Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA blitzes pesticide non-compliance at Hunter turf farms

Media release: 17 June 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued eight fines and forty-four official cautions to eight Turf Farming premises in the Hunter Valley, following completion of the Hunter Pesticide Compliance Program.

The program, designed to increase pesticide compliance across the Turf Farming industry, began in 2015 as a research and education initiative to assess industry compliance with the pesticides and environmental protection legislation, and to ensure appropriate pesticide use and record keeping and training requirements.

In 2015 EPA officers inspected five turf farms and five golf courses in the Hunter and found evidence of widespread non-compliance at the Lorn, Cessnock, Singleton, Branxton, East Maitland, and Pokolbin Turf Farms.

In March and April 2016 the EPA re-inspected the five Turf Farms as well as inspecting an additional five, to determine whether the 2015 campaign had resulted in improved compliance. Two of the farms were found to be compliant, four received official cautions, while the remaining four farms received a combination of fines and official cautions for non-compliance issues related to storage and handling of pesticides and record keeping.

NSW EPA Acting Hunter Region Manager, Karen Marler, said the potential for further regulatory action exists if the areas of concern are not adequately addressed.

“Pesticides used by the Turf Farming industry can cause serious impacts to the environment, people, waterways and wildlife if used or stored inappropriately,” Mrs Marler said. 

“The NSW EPA will continue to work to improve pesticide management practices within the industry. This includes ongoing monitoring of turf farming premises, enforcing regulatory requirements and writing to the Turf Growers Association with the findings of the investigations, to ensure that the compliance message is received loud and clear by the industry.”

For more information about pesticides visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/pesticides/pesticides.htm.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 17 June 2016