PEI

Province asks for voluntary ban on lawn herbicide

The province is asking lawn care companies to voluntarily stop using a herbicide called Oracle.

The province is asking lawn care companies to voluntarily stop using a herbicide called Oracle.

Environment Minister Richard Brown said the company that makes Oracle changed its label to say the chemical shouldn't be used near parks, schools and other public buildings.

"It's an approved use, but the company has put a precautionary notice on its labelling and we wanted to take it one step further and basically ask lawn care companies not to be using it," said Brown.

A ban on pesticides last year means only lawn care companies and those with special licences can use most products.

"Individual people cannot go in and buy this chemical anyway," said Brown. "But we're asking companies not to be using it. And we'll be changing the regulations to make it law."

David Thompson, owner of the lawn care company Weed Man, said his company won't be using Oracle any more on P.E.I.

But he said there are other products with similar ingredients that are still OK to use.

The rules vary from province to province, said Thompson and he'd like to see one set of rules for the whole region.

Lawn chemicals are on the agenda when the Atlantic environment ministers meet on P.E.I. in early August.

Brown said the province is planning to ban the product completely, but that won't happen until the legislature sits in the fall.

Brown also plans to lobby Ottawa to change federal regulations.

He said he hopes companies will stop using it in the meantime.

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