Requirements under HSNO
Herbicides that have hazardous properties are subject to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996. Under this Act hazardous substances are assigned controls (conditions) that manage the various stages of a substances lifecycle, including controls on its use. These controls apply regardless of any conditions of a Resource Consent or rule in a Regional Plan, except that the conditions or rules can be more stringent than the HSNO controls.
Two types of controls need to be considered when using herbicides.
The approved handler control requires the user to have a test certificate that demonstrates they have the knowledge and skills to use a herbicide. A person can become an approved handler either through completing a training course or by demonstrating prior experience.
Use-based controls place restrictions on the use of a substance.
A herbicide does not necessarily have either of these types of controls, the more hazardous a substance the greater number of more restrictive controls.
Examples of how the Act applies to weed control in riparian zones are:
The provisions of the HSNO Act relating to pesticides came into force on 1 July 2004 with a staggered phase in period. The requirement to be an approved handler applies from 1 January 2005.
Refer to the herbicide label or Safety Data Sheet, both are required to have information relating to the HSNO controls that apply.
The herbicide manufacturer or distributor.
The Environmental Protection Authority, www.epa.govt.nz or 0800 376 234.