Victoria, British Columbia Integrated Pest Management Policy

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Victoria, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

Source File:


1 Purpose
The City of Victoria is committed to working in partnership with our community to sustain healthy neighbourhoods and a vibrant downtown. Effective and environmentally sound land stewardship is a fundamental component of maintenance management within the City of Victoria.

The purpose of this policy is to develop pest management approaches that eliminate the non-essential use of pesticides on public lands in the City of Victoria, consistent with the precautionary principle and in keeping with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) national strategy to encourage responsible use and reduction of pesticides.

In this case, the precautionary principle, or approach, means that the absence of full scientific certainty shall not be used to postpone seeking alternatives to pesticides where there is risk of serious harm to human health or the environment.

Municipal departments must give preference to available non-pesticide alternatives when considering the use of pesticides on municipal property. All pest control within the public jurisdiction of the Municipality (including municipal departments and municipal contractors) must be conducted through an Integrated Pest Management approach.

Integrated Pest Management means a decision making process that uses a combination of techniques to suppress pests and that must include but is not limited to the following elements:

  • planning and managing ecosystems to prevent organisms from becoming pests;
  • identifying potential pest problems;
  • monitoring populations of pests and beneficial organisms, pest damage and environmental conditions;
  • using injury thresholds in making treatment decisions;
  • reducing pest populations to acceptable levels using strategies that may include a combination of biological, physical, cultural, mechanical, behavioural and chemical controls;
  • evaluating the effectiveness of treatments.

1.1 Need for Policy
Many citizens are concerned about the amount and location of pesticide applications in the Municipality and associated health and environmental impacts.

  • It is important, in terms of cost efficiency and environmental protection, that this IPM policy be followed by all Municipal departments and contractors who directly or indirectly manage weeds or pests, or plan, design, renovate or construct landscapes or facilities.
  • Through the employment of an Integrated Pest Management Coordinator in 1992 to implement an IPM program with procedural guidelines, the City has substantially reduced pesticide use. City Council approved in principle a draft IPM policy for Citywide uses July 11, 2002. Revisions to the City of Victoria's draft IPM Policy have been made to incorporate recommendations from the model Pest Management Policy produced January 8, 2003 by the Capital Regional District. The City of Victoria recognizes a need for a formal IPM policy and a set of procedures for Citywide use, that ties in with the other municipalities in the Capitol Regional District and with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities national strategy encouraging responsible pesticide.
  • The Municipality recognizes its unique location and environment and celebrates the need to safeguard its waterways, ecological habitats and urban heritage. An IPM policy is an important component in environmental stewardship of all public lands and facilities.

2 Policy Statement
The City of Victoria will manage vegetation and pests using IPM principles and practices that:

  • minimize the risk to human health and the environment;
  • utilize site specific information to determine appropriate pest management decisions;
  • maximize the use of natural controls and alternatives to the use of pesticides, and emphasize prevention;
  • minimize the reliance upon chemical controls;
  • use an ecologically responsible approach through which there is participation in the development of Natural Area Management plans that are created within the Municipality in suitable areas; determine cost-effectiveness, inclusive of long-term maintenance of various public facilities and landscapes.
  • consider community values in establishing standards of maintenance of public land.

3 Definitions

Chemical Control. The use of a synthetic chemical pesticide to suppress or control a pest.

Cultural Practices. Management practices that focus on the prevention of pests by maintaining healthy hosts through proper planting, pruning, mulching, irrigation, nutrient requirements and sanitation practices.

Ecology. The study of relationships between living things, with each other and their environment.

Ecosystem. A community of organisms and their physical environment.

Native. Species of animals or plants that have not been introduced by people or their direct activities.

Natural Area. Open space containing unusual or representative biological, physical or historical components. It either retains or has had re-established a natural character, although it need not be completely undisturbed.

Natural Control. The use of living organisms (parasites, predators, pathogens) that have been approved by the Pest Management Regulator Agency (PMRA) or Health Canada to manage pests.

Non-essential pesticide use. The use of a pest control product without first giving preference to available non-pesticide alternatives or without following the principles of Integrated Pest management defined in the policy.

Pest. Any organism, including weeds, insects, diseases, rodents, etc., which by the location or size of its population, adversely interferes with the health, environmental, functional or economic goals of humans.

Pesticide. A micro-organism or material that is represented, sold, used or intended to be used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a pest, and includes without limitation:

(i) a plant growth regulator, plant defoliator or plant desiccant;
(ii) a control product under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada), other than a device that is a control product; and
(iii) a substance that is classified as a pesticide under the Pesticide Control Act (British Columbia).
(iv) Exempt Pesticide. Exempt Pesticide means pesticides Federally labelled and is on the Pesticide Control Act Regulation Annex 1 Exempted Pesticide List (Appendix A).
(v) (a) Pest Management Plans. Means a plan that describes:
a program for controlling pests or reducing pest damage using integrated pest management, and;
the methods of handling, preparing, mixing, applying and otherwise using pesticides within the program.

Precautionary Principle. The principle that environmental and human health measures must anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of environmental degradation and impairment of human health, and where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to the environment or human health, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation and the impairment of human health.

Preventative Measures. Management practices that are directed towards preventing the establishment of pests (e.g., site design, generic material, optimal site selection for plant material, proper planting and cultural practices, etc.).

This policy shall apply to all municipal parks and highways held by the Municipality or under the jurisdiction of the Municipality and all the land owned by the Municipality except lands leased to other parties.

5 IPM Program

5.1 Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Is an approach that uses a combination of techniques in an organized program to suppress populations (i.e., weeds, insects, diseases, etc.) In which all necessary techniques are consolidated in a unified program so that pests are kept at acceptable levels in an effective, economical and environmentally sound manner. The components of an IPM program are:

  • Determining Action and Injury Levels
Action level is the level of development of a weed or pest population at a specific site when action must be taken to prevent the population from reaching the injury level.
Injury Level is the point in growth of a weed or pest problem where it will cause an unacceptable impact upon: Public safety, recreation or health; natural and/or manageable ecosystems; economic injury to desirable plants; or the integrity, function or service life of facilities.
  • Selection of Optimal Strategies
Least disruptive of natural controls
Least hazardous to human health
Minimize negative impacts to non-target organisms
Least damaging to the general environment
Best preserves natural or managed ecosystems
Most likely to produce long-term reductions in pest control requirements
Effective implementation is operationally feasible
Cost efficient in the short and long term
  • Timing - applying a treatment action during the most vulnerable time in the life cycle of the vegetation or pest with the least impact on natural predators and/or other non-target organisms.
  • Monitoring - the regular surveying of sites and/or features to understand and identify the location and extent of potential pest management problems.
  • Record Keeping - maintaining written records of specific pest management factors observed during monitoring, information on labour and materials used in implementation of the IPM program, results of pest management ecosystems; aesthetic values; economic injury to desirable plants; or the integrity, function, or service life of facilities.
  • Evaluation - analysis of treatment strategies and pest management plans to determine the effectiveness of the control program. These records are helpful in developing future pest management plans.

5.2 Direct Involvement with Pest Control

  • All departments within the City of Victoria directly involved with managing vegetation and pests will implement and evaluate IPM programs in accordance with the requirements of this policy. The IPM Coordinator may be appointed to manage the program. These IPM programs shall include:
  • A record keeping and monitoring system, to ensure documentation of the target pest, alternative methods that were assessed and/or implemented, type and quantity of pesticide used, site and area of application, certification that notification was made.
  • Maintenance management guidelines, procedures, standard and pest management plans.
  • IPM implementation timetables, strategy and costs.
  • Education and training of Municipal staff.
  • Where possible, a means of notifying and consulting with the local community, in addition to the signage requirements under section 7.

5.3 Design and Development
All departments within the City of Victoria involved with the development, review and implementation of landscape and facility designs will implement and evaluate IPM programs in accordance with the requirements of this policy. These programs shall include:

  • Landscape and facility design and construction criteria and standards that promote cost-effective and ecologically sound management of landscape vegetation and pests.
  • Timetable, strategy and costs of the IPM component of the landscape and facility design.

6 Regulatory Context
The City of Victoria, including all of its departments and contractors, shall comply with all laws, regulations, bylaws and policies that are directly or indirectly related to weed and pest management operations.

7 Notice of Pesticide Use
Any municipal department that uses any pesticides must comply with the notice requirements set out in the current versions of the following publications: "Guidelines for Treatments in Public Use Areas" (produced by the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection) and Sections 6.70 to 6.109 of "Worksafe Book 2: Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, BC Regulation 296/97 as amended by BC Regulation 185/99".

As of September 10, 2002, these publications included the following Notice Requirements:

  • Notices should be constructed in the following manner:
(i) rectangular in shape;
(ii) at least 25 cm by 35 cm when posted in external areas and at least 12 cm by 15 cm when posted in internal;
(iii) rain resistant where applicable;
(iv) with type of letter of sufficient size and clarity to be easily read, together with a symbol of a cautionary raised hand inside a symbol of a stop sign (the stop sign applies to out signs only) or a graphic otherwise approved by the appropriate authority.
  • The notices should contain the following information:
(i) date of application and recommended unprotected re-entry time (if applicable);
(ii) description of area treated, name of pest and common name of pesticide;
(iii) other advice or precautions as appropriate;
(iv) name and telephone number of Service Licensee or responsible individual who applied the pesticides.
  • Interval of Pesticide Notice Posting
(i) where treatment area is greater than 0.8 hectares in size and the access is controlled by a fence or a gate, notices shall be posted on all major public entry points;
(ii) where access is NOT controlled by a fence or gate, notices shall be posted at intervals of no more than 15 m;
(iii) where treatment is less than 0.8 hectares in size, notices should be posted around the perimeter of the treatment area with at least one sign on each side of the perimeter;
  • Notification Timing
(i) notices must be placed 24 hours prior to treatment; and
(ii) should remain not less than 48 hours after treatment.

8 Exemptions
This policy does not apply to any of the following:

(a) exempt pesticides( Appendix A); or
(b) use of a pesticide for the following purposes:

  • in a public pool
  • to purify water intended for the use of human beings or animals
  • inside a building to control or destroy animals or plants that constitute a danger to human beings to control or destroy structure-destroying insects.
  • to control or destroy animals or plants that constitute a danger to the environment or sensitive ecosystems

9 Municipal Contracts
As of ______________, when the Municipal department enters into a new contract or extends the term of an existing landscape or landscape maintenance contract where a pesticide may be used the contractor shall comply with this policy.

10 Conclusions
Environmental stewardship is a shared responsibility requiring the commitment of all Victorians. Pest suppression on public land will be conducted through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.

The endorsement of an IPM policy safeguards our waterways, ecological habitats and urban heritage. The protection of our resources will be encouraged to all members of the community.

Include the following federally-labelled Commercial and Domestic (or Domestic only, as indicated) pesticides:

  • Allethrin - Domestic
  • d-trans-alletrin - Domestic
  • animal repellents - Domestic
  • asphalt solids (pruning paints)
  • beta-butoxy-beta-thiocyano diethyl ether
  • boron compounds - Domestic
  • cleansers
  • deodorizers
  • disinfectants
  • insect bait stations
  • insect repellents - Domestic
  • isobornyl thiocyanoacetate
  • naphthalene - Domestic
  • paradichlorobenzene - Domestic
  • pest pesticides - Domestic
  • plant growth regulators - Domestic
  • polybutene
  • pressurized pesticides - Domestic
  • pyrethrins
  • resmethrin - Domestic
  • rotenone
  • silicon dioxide
  • soaps
  • surfactants
  • swimming pool chemicals
  • tetramethrin - Domestic
  • wood preservatives, not including polychlorophenols (or their salts) and creosote - Domestic