N.S. to limit pesticides on lawns, not vegetables

New regulations restricting the use of pesticides on Nova Scotia’s lawns come April 1 will apply neither to farms, nor to residential vegetable or fruit gardens.

The province on Monday released its Exceptions to Prohibitions on Non-essential Pesticides Regulations, which follow legislation passed in May to limit the use of “non-essential” pesticides in Nova Scotia.

“We are making it easier for the people of this province to limit their exposure to unnecessary chemicals,” Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau said in a release.

As is generally the case with such provincewide restrictions elsewhere, the new rules won’t apply to the commercial agriculture or forestry sectors, nor to golf courses.

The regulations out Monday cover a list of allowable pesticides, which includes those considered to pose a “reduced risk to humans and the environment.”

Pesticides not on the list will be banned from sale or use on lawns as of April 1, 2011 and on ornamental shrubs, flowers and trees on April 1, 2012. 

The regulations also outline when pesticides that aren’t on the allowable list could be used on lawns and ornamental gardens, such as to control insects, plants and fungi that are a potential health concern (European fire ants), poisonous (poison ivy), invasive (Japanese knotweed) or damaging to buildings (carpenter ants).

Such pesticides would be available at stores with vendors certified by the provincial environment department, the province said, noting those products would be kept in closed cabinets that aren’t publicly accessible.

Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and P.E.I. have restricted the use and sale of non-essential pesticides, the province noted.

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