Environmental Concerns for Pesticide Applicators. Pesticides May Harm the Environment by:. Runoff into surface waters Leaching into groundwater Drifting into non-target areas. Contaminating food sources. Habitat destruction Toxicity to animals and other organisms.
Pesticides May Harm the Environment by: • Runoff into surface waters • Leaching into groundwater • Drifting into non-target areas. • Contaminating food sources. • Habitat destruction • Toxicity to animals and other organisms
Avoid Surface Water Contamination • Follow buffer zone requirements on labels. • If there are no buffer zone requirements, be very careful around lakes, streams, or ponds. • Winds or heavy rain could move the application into water sources.
Pesticides May Reach Groundwater by: • Backsiphoning or spills • Leaching through the soil • Improper disposal near wells or other potential entry points to groundwater. Improper disposal near a well. Clean containers properly and turn them in for recycling.
Prevention is the Key • Groundwater contamination is very difficult to correct and will lead to additional restrictions/regulations on water use.
Some Conditions Favoring Groundwater Contamination • Leachable soil (coarse texture or sandy soils) • Soluble pesticides. • High water table (relatively close to soil surface) • Heavy rainfall or irrigation • Improperly constructedor damaged/old wells in the application site.
Reduce Groundwater Contamination Risk • Follow proper application procedures (wind speed, rates, gallons per acre, etc.). • Identify vulnerable areas (sand blows, sinkholes, streams, wells, etc.). Sand blow near Marianna, AR UALR Earth Science Dept.
Reduce Groundwater Contamination Risk • Select safest products when possible. • Prevent pesticide spills • If spills occur, clean them up quickly Always have cleanup materials nearby.
The Endangered Species Act • Administered by EPA, USDA/Fish and Wildlife Service. • EPA must assure that pesticides do not harm the environment which includes endangered species.
The Endangered Species Protection Program • Labels should refer user to County Bulletins or something similar. • Bulletins contain detailed maps indicating species habitat and pesticide restrictions.
The Endangered Species Protection Program The most reliable source of information on the county bulletins is available at EPA’s “Bulletins Live!” website: http://www.epa.gov/espp/bulletins.htm County by county searches of current endangered species restrictions and available county bulletins are easily done. The site can also be accessed via the State Plant Board’s website (look for “Endangered Species”)
Transporting Pesticides • Use back of truck. Avoid using SUVs or trunks of cars. • Keep tied down or braced • Do not transport pesticides with food, feed, or with riders in the back. • Keep dry
Mixing and Loading • Don’t leave filling tank unattended to avoid overflows or back-siphoning. • Use backflow preventer or “air gap” to avoid contaminating your water source. Air gap between filling hose and liquid in the tank.
Mixing and Loading • Mix where you won’t contaminate water supplies. • Don’t mix and load in the same area day after day, year after year. Small spills can add up.
Mixing and Loading • Mix and load at the application site if possible. • Contaminated mixing and loading sites can be very expensive to clean up and can lower the value of your property.
Pesticide Spills • First: Control the spill - stop the leak • Second: Contain the spill - stop it from spreading, DO NOT wash down the area with water.
Pesticide Spills • Third: Clean up the spill - always have a spill kit. • Then use bleach to neutralize the spill on a hard surface. • Activated charcoal can help neutralize soil spills. Must be worked to the depth of the spill. • Call the authorities if it is a major spill or endangers human health or the environment.
Pesticide Spills Report major spills to Arkansas Department of Emergency Management 1-800-322-4012
Storage Site Selection • Keep containers on shelves or pallets. • Use a lock and a warning sign on the door. • Use the storage area only for pesticides.
Storage Site Selection • Always keep in the original containers • Keep clean-up materials nearby • Empty drums and plastic bags for leaking containers • Exhaust fan
Pesticide Wastes • Empty containers • Excess mixture • Excess formulation • Rinse water
Empty Containers Triple Rinsing • Triple or jet rinse immediately after emptying. • RECYCLE plastic containers • Contact county Extension office for more info. or call Larry Cupp, 870-239-3013. He runs a statewide container recycling program. • Don’t burn or bury, and landfills are not recommended. Jet Rinsing Photos provided by Univ. of Nebraska
Excess Spray Mixture (in the spray tank) • Must be used on a labeled site • Avoid the problem by careful measurement and calibration
Excess Formulation • Use it on a labeled site or give it to someone that can. • Keep it in the original container. • Use the free statewide pesticide collection program • Hazardous waste contractor ($$).
Abandoned Pesticide Collection Program • Initiated by Arkansas Legislature in 1999. • Provides for a permanent, statewide program to safely collect and dispose of agricultural pesticides for farmers. • Funded primarily by pesticide registration fees paid by chemical companies - FREE to farmers. • Strict confidentiality is maintained for participants and farmers do not need to fear regulatory action for participating.
Abandoned Pesticide Collection Program • Conducted on a county by county basis. • As of 2013, collection days have been held for all 75 counties. • Plans are for at least 10 counties per year from now on. • Over a million pounds of old, unwanted pesticides have been collected so far.
Abandoned Pesticide Collection Program • Any farmer/producer that wants to participate will be asked to fill out a confidential survey in advance. • The survey is used only to estimate the quantity of pesticides to be collected. • Any agricultural pesticide will be accepted. • Contact your county agent for the schedule or if you have other questions about the collection program.
Abandoned Pesticide Collection Program • If your containers are in poor shape you will be provided overpack materials or the waste contractor (no government personnel) will come to your farm to pick up the materials – no charge. • Please do not bring leaking containers to the collection site. Partially deteriorated containers are fine as long as they are not leaking. • Almost all of the collected chemicals are incinerated at an approved hazardous waste site. Other approved processes are used for chemicals that cannot be incinerated.
Abandoned Pesticide Collection Program • This is an excellent, free, and anonymous way to properly dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides for farmers. • Please take advantage of the program when it is offered in your county. It might be another 5 - 7 years before it comes back. • General questions about the program should go to Jason Robertson at the AR State Plant Board (501-225-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rinse water • Rinsing out your sprayer is very important but minimize rinse water as much as possible. • Reapply to your application site or another labeled site. • Reuse as mix water for other spraying in certain situations. • Or, reapply to a labeled site after collecting and storing. Reusing as mix water.
Rinse water • Do not dump on ground, in ditches, septic systems or fencerows! • These methods are all illegal and dangerous for the environment.