LERAP scheme could see 20m aquatic buffer strips

Tuesday 29 November 2011 10:12
An update to the LERAP scheme could see aquatic buffer zones of up to 20m along watercourses for cer

An update to the LERAP scheme could see aquatic buffer zones of up to 20m along watercourses for certain pesticides.

Unlike the current scheme, the interim arrangement announced by the Chemical Regulations Directorate last week will be applied on a crop basis rather than a product basis. Therefore, the same pesticide may have differing on-label buffer zone requirements for different crops.

It will mean newly-assessed products will no longer be labelled as category A or B. Instead, it will clearly state on the label if an aquatic buffer zone is required for the product on a particular crop, said CRD.

Also on the label will be whether the buffer zone can be reduced by undertaking a Local Environmental Risk Assessment for Pesticides. But products given any zone greater than 5m will not be eligible for a reduction through the LERAP and the full zone must be observed.

However, some pesticides will (until they are reassessed) still exist with a 5m buffer zone and be divided into category A where the buffer zone cannot be reduced and B where it is possible to reduce it when certain conditions are complied with.

NFU chief arable adviser, Guy Gagen, says it appears confusing at first glance. "The previous scheme has been running for some time and they haven't made it any simpler."

But he adds it could potentially allow products on the market in the UK that were not possible with a 5m aquatic buffer strip. These could either be products that have gone off the market or have not been launched in the UK.

"It could be an opportunity to get access to technology more quickly," he says.

The changes only apply to pesticides applied via a horizontal boom sprayer and will remain in place until a new revised LERAP scheme is introduced.

Product types carrying aquatic buffer zones

Product type

Buffer zone (m)

Can it be reduced with a LERAP?

Category A



Category B



Not categorised



Not categorised



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