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Outdated regulations are putting freshwater ecosystems at risk

Platypus_Pesticide_ANZECC_Regulation.jpgIn September 2016 Friends of the Earth produced the report:  Pesticides in Australian Waterways Overview. The results were shocking with 89% of the almost 200 pesticides detected having no ecological guidelines under the current system.

Many of the unregulated pesticides detected are known to be harmful to animals like the iconic platypus, affect their food supply and cause havoc and destruction for fragile ecosystems in Australian waterways.

Australia’s ecological guidelines for waterways, the ANZECC Guidelines, have not been updated since the year 2000. Work is very slowly progressing to update the 2000 Guidelines. Friends of the Earth have determined that 95% of Agvet chemicals registered for use in Australia do not have any ecological trigger level or guideline under the ANZECC Guidelines.

We need your help to make sure that these pesticides are regulated so that we can protect platypuses and other species from these poisons. That is why we are asking you to write to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg - it is time to update the ANZECC Guidelines.

The ANZECC Guidelines provide for a framework for conserving water quality in fresh and marine waters. The Guidelines provide trigger levels for a range of pollutants that determine particular risks and need for further investigation. In some jurisdictions, the ANZECC trigger levels also provide a legal certainty in terms of assessing environmental impacts.

This means that pollution of waterways with pesticides is often not properly assessed, enforced or even monitored. Regulatory agencies and community groups are therefore hard pressed to determine likely environmental outcomes of pollution events.

FoE is urgently requesting that the ANZECC Guidelines are updated to take into account the actual state of pollutants that are entering Australian waterways. It is not good enough that the ANZECC Guidelines are relying on information almost two decades old - demand action today

Together we can protect our waterways from harmful chemicals.

Click here to send an email to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg asking him to urgently update the ANZECC guidelines to include all pesticides listed in the recent Friends of the Earth report.

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