March 20, 2006

PEI replaces old certification system for pesticide applyers under revised regs

The Prince Edward Island government intends to amend provincial pesticide regulations to introduce a new applicator certification system, with provision for a one-year phase-in period, and to clarify transportation requirements pertaining to non-domestic pesticides. Changes to the Pesticides Control Act regulations, approved last December, are now being drafted, with the goal of having them in place in time for this year's growing season. Their purpose is to safeguard public and environmental health by helping ensure that pesticide products are applied in a safe and appropriate manner by individuals who are trained and qualified to use them.

The new certification system replaces the old AG-1 or AG-2 Pesticide Use Certificate required for those applying agricultural pesticides, with a new Class A Pesticide Applicator Certificate which allows the holder to apply a pesticide to agricultural land or to an agricultural crop; and a Loader/Mixer Certificate which allows the holder to transport and mix non-domestic pesticides but not to apply them.

AG-1 certificates that have not expired are to be considered as Class A Pesticide Applicator certificates until their date of expiry; and AG-2 certificates that have not expired are to be considered as Loader/Mixer Certificates.

Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Jamie Ballem said the proposed amendments will allow those who hold an AG-2 Pesticide Use Certificate to retain the ability to apply pesticides until December 31, 2006. If, by that time, they have completed the required continuing education credits - two hours training in Environmental Safety and two hours in Pest Management - they will be issued a Class A Pesticide Applicator Certificate with the same expiry date as their current AG-2 certificate. If they do not complete the required training, they will be issued a Loader/Mixer Certificate with the same expiry date as their current AG-2 certificate.

Ballem added that the government also intends to clarify the section of the regulations dealing with transportation requirements. The regulations approved in December indicate that a Loader/Mixer Certificate or a Pesticide Applicator Certificate is required to handle or transport a concentrated non-domestic pesticide on a public roadway. The Minister said it was not the intent of the regulations to require certification for those transporting treated seed; however, he noted, some people have interpreted the regulations that way.

Therefore, the rules will be clarified to specify that a certificate is not required to transport seed treated with a pesticide. This section of the regulations will also be revised to allow the holder of a Transportation of Dangerous Goods Certificate to transport a non-domestic pesticide.

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