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6.2.4 Implementation Methods

6.2.4.1 Support Codes of Practice

Waikato Regional Council will support development, implementation and review of industry-based codes of practice where they provide guidance for avoiding off-target spray drift, and where they:

  1. provide formal training and registration of agrichemical applicators
  2. promote good practice in relation to:
    1. notification, signage and reporting of agrichemical use
    2. storage, transport, application and disposal of agrichemicals
    3. weather conditions and drift hazard
    4. the use of buffer zones and shelter belts
    5. other methods that avoid off-target spray drift
    6. reporting of any accidents that may result in off-target adverse effects.

6.2.4.2 Environmental Education

Waikato Regional Council will use environmental education to raise awareness within the regional community regarding:

  1. the safe, responsible and efficient use of agrichemicals in the Region
  2. the use or development of alternative pest management practices that are not inconsistent with the Waikato Regional Pest Management Strategy and Section 3.10 of the Waikato Regional Policy Statement
  3. management practices that avoid off-target spray drift from ground and aerial spraying
  4. the appropriate organisations to contact about spray drift concerns and complaints
  5. methods of identifying areas and crops that are sensitive to the effects of agrichemical spray drift. 

6.2.4.3 Promotion

Waikato Regional Council will promote to central Government, industry and other relevant organisations:

  1. training and registration of contract agrichemical applicators and their staff
  2. training of land managers in the safe and efficient use of agrichemicals
  3. tighter controls on the purchasing of high risk agrichemicals
  4. monitoring of the amount and type of agrichemicals used
  5. development of low risk application techniques
  6. the use or development of alternative pest management practices that are not inconsistent with the Waikato Regional Pest Management Strategy and Section 3.10 of the Waikato Regional Policy Statement
  7. the benefits of weed management policies or asset management plans for local authorities to manage the risks of off-target agrichemical spray drift.

6.2.4.4 Integration

Waikato Regional Council will work with other relevant organisations to:

  1. develop and agree on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Public Health Unit of Health Waikato, the Environmental Risk Management Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority and territorial authorities agreeing on each agencies’ responsibilities with regard to spray drift.
  2. develop other methods to jointly address complaints about agrichemical spray drift.

6.2.4.5 Land Use Planning

Waikato Regional Council will encourage territorial authorities to manage any significant adverse effects of land use activities on air quality that arise out of any exercise of their powers and functions through district plans, building consents, applications for subdivision or land use consent and education including:

  1. As a first principle, ensuring that discharing activities take all reasonable steps to internalise their discharged effects including making use of the best practicable option.
  2. Where reasonable and necessary to do so, controlling new land uses that are sensitive to the discharge of contaminants from other existing land uses.
  3. making available to the public, information about sensitive areas in the district as listed in Policy 3 of Section 6.2.3.

Advisory Note:

  • There are various methods open to territorial authorities for the control od land uses. These include, but are not limited to, requiring buffer zones, the separation of potentially conflicting land uses, use of screening or shelterbelts etc.
  • See also Method 6.1.7.2.

6.2.4.6 Part XII RMA Enforcement

Waikato Regional Council may apply for enforcement orders, issue abatement notices and use other enforcement mechanisms in Part XII of the RMA where an activity has the adverse effects listed in Policy 1 or breaches conditions of rules in the Plan.

Advisory Note:

  • Refer to Section 6.2.8 for guidance on the course of action to assess significant adverse effects.

6.2.4.7 Information

Waikato Regional Council will, in partnership with territorial authorities, agrichemical contractors and other resource users:

  1. maintain registers of people who require notification in particular districts
  2. maintain publicly available lists of registered chemical applicators and pilots with a current GROWSAFE® Agrichemical Rating who operate in the Region.

6.2.4.8 Permitted Activity Rule – Spot Spraying Using Hand Held Spray Equipment

The discharge of agrichemicals from the ground into air, and any consequent discharge onto land, using hand held spray equipment1 for spot spraying2 is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The discharge does not occur in a public amenity area3.
  2. The agrichemical(s) shall be discharged in a manner that does not contravene any requirement specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. The discharge shall be undertaken in such a way that no significant adverse effect4 of off-target drift shall occur beyond the boundary of the property being sprayed.
  4. The owner or occupier of the property on which spraying is to be undertaken, is required to notify anyone who has requested prior notification. Notification shall be either verbal or in writing and shall be provided between 12 hours and three weeks prior to the commencement of the discharge. Notification shall include the:
    1. date the agrichemical(s) is to be discharged
    2. type of agrichemical(s) to be used
    3. location of the discharge
    4. duration of the discharge
    5. method of discharge.
  5. Where the agrichemical is being applied in a situation where it may enter water, any downstream water user within one kilometre of the point of discharge must be notified between 12 hours and three weeks prior to commencement of the discharge.

Advisory Notes:

  • This Rule does not authorise the direct discharge of agrichemical(s) into water.
  • In the event of any accidental or unintended discharge of agrichemicals to air, land or water it is strongly recommended that the person responsible immediately notifies Waikato Regional Council.
  • The use of any agrichemical no longer registered in New Zealand or in a manner that contravenes the requirements specified in the manufacturer’s instructions is an offence under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.
  • The use of weed wipers, or distribution by hand of granular herbicides is not a discharge of contaminants to air and is not regulated by this Rule.
  • The requirement to notify does not give the notified person the right to veto a spraying operation on a neighbouring property or in a public amenity area.
  • When applying chemicals near the boundary between the Waikato Region and neighbouring regions, chemical applicators will need to check the requirements of the neighbouring regional council and ensure that potentially affected people in the neighbouring region are notified in accordance with the requirements of that region’s air plan.

6.2.4.9 Permitted Activity Rule – Widespread Application of Agrichemical(s)

Unless provided for in Rule 6.2.4.8, the discharge of agrichemical(s) into air, into water and into or onto land is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The agrichemical(s) shall be discharged in a manner that does not contravene any requirement specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. The discharge shall be undertaken in such a way that no significant adverse effect of off-target drift shall occur beyond the boundary of the property being sprayed.
  3. Where the agrichemical is being applied to vegetation on the banks and bed of water bodies:
    1. the application and consequent breakdown of vegetation shall not result in the the contamination of domestic or commercial water supplies, or the death of fauna (and/or residues being detected in fish).
    2. Where agrichemicals are applied directly to water any downstream water take within one kilometre of the point of discharge must be notified between 12 hours and three weeks prior to commencement of the discharge.
  4. Within twelve months of the Plan (or this rule) becoming operative:
    1. Every person undertaking the application of agrichemicals shall have a qualification certified in writing that meets the performance requirements set out in Section 6.2.10, or be under the direct supervision of a person who meets those requirements, or
    2. Every contractor or contractor employee undertaking the land based application of agrichemicals shall hold or be under the on site supervision of a person who holds a current National Certificate in Agrichemical Application, a GROWSAFE® Registered Chemical Applicators Certificate or a qualification that meets the performance requirements for contractors and contractor employees in Section 6.2.10
    3. Every pilot undertaking the aerial application of agrichemicals shall hold a Pilot’s Chemical Rating issued by the Civil Aviation Authority or an equivalent qualification.
  5. The application of agrichemicals shall be undertaken in accordance with New Zealand Standard 8409:2004, Management of Agrichemicals5.
  6. The owner, occupier, or manager of the property to be sprayed shall prepare a spray plan, or shall arrange for a spray plan to be prepared, at the beginning of each year or spray season, and the spray plan shall:
    1. contain as a minimum the information as outlined in Section 6.2.7 of this Plan or with reference to Appendix M4 of New Zealand Standard 8409:2004, Management of Agrichemicals.
    2. be given to any person within seven days of that person requesting the spray plan.
    3. Notwithstanding the requirements of part i) of this condition, for local authority parks and reserves, road side spraying operations and community based spray programmes where the spraying activities for which spray plans are required cover more than 10 properties a single spray plan can be prepared on an annual basis covering all operations. This spray plan must identify as a minimum all known sensitive areas likely to be affected by the activity and the strategies to be employed to avoid adverse effects on thos areas (e.g. specific application techniques, specific notification practices, buffer zones, manning boundaries, restrictions on climate conditions when spraying can occur etc). The plan must be provided to the contractor/applicator prior to spraying commencing.
  7. The owner, occupier, or manager of the property to be sprayed shall keep and maintain records of agrichemical use, or shall arrange for records to be kept. These records shall, as a minimum, include the information in Appendix C of the New Zealand Standard 8409:2004 Management of Agrichemicals.
  8. The owner, occupier, or manager of the property to be sprayed must follow the relevant notification requirements listed in Table 6-4 of this Plan.

Table 64 Notification Requirements for Rule 6.2.4.9

Location and Nature of Chemical Application Signage and Notification Requirements
Ground based application on private* property further than 50 m from boundary of the property There is no requirement to notify unless someone has requested notification. Where a person requests that they be notified, the owner, occupier or manager of the property to be sprayed shall provide notification in a form agreed between the two parties.
Ground based application on private* property within 50 m of boundary
  1. The owner, occupier, or manager of the property to be sprayed shall either:
  1. provide verbal or written notification to owner(s), or occupier(s) of adjoining properties or to any other person requesting notification between 12 hours and three weeks prior to spraying, or
  2. Provide written advice (at least once a year) to any person who is likely to be directly affected by spray applications that a spray plan prepared in accordance with condition f) of this rule is available on request. Notification procedures that have been mutually agreed by the parties shall be specified and noted in the spray plan.
  3. And in any case, notification of adjoining private property owner(s) or occupier(s) will not be required if written permission has been obtained from them stating that notification can be in some mutually agreed form or that notification is not required.
  4. Where the boundary is with a public amenity area or place of public assembly the discharger shall place signs so that they are clearly visible to the public at all points where the public commonly have entry, to indicate that agrichemical(s) are being sprayed. The signs shall remain in place for a period equivalent to the contact re-entry time* for the agrichemical(s).
Using an aircraft
  1. The owner, occupier, or manager of the property to be sprayed shall:
Either-
  1. provide verbal or written notification to owner(s), or occupier(s) of adjoining properties or to any other person requesting notification between 12 hours and three weeks prior to spraying,
  2. Notify adjoining private property owner(s) or occupier(s) will not be required if written permission has been obtained from them stating that notification can be in some mutually agreed form or that notification is not required.
OR
  1. The owner, occupier, or manager of the property to be sprayed shall give prior notification of the discharge, (or arrange for notification to be given), in local newspapers, or by verbal or written notice to people who may be affected in the adjoining area, between 12 hours and three weeks prior to the discharge. Notice shall include as a minimum:
  1. that the spray plan for the property prepared in accordance with condition e) i) of this rule, is available for viewing
  2. the likely date, time and duration of the discharge
  3. the location of the area on which the agrichemical(s) is to be discharged
  4. the trade name and classification of the agrichemical(s) to be discharged
  5. the name(s) and phone number(s) of the person6 who will discharge the agrichemical(s).
In a public amenity area, place of public assembly or as part of a community based spray programmes7 Notification shall be in the form of either:
  1. Prior notification of the discharge in local newspapers, or by verbal or written notice to people who may be affected in the adjoining area, between 12 hours and three weeks prior to the discharge. Notice shall include as a minimum, the following information:
  1. that the spray plan for the property prepared in accordance with condition f) i) of this rule, is available for viewing
  2. the likely date, time and duration of the discharge
  3. the location of the area on which the agrichemical(s) is to be discharged
  4. the trade name and classification of the agrichemical(s) to be discharged
  5. the name(s) and phone number(s) of the person8 from whom further information can be obtained.
OR
  1. Prior notification of the discharge in local newspapers or written notice to people who may be affected in the adjoining area on an annual or seasonal basis. Notice shall include as a minimum, the following information:
  1. that the spray plan prepared in accordance with condition f) i) of this rule, is available for viewing
  2. the season during which spraying is likely to occur
  3. the location of the area on which the agrichemical(s) is to be discharged
  4. the trade name and classification of the agrichemical(s) that are likely to be discharged
  5. instructions on who to contact if people wish to be notified closer to the date and the process that will be followed to ensure that people requiring individual notification are given sufficient time to take precautions
AND
  1. Any person that identifies that they require notification shall be given notification in a form agreed between the two parties.

The following signage requirements shall be met:
  1. The applicator shall place signs so that they are clearly visible to the public on all normal lines of entry where the public commonly have entry, to indicate that agrichemical(s) are being sprayed. The signs shall remain in place for a period equivalent to the contact re-entry time* for the agrichemical(s)
  2. If spraying a road or railway verge from a vehicle, the discharger shall place signs at the front and back of any vehicles used for the discharge, on which it shall be written ‘agrichemical application in progress

Advisory Notes:

  • The use of any agrichemical no longer registered in New Zealand or in a manner that contravenes the requirements specified in the manufacturer’s instructions is an offence under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.
  • The requirement to notify does not give the notified person the right to veto a spraying operation on a neighbouring property or in a public amenity area.
  • ‘Written notifications’ as referred to in condition h) of this Rule can include circulars using rural delivery, newspaper advertisements, emails, faxes or signage along property boundaries.
  • The person discharging the agrichemical(s) should immediately notify Waikato Regional Council in the event of any accidental or unintended discharge of agrichemical(s) to air, land or water.
  • The use of local authority managed registers of people who require notification in a particular district to narrow the range of people to be notified in conjunction with seasonal newspaper advertisements or circulars may be one means of compliance with condition h).
  • The use of weed wipers, or distribution by hand of granular herbicides is not a discharge of contaminants to air and is not regulated by this Rule.
  • When applying chemicals near the boundary between the Waikato Region and neighbouring regions, chemical applicators will need to check the requirements of the neighbouring regional council and ensure that potentially affected people in the neighbouring region are notified in accordance with the requirements of that region’s Air Plan

6.2.4.10 Controlled Activity Rule – Application of Agrichemical(s)

Any discharge of agrichemical(s) into air, into water and onto or into land in a manner which is not permitted by, or does not comply with Rules 6.2.4.8, 6.2.4.9, is a controlled activity (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. The agrichemical(s) shall be discharged in a manner that does not contravene any requirement specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. The discharge shall be undertaken in such a way that no significant adverse effect of off-target drift shall occur beyond the boundary of the property being sprayed.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The preparation and distribution of a spray plan prepared in accordance with Section 6.2.7 of this Plan or with reference to Appendix M4 of New Zealand Standard 8409:2004, Management of Agrichemicals.
  2. The qualifications of the person discharging the agrichemical(s).
  3. The provisions of the New Zealand Standard 8409:2004 Management of Agrichemicals shall be adhered to.
  4. The requirements to keep and maintain records.
  5. The requirements for notification.
  6. The signage requirements.
  7. The location or areas at which the activity will occur.
  8. The duration of the consent.
  9. The maintenance of water quality and aquatice habitat.
  10. Timing of application to minimise adverse effects on indigenous fish and fish spawning and habitat.

Notification:
Applications for resource consent under this Rule will be considered without notification in accordance with s94(1)(b) of the RMA.

Advisory Notes:

  • The use of any agrichemical no longer registered in New Zealand or in a manner that contravenes the requirements specified in the manufacturer’s instructions is an offence under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.
  • The person discharging the agrichemical(s) should immediately notify the Waikato Regional Council in the event of any accidental or unintended discharge of agrichemical(s) to air, land or water.

6.2.4.11 Discretionary Activity Rule – Application of Agrichemicals

Any discharge of agrichemical(s) into air, into water and onto or into land that is not permitted by, or does not comply with, Rules 6.2.4.8, 6.2.4.9 or 6.2.4.10 is a discretionary activity (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Note:

  • Information requirements to enable assessment of any application under this rule are as set out in Section 8.1.5.2 of this Plan. In addition, assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in the policies in Section 6.2.3.

6.2.4.12 Prohibited Activity Rule – The use and discharge of 2,4-D Butyl Ester to Air

The use and discharge of 2,4-D Butyl Ester to air is a prohibited activity.

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 6.2.4.1 to 6.2.4.12
A mixture of regulatory and non-regulatory methods implements the policies in Section 6.2.3. The methods identify the Rules that agrichemical users and sensitive parties have in managing the effects of the agrichemical spray drift. Agrichemical users have a responsibility to follow good practices specified in rules, codes of practice and national legislation. Sensitive parties have an obligation to identify themselves to applicators so that precautions stipulated in those rules, codes and legislation can be followed.

The non-regulatory methods focus on providing information through promotion of codes of practice, good practice guides, environmental education programmes, land use planning and information management processes to all parties about their responsibilities. This will allow them to manage the risks of off-target exposure to agrichemicals. If these non-regulatory measures are effective, the incidence of significant off-target effects will reduce as applicators plan their work to avoid spray drift and notify sensitive parties so that they can take extra precautions to minimise the risk to themselves.

Permitted Activity Rules 6.2.4.8 and 6.2.4.9 are necessary to codify the most important good practices in a manner that gives all parties certainty. The rules give certainty to agrichemical users that their operations will not require resource consent if they follow accepted good practices. To that end, the rules are entirely consistent with the provisions of NZS8409:2004 Management of Agrichemicals. The only difference from the Code being the provision of greater detail regarding the timing and form of notification. The intent of these extra notification requirements is to give certainty to sensitive parties that agrichemical users will take their concerns into account and that where necessary, they will be notified of agrichemical use so that they can take precautions, thereby avoiding significant adverse effects.

The notification provisions are designed to minimise the costs of notification to resource users, while providing a reasonable amount of time for sensitive parties to take precautions. This is achieved by providing a range of means of compliance.

Different levels of notification and training are required for people operating under the rules based on the different levels of adverse effects from off-target spray drift associated with different application techniques, locations and frequency of application. Risks of adverse effects of off-target drift are most significant where the chemical is being applied close to property boundaries, in public amenity areas or when using high pressure or aerial application techniques. The risks of significant adverse effects occurring are lowest when spot spraying.

Rule 6.2.4.10 provides an alternative for chemical applicators who wish to work as contractors, an alternative to the registration process. Rule 6.2.4.11 acknowledges that circumstances will not always allow good practices to be followed precisely or significant adverse effects to be avoided. The consent process will ensure that any significant adverse effects are remedied or mitigated.

The chemical 2,4-D Butyl Ester is no longer registered for use in New Zealand but remains in stockpiles on farms around the Region, potentially able to be used. The use of this chemical places the applicator and the environment at risk and has the potential to threaten the livelihood of exporters. Rule 6.2.4.12 therefore specifically prohibits the use of 2,4-D Butyl Ester.

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