaster Nearly Struck ….

 

The European Parliament voted against a motion to ban all pesticides in public places last year. English MEPS generally voted against, but the word to the industry was that this kind of thing could happen – see much tighter controls in places like Sweden and Denmark.

 

Gary briefly described the “Thematic Strategy” from Europe which requires all interested parties in the UK (producers, groundsmen, farmers etc) to agree tightening of rules to limit use of pesticides and  increase the controls on how they are used and who uses them.

 

For example the producers may only sell to people who can produce certification. Certification may be subjected to regular retesting. Spraying machinery may require regular servicing/testing.

 

It’s likely that policing to back up the tightening of legislation will increase – at first this will probably affect the big users like local authorities, but could finally affect us all.

 

So what is the summary of all this?

 

I guess we need to be sure that spraying is done by people with the right certificates – maybe the CAG could organise some courses.

 

Learn better turf management to minimise use of chemicals.

 

Gary says – don’t buy white overalls for spraying, buy blue or gray. White is too visible. When people see spraying going on it’s funny how many pets go sick! (and claims for redress!!)

 

Dave Twiney 9/Jan/2008