- See Regulating pesticides in NSW for more information about the role of the EPA and other regulators.
- See Pesticide use in NSW or Working with pesticides for information about the correct use of pesticides.
The EPA regulates the safe and correct use of pesticides in NSW, from the point of sale, under the <i>Pesticides Act 1999</i> and the Pesticides Regulation 2017 to protect the environment and community.
The Pesticides Act 1999 controls the use of pesticides in NSW. It aims to
Under the Act, all pesticide users in NSW must
The Act also provides for
Under Part 2, Division 2 of the Pesticides Act, it is an offence to use a pesticide in a way that
The maximum penalties for these offences are
Under Part 2, Division 1 of the Pesticides Act, you will face higher penalties if you wilfully or negligently
The maximum fines are
You could also be prosecuted.
The EPA Prosecution Guidelines set out the EPA's policy on bringing and conducting prosecutions.
See Pesticide use in NSW and Working with pesticides for information about the correct use of pesticides.
The EPA may issue a penalty infringement notice (PIN) for some offences, rather than commence prosecution. PIN penalties are much lower than prosecution penalties.
The EPA uses PINs in matters where the essential facts of the offence are not in dispute.
If you are issued with a PIN and pay the penalty within the set period, the matter is finished and no criminal conviction is recorded. If further evidence comes to light that indicates the PIN was wrongly issued, EPA can withdraw the PIN and your payment will be refunded.
Paying the PIN is not regarded as an admission of liability if there is any civil litigation arising from the incident.
If the EPA suspects that you are causing pesticide pollution, you will be issued with a clean-up notice. This notice will direct you to act to reduce ongoing harm or risk of harm to health, property, the environment, or trade.
For example, where a pest controller has treated a home for cockroaches and leaves pesticide dust covering the kitchen benchtops, cooking appliances and utensils, the EPA can direct them to clean up the pesticide so the house is fit for residents to occupy.
The EPA can issue a prevention notice to a pesticide user where it reasonably suspects that
For example, the EPA could issue a prevention notice to restrict pesticide spraying where persistent poor spraying practices have not been corrected after advice and warnings.
A link between the harm or likely harm and the use of the pesticide must be established to issue a prevention notice.
The EPA, with the consent of the Minister for the Environment, can make orders relating to how pesticides may be applied. These orders may apply to both aerial and ground applications of pesticides.
EPA-authorised officers investigate possible breaches of the Pesticides Act and Regulation. They
It is an offence for a person to obstruct an EPA officer in who is carrying out these duties.
All EPA-authorised officers carry an authorisation card with photo identification which anyone can ask to see.
The EPA can deal with breaches of the Act through
Enforceable undertakings allow the offender to voluntarily enter into a binding agreement with the EPA to undertake tasks to rectify the problems causes by the breach. These undertakings are enforced by the Land and Environment Court.
When choosing between legal proceedings or an administrative solution, the EPA will choose the approach which seems likely to produce the best results, in terms of
Codes of practice guide pesticide users in ensuring they minimise risks to others. These codes can be developed jointly by government, industry and other stakeholders. The Act allows for codes to be formally recognised under the legislation.
While compliance with adopted codes is not mandatory, codes can be a point of reference for the EPA when deciding whether to prosecute. The court can also take into account compliance with codes when considering whether the user was negligent, and in setting penalties.