New from EPA Regarding Buffer Zones

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

I just got the following email through the ODA Pesticides Info email list.  This is the email list that replaced the ODA newsletter.  Many of you probably received this email as well.  If you have not signed up on ODA's email list you can do so here.

This is important.  This is your chance to give your opinion on the proposed Buffer Zone Calculator that will be required for application of many pesticides, most notably for us here is Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban).  I would encourage you guys to take a few minutes and check this out and respond.

Buffer Zone Calculator

The Oregon Department of Agriculture Pesticides Division has been contacted by EPA, and asked to share information with stakeholders in Oregon regarding the buffer zone calculator. EPA is interested in your comments/opinions. A buffer zone in this context is essentially a no-spray area between the intended application site and a waterbody (natural or manmade).

The purpose of the calculator is to address the National Marine Fisheries Service's Biological Opinion related to the potential effects on Pacific salmon and steelhead from the use of Carbaryl, Diazinon, Chlorpyrifos, Malathion, and Methomyl. Please note, this buffer zone calculator concept might be applicable to other pesticides (including herbicides) in the future.

As you may have heard for certain pesticides, instead of the buffer zone being stated directly on the pesticide label, pesticide applicators will be required to calculate the buffer zone based on certain parameters.  Currently, the parameters include: active ingredient (a.i.); application type; spray droplet size; application rate (lbs a.i. per acre); type of water body; and width at ordinary high water level.  To access the buffer zone calculator and learn about other limitations, applicators will first need to go to the Bulletins Live website (web address provided on label). The actual Bulletins Live site is still under development, but a temporary site (referred to below) is active.

To test the calculator and to see an example of how the buffer calculator works for draft bulletins:

(1) go to the temporary test site:

(2) Click on either Polk or Benton County (no other Oregon county will work)
(3) Click on October 2010 (no other month will work)
(4) When the draft Bulletin loads, scroll to the bottom and click the "button" for the buffer calculator.

Select various parameters and explore the system.  Take notes about what works or makes sense, and also about what doesn't work or make sense. Is it easy for you to calculate the lbs. of a.i. in a product? Please try to be as constructive, concise and honest (yet polite) as possible. Provide your comments to ODA by July 2, 2010.

Submit comments to Rose Kachadoorian:

Your comments will be forwarded to EPA. As you may know, EPA is responding to litigation and this isn't going to go away. So, let's work on making the calculator as painless, practical and functional as possible.

Sample County Maps

In addition, we have sample bulletins (as a .pdf) for each county in which Carbofuran, Carbaryl or Methomyl is subject to limitations as a result of the NMFS Biological Opinion for Pacific salmon and steelhead.  If you would like to see these draft maps, please email Rose Kachadoorian at and you will be emailed these large files.


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