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ANZECC Guidelines need an urgent update
Dear Environment Minister, I was recently alerted to a report Pesticides in Australian Waterways Overview (available at http://www.foe.org.au/sites/default/files/Pesticides%20Detections%20in%20Australian%20Waterways.pdf) which found that 186 different pesticides have been detected in thousands of locations across the country. Most alarming is that 96.5% of Agvet Chemicals registered for use in Australia do not have ecological guideline levels published in the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZECC Guidelines). This raises concerns regarding why these chemicals are not being monitored for ecological safe levels and how these dangerous pesticides, if they enter waterways, will be scientifically and legally dealt with. Of concern were: **Imidacloprid - linked to bee die offs and used across Australia; **Diuron - a big problem for the Great Barrier Reef through runoff; and **Bifenthrin - used as termite treatment, but linked to freshwater crayfish kills in Jamison Creek NSW in 2012. Since the ANZECC Guidelines have not been updated since 2000, and a review of them is long overdue. When will the Review be completed and how many of the 186 pesticides listed in Pesticides in Australian Waterways Overview will be granted guideline levels under the updated ANZECC Guidelines? It can also be argued that pesticides already listed within the guidelines, such as Atrazine, Simazine and Glyphosate, need to have their guidelines reviewed as the outdated regulations allow for unsafe concentrations within our waterways as they stand. I look forward to your prompt action on these matters.
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