Fines issued after spray drift in Moree and Tamworth

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued fines totaling $2,250 to pesticide contractors after two incidents involving spray drift in Moree and Tamworth

EPA Director North, Adam Gilligan said with winter spraying now underway, pesticide users must take all necessary precautions to ensure they are using pesticide products safely.

“Spray drift can impact the agricultural operations of neighboring properties and pose a serious threat to the health of the operators, community and the environment if spraying is not carried out appropriately.”

The EPA investigated a complaint from a Moree based landholder after pesticides were sprayed by an aerial operator over his grazing land while spraying a cotton crop on the adjoining farm. The EPA fined the aerial pesticide operator $1,500.

In another incident, the EPA issued a fine of $750 to a pesticides contractor based in Tamworth after receiving a complaint that pesticides drifted onto an established olive grove while spraying was occurring on the adjoining farm.

Mr Gilligan said in both incidents, the EPA’s investigation found evidence that the neighboring property was impacted by the spray drift.

“It is a legal requirement for anyone using pesticides to read each pesticide product’s label instructions carefully and follow the directions, and where appropriate apply suitable buffer distances to ensure pesticides do not drift.

“Other than people using small amounts of pesticides by hand in non-commercial circumstances, most operators must have received appropriate training and hold current certification in order to apply pesticides. Equally important, they must keep appropriate records.”

Penalty notices and formal warnings are enforcement tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance. For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy