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Press Release

NEW STRICTER LAWS WILL REGULATE THE USE AND SALE OF PESTICIDES

Québec, July 3 2002 – Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and Greater Montréal, the Environment and Water Mr. André Boisclair, has today publicly announced a Pesticide Management Code, the new, stricter regulations of which will progressively institute a decreased and more prudent use and sale of pesticides in Québec.

"This avant-garde regulation will provide Quebecers with the most adequate means and the most up-to-date information available in order to diminish their exposure to pesticides. A comprehensive prudence is called for even more as children are the most vulnerable." declared Minister Boisclair.

A more restrained and safe use

It will from now on, i.e. as of the date when the code will take effect, be prohibited to use those pesticides that pose the greatest health risks onto lawns of public, semipublic, and municipal green areas. Within three years from now, this prohibition will be extended to include the entirety of private and commercial green spaces.

It will be, furthermore, prohibited from now on to use the quasi-totality of pesticides inside and outside of child care centres as well as elementary and secondary schools. In both cases, the application of pesticides will continue to require authorization and will be governed by specific regulations.

Moreover, it will be required to respect specified distances from all bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, and water intakes, when applying pesticides. Specified distances will also have to be taken from human activity zones in the case of significant drifts, in particular aerial spraying as well as from high-traffic vehicle, train, or energy corridors.

In addition, service companies in charge of maintaining green spaces can no longer apply mixtures of pesticides and fertilizers; combinations that are not only harmful, but that often do not require the pesticide component to achieve the results.

Finally, golf courses will be obliged to present triennial pesticide reduction plans to the Ministère de l’Environnement; the first plan being required three years after the Pesticide Management Code has gone into effect.

A better framework for the sale of pesticides

One of the main elements of the code will prohibit, before one year, the sale of fertilizer-pesticide mixtures as well as mixtures containing herbicides and insecticides.

Within two years, direct access to the most harmful domestic pesticide products will be prohibited to the public. These products will be stored in special access shelves. Trained representatives will be at the service of the clientele, to offer advice and to provide application instructions and safety regulations.

Moreover, in three years, the sale of certain domestic pesticides used in the maintenance of green spaces will be prohibited in Québec.

The Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides will also be amended. Changes will include the creation of permits and certificates specifically intended for retail sale, as well as the broadening of certification requirements to include all farmers and forest managers who use pesticides. In addition, the Ministère de l’Environnement continues its efforts to improve the training of salespeople working in the sector of retail pesticide sales.

Let us recall that this project results from recommendations made in the report submitted in March 2002 by the Groupe de réflexion sur les pesticides en milieu urbain, whose mandate was to identify possible solutions that would enable Quebecers to be less dependent on these products that are used notably for maintaining green spaces.

Minister Boisclair regards these initiatives as part of a global strategy that aims to, among other things, raise the public’s awareness of the dangers inherent in the use of chemical pesticides, and of the existence of effective alternatives to these products. These initiatives also stem from a recent decision of the Supreme Court confirming the jurisdiction of municipalities with regard to the use of pesticides on their territory. In this context, the Minister intends to have the Pesticides Act amended so that municipal authorities may maintain jurisdiction in these matters. In so doing, he is reaching beyond the Pesticide Management Code and is ensuring improved conditions for health and the environment. Moreover, the Minister hopes that the federal government will review its pesticide certification criteria and in the short term, re-evaluate which pesticides are most harmful to health.

"I consider health to be more important than a perfect lawn. I would therefore like to ask Quebecers to avoid using pesticides, or if they need to do so, to use them in ways that respect our health and the environment.", said Minister Boisclair.

Interested individuals and organizations are welcome to send their opinions and suggestions in writing to the Minister of Environment (before 3 September 2002). The text of the Pesticide Management Code and the amendments to the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides (french) are available on the Ministère de l’Environnement’s website at: www.menv.gouv.qc.ca.

You will find, in annexe 1, the list of active ingredients to be prohibited for the use on green spaces, and in annexe 2, the list of active ingredients that will be allowed inside and outside child care centres, elementary and secondary schools.

Pesticide management code

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Sources:

Jean-Louis Laplante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, the Environment and Water
Tel. : (418) 521-3911
 

Louise Barrette
Director of Public Relations
Ministère de l’Environnement
Tel. : (418) 521-3823, extension 4163


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