Jump to main content.


Court Ordered Buffers Around Pacific Salmon-Supporting Waters

Quick Resources

Shaded Counties on the map below, are those that support threatened and endangered salmon or steelhead habitat, and in which pesticide use buffers may have been ordered by the court. If you plan to use any of the pesticides subject to the court order in a shaded county YOU SHOULD FIRST READ THE BACKGROUND section. Pesticide users are urged to check this site, before, but close to the time of application of the pesticide, since the buffers may become unnecessary as EPA continues its review of the pesticides subject to the court order.

Map of Buffers Around Pacific Salmon-Supporting Waters - Linked to the interactive map

BACKGROUND

A citizen suit was filed under the Endangered Species Act against EPA by a group of environmental organizations (Washington Toxics Coalition, et al. v. EPA). In response, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued on January 22, 2004, an order that establishes pesticide buffer zones. Buffer zones are areas adjacent to certain streams, rivers, lakes estuaries and other water bodies, in which the court is ordering certain pesticides not be used. Generally, the buffers established by the Court are 20 yards for ground application and 100 yards for aerial application, adjacent to certain "salmon-supporting waters" in Washington, Oregon and California. The order applies to pesticide use in these three states, for any product containing one or more of the pesticides subject to the court order.

The Court Order which became effective on February 5, 2004, defines salmon-supporting waters as certain water bodies below the "normal high water mark" and thus, any buffer should be measured from that normal high water mark. The buffers apply to the waters indicated on our interactive mapper, and to estuaries relevant to each of the salmon and steelhead. An estuary is a water passage where a tide meets a river current.

Failure to comply with the court order is not a violation of the Federal Insecticide and Fungicide Act (FIFRA). Exit EPA disclaimer However, EPA recognizes the legal effect of the Court's order and is providing the information on this Web site and linked sites, to assist pesticide users in understanding the specific provisions of the Court's order.

There are several general exceptions to the buffers in the court order and many pesticide specific variations. You should read the general exceptions to determine if any buffers apply to your use of the pesticides subject to the order.

If the general exceptions do not apply to you, consult our interactive map to determine whether a specific buffer applies to your use of a pesticide, and the waters to which that buffer applies.

Enter our interactive map site to determine how the Court's order applies to a pesticide use you intend to make.

GENERAL EXCEPTIONS

Below are descriptions of specific uses for which there is no buffer for any of the pesticides subject to the court order, and uses where only a one yard buffer applies for any of the pesticides subject to the court order. Also below are specific exceptions that apply to Noxious Weed Control Programs, and Programs Authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

USES FOR WHICH THERE IS NO BUFFER

No buffers apply for the following uses of any of the pesticides subject to the order:

Top of page

USES FOR WHICH THERE IS A ONE YARD BUFFER

A one yard buffer applies for the following uses of any of the pesticides subject to the order:

Top of page

NOXIOUS WEED CONTROL PROGRAMS

Buffers for use of the pesticides for noxious weed control are the same as those indicated for your use area and the specific active ingredient, on the interactive map with the following exceptions:

  1. Application of a pesticide registered for aquatic use, and used to control state-designated noxious weeds as part of a program administered by a public entity, does not require any buffer if:

  2. Application of a pesticide which is not registered for aquatic use, but used to control state-designated noxious weeds as part of a program administered by a public entity, requires only a 15 foot buffer if:

Top of page

PROGRAMS AUTHORIZED BY THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE (NMFS)

Use of a pesticide undertaken as part of a specific agency action (other than EPA's authorization of a pesticide use under FIFRA) as authorized by:

  1. a no-jeopardy biological opinion issued by NMFS that addresses the pesticide's use and effects on a salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), and an incidental take statement issued by NMFS under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) that authorizes the take of listed salmon or steelhead;
  2. a written concurrence by NMFS in a "not likely to adversely affect" determination issued under ESA Section 7(a)(2) that addresses the pesticide's use and effects on a salmon ESU;
  3. an incidental take permit issued by NMFS under ESA Section 10(a) that authorizes the take of listed salmon or steelhead from application or use of the pesticide; or
  4. a limit on the take prohibition of ESA Section 9 with respect to a specific use of a pesticide promulgated by NMFS pursuant to ESA Section 4(d) and incorporated into the salmon 4(d) rule codified at 50 CFR § 223.203.

PESTICIDES SUBJECT TO THE COURT ORDER

If you are planning to use a pesticide in one of the counties shaded in green on the map above, and that pesticide contains one or more of the active ingredients listed below, there may be court ordered buffers that apply to your use of the pesticide. You are encouraged to review the BACKGROUND section above to determine the general exceptions and then to use the interactive map to determine specific buffers the court has ordered and the waters to which those buffers apply. You are encouraged to check this site, before, but close to the time of pesticide application, since the information may change as EPA continues to review the pesticides and certain buffers may no longer be necessary.

1,3-dichloropropene
2,4-D
azinphos-methyl
bensulide
bromoxynil
captan
carbaryl
carbofuran
chlorothalonil
chlorpyrifos
coumaphos
diazinon
diflubenzuron
dimethoate
disulfoton
diuron - crop
diuron - non-crop
ethoprop
fenamiphos
fenbutatin oxide
lindane
malathion
methidathion
methomyl
methyl parathion
metolachlor
metribuzin
naled
oxyfluorfen
phorate
prometryn
propargite
tebuthiuron
triclopyr BEE
trifluralin

Top of page

 

 

Publications | Glossary | A-Z Index | Jobs


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.