Health, Environment and Pesticides:
QUÉBEC ADOPTS THE HIGHEST STANDARDS IN NORTH AMERICA TO DECREASE EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES
Québec, March 5, 2003 - Mr. André Boisclair, Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, Greater Montréal, Environment and Water today announced the adoption of a new Pesticide Management Code to strictly regulate the storage, sales and use of pesticides in Québec. The Code will link the minimal and prudent use of these products with the protection of citizens’ health and the environment.
" Through this regulation, Québec becomes the first place in North America to ban the most dangerous pesticides for health and the environment. The action undertaken today by the Québec government will reduce people’s exposure to these products which are particularly noxious to children’s health ", declared Minister Boisclair.
More Restrained and Safer Use of Pesticides
First, it is henceforth prohibited to use the most harmfulness pesticides on lawns of public, semi-public and municipal green spaces. Over the next three years, this prohibition will extend to all private and commercial lawns . Due to the continuing uncertainty about their harmfulness, herbicides made up of active ingredients 2,4-D, MCPA and mecoprop will continue to be prohibited for precautionary reasons until the availability of the products’ revaluation results by recognized organizations.
In addition, it is furthermore prohibited to apply almost any pesticide inside or outside child care centres, as well as elementary or secondary schools. In both cases, specific rules will henceforth govern the application of pesticides still autorize.
Moreover, minimum distances from bodies of water, watercourses and water intakes must be observed during the preparation and application of pesticides. Specified distances will also be required from human activity zones in the case of significant drifts, specifically in orchards and during aerial spraying and when pesticides are used in high-traffic vehicule, train and energy corridors.
As an additional measure, service companies in charge of maintaining green spaces can no longer apply mixtures of pesticides and fertilizers. This practice constitutes a non-essential use of pesticides.
Finally, golf courses will be required to submit a triennial pesticide reduction plan to the Ministère de l'Environnement, the first plan being required over the next three years after the Pesticide Management Code has gone into effect.
Better Management of the Pesticide Sales Process
Over the next year, one of the main measures of the Code will prohibit the sale of fertilizer-pesticide mixtures, as well as mixed packages, such as herbicide-insecticide mixtures.
In addition, within two years, direct access to the most high-risk domestic products will be prohibited to the general public. These products should be stored on special access shelves. Trained staff should be available to advise customers and provide them with instructions for safe product use and handling.
Moreover, within three years, the sale of certain domestic pesticides used in lawn maintenance will be prohibited in Quebec.
The Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides has also been amended. Changes 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 domestic retail pesticide sales.
It should be noted that the Pesticide Management Code 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 reduce their dependence on these products. This regulation bill was the focus of a public consultation which took place from July 3 to September 3, 2002. At the consultation, over 71 individuals, groups and organizations presented their opinions and suggestions to the Minister of the Environment, and 134 letters of support were sent to him.
Adjustments were made to the regulatory text in order to take into account the majority of the comments received. These adjustments do not modify the orientation of the regulatory bill whose goal is to reduce pesticide exposure risks, particularly to children, and to protect the environment during activities related to storage, sale and use of pesticides. Overall, whether the adjustments related to minimum distances, prohibited pesticides or storage standards, they were undertaken through modifications to the Code which maintained the desired environmental gains. In addition, to ensure better protection of groundwater, conforming adjustments to the Regulation respecting groundwater catchment are underway.
" The Government of Québec is once again breaking new ground with this avant-garde regulation which aims to provide citizens with a clean environment. For the well-being of future generations, I invite municipalities, businesses and individual Quebecers to contribute the new direction proposed in the Pesticide Management Code. The Code’s adoption represents a significant investment in the health of Quebecers", concluded the Minister.
Information regarding the Pesticide Management Code and the Regulation Adjustments to the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides is available at the following address:
APPENDIX 1 – LIST OF ACTIVE INGREDIENTS WHICH WILL BE PROHIBITED FOR LAWN MAINTENANCE PURPOSES (s. 25, 31 and 68)
APPENDIX II – LIST OF ACTIVE INGREDIENTS WHICH WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE AND OUTSIDE CHILD CARE CENTRES AS WELL AS ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS (s. 32, 33 and 72)
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