Farm use not affected in N.B.’s 2,4-D ban

New Brunswick’s upcoming ban on the sale and use of all 2,4-D products for domestic lawn use and of over 200 other over-the-counter lawn pesticides won’t apply to the use of pesticides in the ag or forestry sectors.

The provincial environment department said as much in a release Thursday when it announced the residential bans will be in place this fall.

Also, the province said, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) accreditation will be mandatory in February 2010 for those carrying out lawn care services involving commercial-grade pesticides.

And the province said its Pesticides Control Act of 1974 will be reviewed with a goal of further reducing the unnecessary use of pesticides in the province within two years.

From a municipal perspective, the province said, its measures mean pesticides will be regulated on a provincewide basis, rather than at the community level.

The province said its product ban targets lawn care pesticide products on the retail market that are “most likely to be overused and misused,” such as 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, could face prosecution, the province said.

However, “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.”

Pesticide treatment of public areas such as parks, sports fields, schoolyards and hospital grounds “would still be possible,” but the new regulatory restrictions would apply, the province said.

“Our ban focuses on products that are misused and overused, and which results in more pesticides being added to the environment than is necessary,” Environment Minister Roland Hache said in the province’s release.

“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.”

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