British Columbia has strengthened their Integrated Pest Management regulation. The announcement is here. The updates are described along with an FAQ for vendors at the Province’s Integrated Pest Management consultation website.

Although the Government assured RCC that they had heard the message that a year to eighteen months between the release of the new regulation and the effective date of the regulation would provide the best implementation, the regulation is effective 1 July 2016.

Consistent with discussions over the past few years, Government has created a new Schedule 5 removing some chemicals included in domestic class pesticides from Schedule 2.  Government today confirmed that Schedules 2 and 5 will be as set out in their June 2015 policy update.

A vendor license will be required to sell all products, except Schedule 2 products. A trained and certified employee (certified pesticide dispenser) must have prescribed interaction with the customer before providing the customer with products, except Schedule 2 products. Government has also reconfirmed that “any domestic class pesticide in an aerosol container would be included on Schedule 2, regardless of the active ingredient”. Accordingly, those products would not require a vendor license, customer interaction or restricted customer access.

Revised training materials for certified pesticide dispensers are expected to be available in early 2016. The modalities of training (including fees) will not change but the content will change. Existing certified pesticide dispensers will be retrained at the expiry of their existing certification.

The B.C. government will work with municipal governments to ensure improvements in the availability of information on municipal bylaws concerning the application of pest and weed control products.

Liability and compliance: the vendor will be responsible to fulfill the requirements of the regulation (for example, to confirm that the intended use is appropriate according to the label directions). There is an Administrative Penalties Regulation that is applicable for offenses under the Integrated Pest Management Act.

Next Steps:

RCC will write Government to urge that the effective date of the revised regulation be 1 January 2017. Members will be encouraged to write Government in support of the RCC letter.

Background:

The B.C. Ministry of Environment has been consulting with stakeholders concerning an update to the integrated pest management regime since a special committee of the legislature was struck in 2011 to consider issues surrounding the cosmetic use of pesticides.

The RCC staff team have been involved on this file continuously since 2011. RCC is pleased that Government has, following our advice, adjusted their proposals on aspects which would have been difficult to implement. These included:

  • Restricting customer access to all domestic class pesticides and require that a certified pesticide dispenser must communicate with the customer prior to the sale.
  • Aerosol formats of all domestic class pesticides remain in Schedule 2 (Schedule 2 does not require restricted access or vendor communication).
  • Requiring vendors to provide printed product information in six different languages.
  • Clarification that non-compliant use of pesticides is not the vendor’s responsibility – where the information provided by the customer is not correct.
  • Clarification with the Ministry that sales staff do not need to be familiar with all municipal regulations and only need to advise consumers that there may be local restrictions on the use of pesticides.
  • Transfer of the responsibility for training and certificate from Government to retailers.
  • Creation of a product-purchase record and tracking regime mirroring the system for commercial class pesticides.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at: gwilson@retailcouncil.org or 604-736-0368, or, Philippe Cantin, Manager, Environment at: pcantin@cccd-rcc.org or 514-316-8771