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The Pesticides Management Code

Updating: February 2017

Protecting the environment and health in the activities of wholesale and retail sale

The Pesticides Management Code introduces regulations controlling the storage, sale and use of pesticides. The objectives aimed by this regulation are to reduce and to control the use of pesticides, to decrease the risks of exposure for people and the risks of contamination of the environment.



The Pesticides Management Code and you

Others documents

Main obligations of a sales permit holder

Notes d’instructions :

These regulations affect the wholesale and retail sale sector. Permit and certificate holders targeted by the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides must comply with the regulations of the Code. These include:

Permit holders (businesses)

  • Class A "Wholesale Permit";
  • Class B "Retail Permit":
    • Subclass B1 “Retail Sale of Class 1 to Class 3 Pesticides”;
    • Subclass B2 “Retail Sale of Class 4 Pesticides”;

Certificate holders (salers)

  • Class A “Certificate for the Wholesale of Pesticides” for sales activities for resale purposes;
  • Class B “Certificate for the Retail Sale of Pesticides”:
    • Subclass B1 “Certificate for the Retail Sale of Class 1 to Class 3 Pesticides”;
    • Subclass B2 “Certificate for the Retail Sale of Class 4 Pesticides”.

Pesticide classifications are established according to the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides. They differ from the federal classifications.

FEDERAL CLASSIFICATION

QUÉBEC CLASSIFICATION

Pesticides for restricted use Classes 1 and 2
Pesticides for commercial, agricultural or industrial use Class 3
Pesticides for domestic use Classes 4 and 5

Storage regulations

Class 1 to Class 4 pesticides must be stored in premises where the ambient conditions are not likely to alter the pesticide, its container or label. The pesticide must also be stored in such a manner that its content is not released into the environment.

A sign indicating the list of certain services (e.g. Centre anti-poison du Québec) and their telephone numbers must be posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance to the premises.

A person who stores Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides must have on the premises adequate equipment and material capable of stopping any leak or release of pesticides and, if required, of cleaning the premises. In the event of a leak or release of pesticides, the person must immediately take measures to stop the leak or release and clean the premises.

A person who stores unprepared or undiluted pesticides in quantities equal to or greater than 1,000 litres or 1,000 kilograms must immediately notify Urgence-Environnement in the event of pesticide fire, and specify at that time the nature of the stored pesticides and the approximate quantity stored on the premises. This rule applies to unprepared or undiluted Class 1 to Class 4 pesticides.

Storage of Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides within a flood area

Flood areas must be mapped or identified in a development plan or a metropolitan land use planning and development plan or in a municipal zoning by-law.

  • Within a flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 0 to 20 years

It is prohibited to store Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides in a flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 0 to 20 years.

  • Within a flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 20 to 100 years

It is prohibited to store pesticides in this area, except under the following conditions:

  • the quantity of stored pesticides is less than 100 litres or 100 kilograms;
  • the quantity of stored pesticides is equal to or greater than 100 litres or 100 kilograms and the storage time is less than 15 consecutive days;
  • the pesticides are stored higher than the highest level reached by water in a 100-year interval flood.

Pesticides must be stored on such premises only if one of the above-mentioned conditions applies, failing which the storage site must be moved outside the flood area.

Do you need civil liability insurance for damage to the environment?

A civil liability insurance contract is required for premises with a storage capacity greater than 10,000 litres or 10,000 kilograms for Class 1 to Class 4 unprepared or undiluted pesticides. The contract must include a provision under which the insurer undertakes to notify the Ministère within 48 hours following the revocation, cancellation, termination or modification of the insurance contract coverage.

Containment works

A containment works is a floor, platform or watertight basin, built so as to contain and allow for the complete recovery of any pesticide leak or spillage.

Unprepared or undiluted Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides must be stored in premises having a containment works. This regulation applies to holders of the Class A and Class B permit.

The same applies to any person who stores a quantity equal to or greater than 100 litres or 100 kilograms of unprepared or undiluted Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides for a period longer than 15 consecutive days, particularly pesticides stored on application sites or close to buildings.

A holder of a Class A or a Class B, Subclass B1, permit who loads or unloads Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides in a storage premises also carry out these operations in a containment works.

The special case of tanks and mobile tanks

The underground burial of a pesticide tank of any capacity is prohibited. In addition, tanks and mobile tanks must be kept closed outside of loading and unloading periods and be equipped with a safety device that prevents their use outside of these periods.

What is a tank? What is a mobile tank?

The term "tank" is used here to designate a tank with a capacity of 1,000 litres or more, permanently installed and used to store Class 1 to Class 4 liquid pesticides.

The term "mobile tank" is used here to designate a tank with a capacity of 1,000 litres or more that is used to store Class 1 to Class 4 liquid pesticides, that can be attached to a truck, trailer or semi-trailer and that can be moved. Mobile tanks are used, for example, by pesticide distributors.

Installation of a containment works

A tank or mobile tank in storage premises must be placed in a containment works if the tank contains unprepared or undiluted pesticides. The containment works must be able to contain at least 110 percent of the capacity of the largest tank or stationary mobile tank in the same containment works. In addition, the tank must be protected from vehicle impact by barriers. A containment works is not required in storage premises for a mobile tank containing prepared or diluted pesticides.

The loading or unloading of unprepared or undiluted pesticides into or from a tank or mobile tank must take place in a containment works.

Pesticide or rainwater that has accumulated in a containment work must be removed immediately after a pesticide leak or release or after the precipitation ceases.

Required application distances

The regulations stipulate mandatory minimum application distances from sensitive elements, watercourses, bodies of water and water withdrawal sites. The table at the following link summarizes minimum distances to be observed, in accordance with the types of locations where storage take place.

Specific regulations for retail sale

Retail sale outlets had to modify how they shelve and display pesticides so that customers can no longer serve themselves. In addition all products listed in Schedule I of the Code and intended for domestic use had to be taken off the market.

Ordinary citizens thus had to change their consumer habits:

  • by using fertilizers that are neither mixed nor impregnated with pesticides;
  • by obtaining certain pesticides intended for domestic use from a certified vendor;
  • by using only low-risk pesticides to combat or control lawn pests.

Gardening… all naturally proposes solutions to replace pesticides when pest problems arise at trees, shrubs, in the lawn, the flowerbeds or the garden.

The table below lists the regulations that apply to anyone selling a pesticide of the classes targeted, unless indicated otherwise.

Regulations established by the Pesticides Management Code – retail sale Targeted pesticide classes
It is prohibited to sell or offer for sale a pesticide in a wrapping containing more than one pesticide container, except if the label mentions that there are several containers.

Examples:

  • permitted: an ant trap authorized for sale in packages of three.
  • prohibited: a herbicide and insecticide package.

Instructions Note - Sale of domestic pesticides in multiple packaging (French)

4 and 5
It is prohibited to sell or offer for sale pesticides that have been mixed or impregnated with a fertilizer. 4
Holders of a pesticide sales permit must place the pesticide offered for sale in such a manner that customers cannot serve themselves.

NB: This regulation does not apply to Class 4 pesticides used as wood preservatives or antifouling paint.

Pesticides freely accessible to the customer (class 5 pesticides)

1 to 4
It is prohibited to sell or offer for sale a pesticide that contains an active ingredient listed in Schedule I and that is intended to be applied on lawns.  4 and 5

 

Active ingredients prohibited for lawn maintenance purposes
(Schedule I of the Pesticides Management Code)

Category of pesticides

Active ingredients

Insecticides

Carbaryl
Dicofol
Malathion

Fungicides

Benomyl
Captan
Chlorothalonil
Iprodione
Quintozene
Thiophanate-methyl

Herbicides

2,4-D (present as sodium salt)
2,4-D (present as ester)
2,4-D (present as acid)
2,4-D (present as amine salt)
Chlorthal dimethyl
MCPA (present as ester)
MCPA (present as amine salt)
MCPA (present as potassium or sodium salt)
Mecoprop (present as acid)
Mecoprop (present as amine salt)
Mecoprop (present as potassium or sodium salt)
NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Classes 3 and 4)

 

If someone you know becomes ill from pesticides

Guide the person to a well-ventilated area and ask him/her to lie down on his/her side.

Then contact the Centre anti-poison du Québec, at 1 800 463-5060 (toll free telephone emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or in the Québec City area (local call) at 418 656-8090, and follow their instructions to the letter. If the person’s condition appears serious, go to the hospital immediately, making sure to bring the label or the name and the registration number of the product in question.

The information provided in this document is in no way meant to replace the full official text of the Pesticides Management Code.

“Avoid pesticides … a natural thing to do.”


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