The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined an aerial spray operator in Moree $1,500 for the misuse of pesticides.
On 6 February 2020, on the southern side of Moree, an EPA officer observed an aerial spray operator applying pesticides in overcast conditions and with light rain falling.
The label for the pesticide being applied at the time clearly states: “Do not apply if rain is expected within 6 hours”.
EPA Director Regulatory Operations Regional North Karen Marler said it was very concerning that the use of pesticides was undertaken in unsuitable conditions.
“Safe pesticide use relies on users following the label instructions and applying pesticides in appropriate weather conditions. Using pesticides according to the stated use conditions is essential to ensure the best outcomes for the environment and people consuming produce.”
Mrs Marler said it is essential that operators have a high regard for safety, including the safety of the environment and the local community uppermost in their minds when applying pesticides.
“Spraying during or just before rain has the potential to wash pesticide from the target plants into streams and waterways. This can not only render the pesticide application ineffective but place aquatic life at risk and cause water pollution.”
The community plays an important role in helping to monitor pesticide activities. If you are concerned about illegal pesticide use, or you have knowledge of an incident, please call the 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.