Pesticide program extended for another year
By Matthew Hoekstra – Richmond Review
Published: September 23, 2013 4:00 PM
UPDATE: Staff's recommendation was not supported by public works committee members and the program has been extended for one year.
ORIGINAL STORY: City of Richmond bylaw enforcement officers have yet to issue a single ticket to violators of a four-year-old bylaw that bans the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.
Council approved the bylaw in 2009. It came with a budget for enforcement and education—an amount totalling $143,048 this year.
Now staff are recommending budget be cut in half—reducing a focus on educating residents, landscapers and retailers about the bylaw and low-toxicity alternatives to pesticides.
According to a staff report, the education program has been a success.
In the report manager of environmental sustainability Lesley Douglas noted "the city has become recognized as a leader for its proactive approach to all aspects of the program.
Staff are suggesting funding for bylaw enforcement—and some cash for technical support from consultants—be retained, totalling $63,425.
"In light of the lack of provincial action to develop a regulation to ban the use of pesticides for cosmetic purpose, retention of the bylaw components of the program is recommended," noted Douglas.
City council has yet to vote on the matter.
The bylaw bans products such as Killex and Weed 'N' Feed. Although bylaw officers have been handing out information rather than fines, the bylaw allows the city to issue tickets of $100 for the first offence, $500 for the second, and $1,000 for the third.
The bylaw applies to residential and city property, but excludes farms, golf courses and inside buildings.
Last year a provincial government committee recommended against a province-wide pesticide ban.