Pesticide Drift and Non-Target Exposure Working Group
The Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) specifies mitigation measures such as no spray areas (buffer zones) to mitigate any environmental risks to aquatic and terrestrial habitats which may result from spray drift during pesticide application.
The Information Note Pesticide Spray Drift in Residential Areas addresses some frequently asked questions on this topic.
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The primary role of the Working Group will be to:
- Provide a forum for information exchange and discussion of issues related to non-target pesticide exposure, both as related to the protection of aquatic and terrestrial habitats and to human exposure at the urban/rural interface;
- To promote consistency and harmonization across federal/provincial and other jurisdictions in the development and application of measures to address these issues;
- To provide recommendations concerning spray drift issues to the Federal, Provincial, Territorial (FPT) Committee.
Terms of Reference
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In 1999, the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) identified that active cooperation with provincial pesticide regulatory authorities was key to the successful implementation of measures, such as buffer zone policies, to mitigate pesticide drift to non-target areas. Consequently, a Federal/Provincial/Territorial Buffer Zones Working Group (FPT BZWG) was formed to assist the PMRA in formulating mitigation measures such as a buffer zone strategy.
Recent discussions with the FPT Committee on Pest Management and Pesticides and other stakeholders have established that the mitigation of spray drift is important, not only for the protection of non-target aquatic and terrestrial environmental habitats, but also to address the emerging issue of human exposure at the urban/rural interface.
As a result, the mandate of the FPT BZWG was expanded, including a name change to the FPT Pesticide Drift and Non Target Exposure Working Group (FPT PDNTE WG), and a mandate to consider the mitigation of spray drift from the perspectives of environmental and human exposure.
The primary role of the Working Group will be to:
- Provide a forum for information exchange and discussion of issues related to non-target pesticide exposure, both as related to the protection of aquatic and terrestrial habitats and to human exposure at the urban/rural interface.
- To promote consistency and harmonization across federal/provincial and other jurisdictions in the development and application of measures to address these issues.
- To provide recommendations concerning spray drift issues to the FPT Committee.
- The Working Group will be co-chaired by the Director General of the PMRA Environmental Assessment Directorate and a provincial/territorial representative.
- The Working Group may include more than two representatives from each province/territory, representing a balance of health, environmental and agricultural portfolios.
There will be a limit of two representatives at face-to-face meetings, with additional members participating by teleconference to reduce costs.
- The Working Group will include a senior manager representing the PMRA Health Evaluation Directorate, and at least one technical representative from each of the health and environmental directorates at PMRA.
- Working Group members are designated as long as required by their jurisdiction or until notified by the Working Group or the FPT Committee.
- Alternates will be permitted at the discretion of the Working Group.
Reporting Relationships and Decision-making
- Working Group co-chairs are responsible for providing an annual report and work plan for discussion and approval at the FPT Committee annual meeting.
- Decisions will be reached by consensus.
- Working Group members will consult with and report to their respective senior officials in the governmental organizations that they represent.
- The Working Group will try to establish linkages to other organizations where their advice and expertise would benefit the fulfilment of its mandate.
- The Working Group can be subdivided into smaller groups to address specific tasks or issues.
- Frequency of meetings will be as required; typically three times per year through the use of teleconferences. A face-to-face meeting may be called if the Working Group deems it necessary.
- The PMRA will provide the secretariat function, including minutes of teleconferences/meetings.
- The PMRA will pay the costs of conference rooms, equipment rentals, translation services, teleconferences, and administrative support incurred for one face-to-face meeting per year, as well as other ongoing costs related to the good functioning of the Working Group.
- The PMRA will pay the transportation costs for Working Group members to attend one face-to-face meeting per year preferably the day(s) prior or after the FPT annual meeting. All other costs (e.g, accommodation, transportation (i.e. taxi, shuttle, etc.) meals, etc.) will be paid by Working Group members.
The function and mandate of this Working Group will be reviewed by the FPT Committee on an annual basis.
Mary Mitchell, Co-chair
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Environmental Assessment Directorate
Environmental Policy Branch
Dr. Tom Kosatsky
B.C. Centre for Disease Control
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia Environment
Dr. Jason Deveau
Agriculture Development Branch
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs