Pesticide controls to protect water supply
STRICT ‘precautionary’ conditions have been placed on the use of a commercial pesticide in an effort to protect the Island’s water supplies.
The chemical, called fluopyram, has recently been authorised for use on potatoes in the UK by national regulators.
However, owing to the high concentration of potato fields locally and the inability of Jersey Water to accurately detect the substance in water supplies, a decision has been taken to tightly control its use.
Its use has been outlawed in some parts of the Island, including areas around Handois reservoir, Val de La Mare and Queen’s Valley.
A report attached to a ministerial decision, written by Dr Tim du Feu, head of Environmental Protection, says: ‘The chemical characteristics of fluopyram give it the potential to leach into surface and ground water.
‘In addition, Jersey Water are currently unable to precisely detect the level of the chemical in water samples. Due to these factors, a precautionary approach will be taken and use of the product will be restricted and monitored until the potential impacts of the product in the local setting are established.’
Among the conditions attached to the ministerial decision is that anyone wanting to supply or sell fluopyram-containing products must notify the Growth, Housing and Environment Department of any imports or sales.
Those who wish to buy, store or use it must also submit a ‘plan of use’ form which must be approved by GHE, prior to any application.
Additionally, any assessment or results of any monitoring undertaken by users of fluopyram must be shared with GHE.
But the report also highlights some potential benefits of the substance and says that the product should not be banned.
It says: ‘It is important to note that there are also potential benefits to the use of fluopyram.
‘The current prescribed dose rates for fluopyram as a nematicide are significantly lower than the alternative products used currently.
‘If effective, it has the potential to offset the use of a much larger volume of alternative products.’