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NSW EPA 2 mins read
water testing


A pesticides compliance campaign by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Nambucca Valley Council has found that water quality is not being impacted by excessive amounts of pesticides.

As part of the EPA pesticide compliance campaign, EPA and Nambucca Valley officers last month inspected a range of local farms and undertook water quality monitoring at nine local waterways including Eungai Creek, Snakey Creek, Taylors Arm, Blackbutt Creek, Nambucca River, South Creek, Newee Creek, Deep Creek and Oyster Creek.

Water samples were tested for almost 100 pesticides, including commonly used herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Three pesticides were detected at low levels but below the National Water Quality Guideline limits.

NSW EPA Director of Operations, Steve Orr said the results show impacts to waterways in the Nambucca Valley region are low but noted that further improvements at some local farms are needed.

“We are pleased with these results but it is essential that some local growers, including producers of bananas, cucumbers and blueberries, improve their practices to comply with NSW’s pesticide laws and better protect the environment,” Mr Orr said.

“Our officers inspected seven farms, three were found to be compliant, but one operator was issued a Clean Up Notice for pesticide storage and waste issues. We are continuing to investigate a further three farms.

“We understand the importance of these local farms to NSW produce and the local region’s economy but want to ensure that use of pesticides is appropriate so we can protect both the community and the local environment.”

“We will continue to work closely with farmers, council and the community to ensure that pesticides are used responsibly.”

Changes that commenced on 3 April 2024 have significantly increased maximum penalties for many serious offences in the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and Pesticides Act 1999.

 Wilful or negligent use of pesticides that harms any non-target animal or plant can now attract penalties of up to $500,000 for an individual and $2,000,000 for a corporation.

Possessing or using an unregistered pesticide or using a pesticide contrary to the approved label can also trigger fines of up to a $60,000 for an individual and $120,000 for a corporation.

If you suspect pesticide misuse is occurring, you can make a report to the NSW Environment Line on 131 555.

Find out how to make a report or find more information about the EPA’s recent compliance campaign EPA website:

Contact details:


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