Stores violating pesticide rules: environment group
Posted: Oct 18, 2012 11:03 AM AT
Last Updated: Oct 18, 2012 11:00 AM AT
Two years ago, Nova Scotia introduced legislation banning the sale of non-essential pesticides province-wide. (CBC)
One of Nova Scotia’s leading environmental groups says a random check of garden centres across the province suggests retailers are getting worse when it comes to following the rules for pesticides.
Stephanie Hughes, the healthy lawns co-ordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, said the organization sent volunteers posing as customers into 18 stores across the province in September.
Of the 18 stores they visited, they found eight in violation of the provincial pesticide law.
“We did the same project back in 2011. We actually visited 27 stores last year and we only found one clear violation,” said Hughes.
“Violations have actually increased significantly this year.”
Two years ago, Nova Scotia introduced legislation banning the sale of non-essential pesticides province-wide.
These are defined as cosmetic pesticides used for weed and pest control in lawn and turf maintenance.
The ban does not extend to pesticides used to control pests that can harm human health, such as rodents or micro-organisms in swimming pools. Pesticides used in vegetable gardens would also not be covered by the ban.
Hughes said the Ecology Action Centre survey found retailers either had improper storage of pesticides, improper signage and staff not trained in the new rules.
She said earlier this month, the provincial Environment Department told her it has not handed out a single warning or fine for pesticide violations this year.
“Their almost exclusive focus on education with retailers and the public isn’t going to be sufficient to really get compliance levels where they need to be on pesticides,” Hughes said Wednesday.
“We’d like to see the province do really thorough early monitoring and really strict enforcement to really send the message to retailers that this is important legislation and it will be enforced.”