EPA approves wilding conifer weedkiller

In Issue59 by FIEA

A weedkiller to target wilding conifers has been approved for use in New Zealand, with controls, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) says. Method 240 SL is a herbicide used to control wilding conifers and other woody plants on non-crop farmland, conservation land and recreational parks.

It contains the active ingredient aminocyclopyrachlor. While aminocyclopyrachlor is new to New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and Australia have previously approved the active ingredient.

Bayer CropScience Proprietary Limited applied to import or manufacture Method 240 SL. The company said the new herbicide had fewer hazards, including much lower risks to people, with lower application rates than other herbicides currently used on wilding conifers.

The EPA decision-making committee imposed strict rules for how Method 240 SL could be packaged, labelled, stored, disposed of, transported, handled, and used, EPA’s Hazardous Substances Applications Manager, Dr Lauren Fleury said.

“The committee considers that, with these controls in place, the risks to human health and the environment are negligible, while the benefits to ecosystems and landscapes threatened by wilding conifers will be significant.”

The EPA committee received nine submissions on the application – three supported the application and six opposed it. A public hearing was held on May 18, 2022. Read more about the decision on Method 240 SL on the EPA’s website.

Source: NZ Herald

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