The goal of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Structural Pest Control & Pesticides Division, Environmental Programs Unit (EPU) is to ensure that legal, managed pesticide use in North Carolina does not adversely impact the environment.
The EPU works with various state and federal agencies in issues related to ground water and surface water quality. The EPU completed a multi-agency study to determine the impact of labeled pesticide use on ground water quality in North Carolina both on crop and noncrop sites. In this study, water samples were analyzed for more than 140 chemicals. Locations were selected which had a history of specific pesticide use within the previous five years and where the ground water has a moderate to high risk of contamination.
The results of the study indicated that no widespread ground water contamination existed; however, it did identify certain pesticides which are reaching the water and indicated sensitive areas where further monitoring and evaluation are needed. The results from this study coupled with other research initiatives will enable the N.C. Pesticide Board to determine the need for additional regulatory and/or educational initiatives. In addition, the EPU will be responsible for developing Ground Water and Pesticide Management Plans which will be required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for certain pesticides which are known to have the potential to contaminate groundwater.
For additional information on the Environmental Programs Unit, please contact Dr. Henry F. Wade, EPU Manager, at (919) 733-3556 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ground water is the major source of drinking water for more than half the people of North Carolina and for almost all of its rural residents. To determine what effect labeled pesticide use may have on this natural resource, the General Assembly provided more than $1.1 million in funding in 1990 for a study (The Interagency Study of the Impact of Pesticide Use on Ground Water in North Carolina). The study was conducted jointly by the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It was designed to focus on thirty-one commonly used pesticides, but ground water was screened for more than 140 different compounds. Wells were sampled in two rounds, approximately six months apart. If a chemical was detected in any sample, a follow-up sample was collected for confirmation. Whenever a pesticide residue was found on two separate dates in the same well, the closest domestic wells in the area were tested.
The study specifically targeted areas where researchers expected to find contamination and was designed to determine whether labeled pesticide use is impacting ground water. Samples were collected at U.S. Geological Survey and N.C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources ambient monitoring wells, cooperator monitoring wells and private landowner wells.
The results of the study indicated that no widespread ground water contamination existed; however, it did identify certain pesticides which are reaching ground water and indicated sensitive areas where further monitoring and evaluation are needed.
For more information on the Interagency Study or ground water monitoring for pesticides,
contact Dr. Henry F. Wade, NCDA&CS at (919) 733-3556 or send email to: email@example.com.