30 Jun 2014

Simpler pesticide rules on the way

9:10 am on 30 June 2014

The Environmental Protection Authority is aiming to simplify the rules covering pesticides and other hazardous substances.

The authority is marking its third anniversary as the country's environmental regulator after being created from three agencies - the Environmental Risk Management Authority, the Ministry for the Environment and the Economic Development Ministry.

EPA chief executive Rob Forlong said one of its big achievements has been a wide ranging review of organophosphate chemicals, which resulted in controls on some pesticides being tightened and others phased out.

One of the tasks it has now set its sights is making the notoriously complex Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HAZNO) Act, easier to use.

"The first thing is to clean up the language. The language is legal and scientific, which, if you or I read it, we sometimes have to read it three or four times.

"The other thing is that we cover all issues with many of our rules around hazardous substances and it's quite important for us to make sure that the key ones are definitely dealt with."

Mr Forlong said key points can be lost when everything is being covered off, so the task was to make clear the most important things.

The authority was also doing a lot of work on the Emissions Trading Scheme register it administers to make it easier for foresters and others to use.