August 13, 2014 10:53 am

Environmental group launches campaign to track pesticide use in P.E.I.

The environmental group Earth Action is hoping to people in PEI to report pesticide violations.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

CHARLOTTETOWN – The environmental group Earth Action is hoping to get the public in Prince Edward Island to help report pesticide regulatory violations through a new campaign it calls Operation Pesticide Watch.

Earth Action’s co-ordinator Sharon Labchuk will hold a news conference Wednesday near the North River to launch the campaign that is also meant to organize lobby efforts.

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The group also wants Environment Minister Janice Sherry to immediately release pesticide sales figures for 2009 to 2013 and implement a publicly accessible pesticide use reporting system.

The province is required by law to compile annual pesticide sales data but is not compelled to make the information public.

For most years between 1993 and 2008, the reports were released to the public but after 2008 they stopped.

Labchuk says the government’s accountability when it comes to informing the public about what toxic chemicals are released is grossly inadequate.

Provincial legislation requires pesticide applicators to keep pesticide use records, including name of pesticide, application rate, crop, location of field, date and start time of application and wind speed.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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