​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To protect people, fish, wildlife, endangered plants or sensitive crops, pesticide labels may require or recommend buffers (no-spray zones) adjacent to the areas that need protection. These buffers help reduce pesticide exposure, which may occur because of drift or runoff. If fish or other aquatic organisms have been identified as needing protection, a maintained grassy filter strip or some other type of vegetation next to a waterway may also be mandated or recommended on the pesticide label.

In addition to buffers on pesticide labels, there can also be buffers required by state law, or court mandated buffers.

​​​In Oregon, the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos is prohibited within 60-300 feet (depending on application equipment) of bodies of water and other sensitive sites. See the Chlorpyrifos Frequently Asked Questions document​ for more information.​

Chlorpyrifos applications are prohibited:
  • Within 300 feet of sensitive sites or bodies of water, when using aerial application equipment or airblast application equipment (excluding targeted or directed airblast equipment);
  • Within 150 feet of sensitive sites or bodies of water, when using a targeted or directed airblast sprayer, such as a tower sprayer, tunnel sprayer, or an airblast sprayer with anti-drift panels;
  • Within 60 feet of sensitive sites or bodies of water, when using ground equipment (excluding airblast) or applying by chemigation.​
​​The Oregon Department of Forestry enforces certain buffers​ around water bodies, schools, and inhabited dwellings when pesticides are applied by helicopter in forestry settings. These range from 50 feet to 300 feet, depending on the water body (or sensitive site) and pesticide used. 

For more information about these forestry buffers, please contact your local stewardship forester. ​

Because of litigation, the US District Court has mandated interim no-spray buffer zones for certain pesticides around waterways to protect endangered or threatened Pacific salmon and steelhead in Oregon, Washington and California. The mandatory no-spray buffer zones for specific salmon or steelhead-bearing streams are 60 feet for ground applications, and 300 feet for aerial applications.

The interim buffer zones remain in effect for the following pesticides until Endangered Species Act consultations are completed and pesticide specific mitigations are agreed upon by EPA and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Currently, the 2014 court ordered reinstatement of interim buffers apply to the following pesticides:

  • Carbaryl (Sevin)
  • Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban)
  • Diazinon
  • Malathion
  • Methomyl (Lannate)

There are 2004 (from an original court case) interim buffer zones, which are in effect until NMFS Biological Opinions are completed, for the following pesticides:

  • 1,3-dichloropropene (Telone)
  • Bromoxynil (Buctril)
  • Prometryn (Caparol)
  • Racemic metholachlor (older form of Dual)
Buffers for the nine pesticides listed above apply to those streams identified in EPA’s Salmon Mapper. To view the no-spray buffer zones, go to EPA’s interactive map: Salmon Mapper

​​​After EPA and the NMFS agree upon mitigation measures for a specific pesticide, new label language will be posted to EPA’s Bulletins Live! Two​.

Applicators of those products will be directed to the website for information regarding specific requirements for use. These requirements will be enforceable under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). At this time, there are no endangered species bulletins issued for pesticide products in Oregon.​

Resources

Court Order - Washington Toxics Coalition, et al vs. EPA

Court order of case regarding pesticides and water quality regarding endangered species. Court Order - Washington Toxics Coalition, et al vs. EPA
Case background, additional information

SB 1602 Summary - Oregon Department of Forestry

Summary of Senate Bill 1602, including buffer requirements when pesticides are applied via helicopter in forestry settings. SB 1602 summary

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​Contact

Kirk Cook
Pesticide Stewardship Specialist
Phone: 541-841-0074
Main Office
Phone: 503-986-4635
Fax: 503-986-4735
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