Some valuable pesticides are being considered for the second priority substances list under the Water Framework Directive, Jim Orson of NIAB TAG told AICC agronomists.
Glyphosate, chlorothalonil, pendimethalin, methiocarb and carbendazim had all been identified as potential inclusions on the UK list, he said.
“This list precedes the final list, so there could be some sorting out before it goes out for consultation, which could be this month.”
Maximum concentration limits in water, known as environmental quality standards, are set for any pesticides on the list, and water is then monitored for them.
However, none of the products, with the possible exception of chlorothalonil, moved through the soil profile, which meant the industry could put in place measures to help prevent them from reaching water, he believed.
“They are more prone to point source pollution than diffuse pollution, so we should be able to manage our way around them.”
Safeguard zones are also due to be set in water catchments where pesticides are causing a risk to drinking water, Ejiroghene Ogboru, an environment planning officer for the Environment Agency, said.
Drinking water protected areas were considered to be at risk when there was evidence of an upward trend that would lead to failure of drinking water directive standards or where there were repeated failures of the standard in locations where water companies would need to invest in additional treatment, she explained.
Safeguard zones were put in place where other measures, such as following the code of good agricultural practice, cross-compliance rules or the Campaign for Farmed Environment were not achieving the necessary results, she said.
But the zones were still non-regulatory, she stressed. “We want to try all voluntary measures possible before taking regulatory action. But they are areas that will have investigations and measures put in place to address the source of the pollution.”
A number of safeguard zones had been identified because of pesticides in her East Anglian region, and maps indicating which areas had been designated were due to be published shortly.
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