The summary of responses to the consultation on implementing the EU Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) has been published by Defra.
The consultation was carried out by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive on behalf of Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Scottish Executive, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Mark Phillips, chairman of the Crop Protection Association (CPA) Amenity Group said: "We welcome the consultation report on the UK implementation of the EU Sustainable Use Directive requirements. Some two years ago we faced the prospect of 'banning pesticides in amenity situations', now we have to deliver the best practice requirements, with voluntary controls. The agricultural industry has achieved this over the last ten years, now the spotlight is on amenity. This is the challenge the industry now has to deliver on."
306 responses were received from individuals, the agricultural, amenity and environmental industries, as well as from Local and Central Government.
The Government's response to some of the key areas affecting the Amenity sector is:
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - Organisations such as the Amenity Forum and the Association of Public Service Excellence will be encouraged to promote Best Practice and the uptake of IPM in the amenity sector.
Sales of Pesticides - Distributors will be legally obliged to obtain proof of professional qualifications prior to the sale of pesticides. The deadline for implementation of this restriction is 2015.
Training and certification - Grandfather rights and letters of exemption will be removed. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is likely to be used to bring the affected people in line with the certification system.
Protection of Water - The Government believes that existing water protection measures are adequate. However, the amenity sector has been specifically identified as having scope for improving user practice.
Public Spaces - The Government does not consider it necessary to prohibit the use of pesticides in public spaces or conservation areas. It wants to use existing controls and developing additional voluntary guidance.
Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, said: "We have to protect the public and the environment from harm, and we'll do so by following sound scientific and other robust evidence."
The Government will continue to take a risk-based approach to minimising the potential impacts of pesticides on people or the environment. However, it will take further action if necessary.
Further consultation will take place next summer to ensure that new legislation is in place by November 2011.