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International workshop for regulators

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Spray Drift Risk Assessment: Opportunities for International Harmonisation

Brisbane, 17-19 June 2014

The National Working Party on Pesticide Applications (NWPPA) hosted an international workshop for regulators in Brisbane from 17 to 19 June 2014. The workshop was entitled Spray Drift Risk Assessment: Opportunities for International Harmonisation.

Demonstration of aerial spraying

Regulators at the workshop watching a demonstration of the aerial spraying of water.

Kareena Arthy, CEO of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), and Gavan Cattanach, chair of the NWPPA, co-chaired the event.

Mr Ted Kucknicki from the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency gave the keynote address on the current systems used in Canada for spray drift risk assessment. Mr Jay Ellenberger, from the United States Environmental Assessment Agency provided an update on the how the US undertakes spray drift risk assessment. Dr Paul Hamey from the United Kingdom Chemicals Directorate provided an update on the systems used in the UK, while Professor Paul Miller from the UK’s National Institute of Agricultural Botany (Silsoe Spray Applications Unit), provided his views on harmonisation opportunities for data sharing and information. Mr Richard Mohan from New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency provided an update on NZ’s approach to spray drift risk assessment. Dr Andrew Hewitt from the University of Queensland provided an update on models used by regulators for spray drift risk assessments. Mr David Rumbold from APVMA informed the workshop about the spray drift policy review that is underway in Australia.

Co-chair, Gavan Cattanach, said: “There is a genuine desire for greater international cooperation on this issue. We hope to be able to circulate a copy of these presentations at a later date.”

Saritor II self propelled unit

HARDI Australia’s Saritor II Self Propelled Unit

On day 2, delegates travelled to the University of Queensland’s (UQ) campus at Gatton to see first-hand modern spray drift technologies as well as hear about and see the science behind the new technologies.

“The NWPPA is very thankful for the time and effort put in by staff at UQ to demonstrate the research that they are undertaking at the wind tunnel. It is hoped that there will be a greater reliance on testing done in wind tunnels rather than having to rely on costly field testing,” said Mr Cattanach.

“The NWPPA is also very grateful to HARDI Australia P/L who demonstrated their new Saritor II Self Propelled Unit. Special thanks go to Will Langdon who brought the Unit up from Adelaide for the demonstration,” he added.

Peter Travis, on behalf of the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia, explained the working of an agricultural aircraft and gave regulators a first-hand demonstration of aerial spraying over a field on the Gatton Campus. Jorg Kitt and colleagues from Croplands and Nufarm demonstrated their WeedIT sprayer and the new quantum mist sprayers, and Dr Jerome Schleier and Dr Holger Tank from Dow AgroSciences demonstrated and spoke about Dow’s new drift reducing formulation. The feedback from delegates was very positive, allowing regulators to see and hear about new technologies and the science that underpins them.

The importance of accommodating the regulator session on the third day of the workshop cannot be understated. It provided a unique opportunity for the broader Australian spray drift regulatory community to learn more about the Canadian and New Zealand spray drift risk assessment frameworks first hand, including discussions on their history and certain specific details. – Kareena Arthy

Quantum mist sprayer

Cropland’s quantum mist sprayer.

Day 3 provided an opportunity for regulators to meet face-to-face and discuss the outcomes from the previous days. In an email to me after the workshop Kareena Arthy said: The importance of accommodating the regulator session on the third day of the workshop cannot be understated. It provided a unique opportunity for the broader Australian spray drift regulatory community to learn more about the Canadian and New Zealand spray drift risk assessment frameworks first hand, including discussions on their history and certain specific details.

She went on to say: “Several learnings from the entire program are now being considered by the spray drift project which will soon be evident in both formal and informal communications about the direction of the policy review. The APVMA looks forward to continuing and improving our already productive relationship with the NWPPA.”

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