Chapter 13 Local Environmental Risk Assessments for Pesticides - LERAP

The EC Groundwater Directive requires arrangements to be made for using certain pesticide productswhen being applied next to water courses such as streams and ponds.

There are three distinct recommendations

1. Local Environmental Risk Assessments for Pesticides - LERAP

For certain pesticides with a buffer zone requirement which are applied via a ground crop sprayer, there is a legal obligation to carry out and record the results of a Local Environmental Risk Assessment For Pesticides. By carrying out and complying with that LERAP, users may be able to reduce the size of buffer zone required.

There is still the option to simply comply with the existing buffer zone, however, you will have to keep records of that decision.

2. Method of measuring the size of the buffer zone

The buffer zone is measured from the top of the bank of the watercourse. This applies to all pesticide products with a buffer zone requirement, which are applied via hand-held or ground crop sprayers.

This means that using:

3. Dry Ditches

The  standard buffer zone for dry ditches is one metre (from the top of the bank).

The LERAP scheme relates only to those products, which have a buffer zone requirement. A LERAP may allow buffer zones to be reduced to an underpinning one metre from the top of the bank if certain criteria can be met. The purpose of a LERAP is to show whether such criteria can be met.

There is currently no requirement to carry out a LERAP when a hand held sprayer or an orchard or hop sprayer is being used.

Not all pesticides that have a buffer zone requirement are eligible for this scheme. Such products are now categorised into two groups:

Category ‘A’ is composed of all products containing organophosphate or synthetic pyrethroid insecticides that have a requirement for a five metre buffer zone. For such pesticides, reducing the size of the buffer zone is not an option because any such reduction may lead to an unacceptable risk. As such no LERAP is required. Users must continue to apply the standard five metre buffer zone.LERAP A





Category ‘B’ is composed of all products which do not contain organophosphate or synthetic pyrethroid insecticides and have a requirement for a five metre buffer Under the new arrangements, only applications using Category ‘B’ products qualify for inclusion within the LERAP scheme.LERAP B




On Golf Courses and Sportsgrounds, there are some pesticides we use in both categories.

The LERAP scheme allows users to take into account three factors. These factors are:

· The size of the watercourse. The principle here is that the impact of spray drift fall out is reduced as the size of the watercourse increases, because of dilution.

· A reduction in the dose applied, thereby reducing the amount of pesticide in spray drift

· Use of low drift spray equipment to reduce the amount of spray drift produced during application

Additionally, Pesticide users now have a legal obligation to keep a written record (which may be computerised) of every LERAP that is carried out.

May I suggest to you the following action

1. get hold of a map of your Golf Course or Sportsground and mark all the rivers, streams, ponds, ditches and dry ditches.

Please mark with different colours:

Looking at this map it will become obvious where the problems are. If you have an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) on your ground, please take special note of this.

2. List all the pesticides you have and whether they have a buffer zone requirement.

For those which have, ask yourself if they are really required to come closer than the five metre buffer zone. If they do not, take a note of this and you have complied with the recommendations.

If you do wish to use any of the pesticides in Category B closer than the 5 metre buffer zone you can

· Use a hand held sprayer to the one metre buffer zone.


Carry out a LERAPS as detailed in the Free DEFRA Brochure:

LERAPs - a Practical Guide PB4168 or obtainable from MAFF Publications Admail 6000 London SW1A 2XX

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Also detailed in the Pesticides Directorate Webpage: Pesticides Directorate recommendations on Buffer Zones (LERAPS)

Please do not ignore this - DEFRA have indicated that failure to comply with these requirements may result in enforcement action (including prosecution). Such action could be taken against individual operators but also or alternatively against farmers and growers or the employers of individual operators as the ultimate ‘users’ of the pesticide.!!!