Pesticide Spills. Chapter 26. In This Chapter. Keywords. Accidents. Pesticides Act and Environmental Protection Act

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1 Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills In This Chapter Keywords Accidents After learning the information in this chapter, you will be able to: 1. Define a spill. 2. Describe when a spill must be reported to the Spills Action Centre. 3. Describe how to clean up minor and major spills and spills during transport. 4. List the items to include in a spill clean-up kit. spill, Spills Action Centre, decontaminate In spite of all precautions, accidents can happen. It is important to be prepared and react quickly to a pesticide spill. Learn how to: protect yourself and others reduce human health and environmental hazards minimize damage to crops and structures reduce the risk of leaking containers and report spill to the appropriate authorities. When you are well prepared, you can reduce health and environmental risks. Prevent leaking containers or pesticide spills through good storage practices, proper handling and regular inventory inspection. Pesticides Act and Environmental Protection Act The Pesticides Act and the Environmental Protection Act protect human health and the natural environment. These Acts apply to pesticide spills, in any environment, which cause an adverse effect that is likely to be worse than the results when the pesticide is used properly. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) administers these two Acts. The MOECC makes sure that spills are cleaned up in the right way and as quickly as possible. It also makes sure that the natural environment is restored. Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills 277

2 The Pesticides Act and/or the Environmental Protection Act require that: 1. All spills of pollutants must be reported to the MOECC and the municipality. The MOECC established the Spills Action Centre to receive calls 24 hours a day at Consult with your municipality for their spill reporting contact numbers. Who must report? Every person who has control of a pollutant and Every person who spills, causes or permits a spill. 2. The owner and the person in control of a spilled pollutant must stop the spill, contain it and clean it up, then restore the natural environment. If they cannot do it themselves, then they must arrange for someone else to take these actions. Pesticide manufacturers or suppliers may give advice on how to clean up the spill. Their emergency contact information may be found on the label. 3. The owner or person in control of a spilled pollutant is responsible for compensating anyone affected by the spill for losses or damages that result from the spill. A spill is defined as a discharge of a pollutant: into the natural environment from or out of a structure, vehicle or other container, and that is abnormal in quality or quantity A discharge must meet all three criteria to be considered a spill. The following are examples of spills: an overturned pesticide sprayer that discharges the spray mix into the environment; or a pesticide container that ruptures and leaks its contents. 278 Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills

3 The Spills Action Centre receives about to reports on spills each year. Less than 10 of these spills usually involve pesticides. Pollutants by definition include solids, liquids and gases (or any combination of them) that result directly or indirectly from human activities and that cause or may cause an adverse effect. A spill must be reported to the Spills Action Centre when it causes, or is likely to cause, any of the following adverse effects: any impairment to the quality of the natural environment air, water, land any injury or damage to property, plants or animal life any harm or material discomfort to any person adverse health effects impairment to safety making property, plant, or animal life unfit for use loss of enjoyment of normal use of property interference with normal conduct of business. The adverse effect must be greater than that which would result from the proper use of the pesticide. The owner/controller must assess the situation and take responsibility for the spill even if that person is not at fault. The owner/controller may later, on his/her own or through the Courts, seek compensation from those responsible. Liability Farmers should have at least $ in pollution liability coverage and $ in aggregate pollution liability. Insurance agents recommend that farmers maintain at least $ in case a large spill has a damaging effect on the environment. Check with an insurance agent about the coverage you need. It is your responsibility to follow all regulations regarding pesticides. If you do not, you may not be covered by insurance. Farmers may also be the victims of a spill. Under the Environmental Protection Act, the farmer is entitled to compensation from the owner of the material or the person who had control of the material immediately before the spill. Also, the farmer may be covered by her own insurance for the losses resulting from the spill. Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills 279

4 Spill Clean Up Minor Spills If a spill is unlikely to cause an adverse effect, it may be a minor spill. During routine checks of the storage area, look for damaged containers that may have leaked pesticides. For Minor Spills Wear the proper protective clothing and personal protective equipment. Stop people and animals from entering the spill area. If someone must enter, they must wear the proper protective clothing and personal protective equipment. Ventilate the area. Stop the container from leaking - turn the container upside down, or - pour the contents into another suitable container, or - place a leaking container directly into a bag. Label the secondary container with the pesticide trade name, PCPA # and concentration of each active ingredient. Clean up the spill. You can find directions for clean-up and specific precautions on the pesticide label and the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Major Spills If a spill could possibly cause an adverse effect, it is a major spill. If a major pesticide spill occurs, the first priority is to protect yourself. Next, remove other people or animals from the spill area. If they have come in contact with the pesticide, stop their exposure. Remove contaminated clothing and wash affected skin with lots of soap and water. Read Chapter 13 - First Aid for more information. Stop people from entering the spill area if they do not have the proper protective clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE). You will find specific precautions, emergency contact information and first aid procedures on the label. It is essential to stop the spill from spreading. Do not let the pesticide enter any watercourse. Call the Spills Action Centre immediately Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills

5 For Major Spills -- Liquids Wear the protective clothing and personal protective equipment as specified on the product label. Stop people and animals from entering the spill area. If someone must enter, they must wear the proper protective clothing and personal protective equipment. Cover the spill with a thick layer of absorbent material (soil, vermiculite, kitty litter, etc.). Allow the pesticide to be soaked up by the absorbent material. Sweep or shovel the absorbent material into a waste drum. Dispose of the contents as required by the Environmental Protection Act, Reg Please consult with your nearest Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change office. For Major Spills -- Dusts, Granulars, or Powders Wear protective clothing and personal protective equipment as specified on the product label. Stop people and animals from entering the spill area. If someone must enter, they must wear the proper protective clothing and personal protective equipment. Sweep or shovel the material into a waste drum. Dispose of the contents as required by the Environmental Protection Act, Reg 347. Spills During Transport Protect Yourself and Others from the Spill Make sure that no one enters the vehicle without wearing the recommended protective clothing and personal protective equipment. If a closed vehicle is involved, open all doors to ensure maximum ventilation before anyone enters the vehicle. Report the Spill If the pesticide is classified as a Dangerous Good, you must report the spill to the local police department if the amount of the spill meets the reporting requirements of the Dangerous Goods Regulation. If the spill may be harmful to humans or the environment you must report it to the Spills Action Centre. If the spill occurs as the result of a highway accident, you must notify the local police department immediately. Clean and decontaminate the vehicle. Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills 281

6 How To Decontaminate the Spill Area Follow the directions from the manufacturer and the regulatory authorities on how to decontaminate the area. (The guidelines for a minor spill are not the same as for a major spill.) Refer to the product s MSDS or contact the manufacturer. If the spill occurred on soil, it may be necessary to dig up and remove the contaminated soil. Contaminated soil and clean-up materials must be handled as hazardous waste, and disposed of according to the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act. Check for Liquid Waste Removers in your area. If an Emergency Waste Generator Registration number is required to have the waste removed, report the spill to the Spills Action Centre and they will issue that authorization. Check the surrounding area for any items that were contaminated by the spilled pesticide. Dispose of anything that cannot be decontaminated. Remember to correctly label any replacement containers of pesticide. Spill Clean Up Kits Be prepared! Keep spill clean-up kits available wherever a pesticide spill could happen: in the vehicles you use to transport pesticides near the pesticide storage area at mixing and loading sites. Spill clean-up kits are available from safety supply companies, but you can also make your own. Your kit should include: protective clothing and personal protective equipment - water repellent hat, disposable coveralls, chemical resistant gloves and boots, goggles, and a respirator for pesticides absorbent material such as kitty litter or a commercial absorbent a broom and a shovel a container with a lid for the contaminated waste heavy duty plastic bags to line the waste container a marker to use to label the waste container Store the supplies in the container until you need them. Label the container Spill Kit so that everyone can find it quickly. 282 Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills

7 Practice Your Understanding 1. The Pesticides Act and the Environmental Protection Act require that for spills that cause or are likely to cause adverse effects you must: The first step in cleaning up any pesticide spill is: 3. If a pesticide spill occurs on soil it may be necessary to dig up and remove the contaminated soil. TRUE FALSE 4. When a major pesticide spill poses a hazard to humans, animals, or the environment, the Spills Action Centre must be notified. TRUE FALSE 5. If a small spill occurs in the vehicle during transport, what should you do? Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills 283

8 284 Chapter 26 Pesticide Spills

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