EPA seeks information as it reviews the rules on hydrogen cyanamide

The Environmental Protection Authority  is initiating a reassessment of the plant growth regulator hydrogen cyanamide and seeks  information on how and where it is being used in New Zealand.

Hydrogen cyanamide products are used mainly by orchardists, particularly kiwifruit and apple growers, to promote bud formation.

Six hydrogen cyanamide products are registered with NZ Food Safety at the Ministry of Primary Industries. They are:

Hortcare Hi-break
Synergy HC
Gro-Chem HC-50

These products are restricted to commercial use only. Continue reading

Reassessments of methyl bromide and benzyl alkonium chlorides

The Environmental Protection Authority today released two press statements regarding chemicals used in agriculture and horticulture and for quarantine fumigation.

First, it has initiated an application for a modified reassessment of benzyl alkonium chloride (BAC).

Second, it has produced a timeline to show the progress of an application to reassess methyl bromide.

Submissions on the EPA’s proposed updates to the BAC approvals are now open.

BAC are a family of surfactants used in New Zealand used – for example – in detergents, pesticides, veterinary medicines, timber treatments, and disinfectants. Continue reading

EPA imposes greater restrictions on the use of paraquat

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is placing greater controls on the use of the herbicide paraquat.

Paraquat is the first active ingredient on our priority chemicals list, announced in October 2018, to be reassessed.

A Decision-making Committee appointed by the EPA held a public hearing in September, following a period for public submissions on the reassessment application earlier this year.

The committee has determined that paraquat’s use will be restricted to horticultural and agricultural applications; biosecurity will only be allowed with special permission; the maximum application rates have been reduced; and the buffer zones have been revised. The key changes will be phased in over the next 12 months, with labels to be updated within 24 months. Continue reading

Public views sought on persistent organic pollutants

The Environmental Protection Authority is seeking public views on a proposal that New Zealand ratify international agreements on banning and controlling some of the world’s most toxic and persistent substances.

The Acting General Manager of the Hazardous Substances Group, Gayle Holmes, says parties to both the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions meet every two years and decide on the addition of any new chemicals to the list of those that should be banned or restricted.

“This is important work where key global players agree to eliminate or restrict the use and production of the worst of the worst chemicals in the world,” says Gayle.

“But in order for this to take place in New Zealand, amendments are required to the relevant New Zealand laws.”

The Stockholm Convention bans and restricts persistent organic pollutants while the Rotterdam Convention focuses on cooperation between member countries about these chemicals.

“Persistent organic pollutants are dangerous substances that remain in the environment and can accumulate in the bodies of people and other living things,” says Gayle.

The Stockholm Convention has called for the ban of decabromodiphenyl ether, which is a flame retardant that was commonly used in plastics in electronic equipment, and in textiles in furniture and carpets.

Additionally, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, which were used in rubber, paints, adhesives and sealants, and metal-working cutting fluids, have made the list.

The Rotterdam Convention has added the pesticides carbofuran and trichlorfon to their watch list, both of these chemicals have been reassessed under the HSNO Act, and were subsequently prohibited for use as pesticides in New Zealand in 2011.

It is proposed that Tributyl tin compounds, commonly used on an industrial scale as boat anti-fouling paint prior to 2000, will now be subject to more notification and control between member states.

The public can provide feedback on our website until 16 July 2018.

Online submissions can be made HERE. 

Source: Environmental Protection Authority