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Thank you for taking the time to read the first newsletter from GreenGolfUSA!

Version 1.0 of the IPM Plan

Its been a long time coming, but we have completed Version 1.0 of the IPM Plan and data entry tables at www.greengolfusa.com. We thought it would be simple to create a way for golf course superintendents and turf managers to document their IPM strategies. It wasn't. In fact, it was hard! If it weren't for the great people I have helping me with this effort we would have had a great idea but no way to get there. And, don't forget our Sponsors and Supporters!show_image.php?id=213

What does Version 1.0 mean? We have been working on the IPM Plan tool on a beta-testing basis for the last year. That means we built the programming and developed the output, but still needed to debug the system so that it works each and every time someone uses it. There are about 3,000 variables behind the scenes at GreenGolfUSA. Manipulating the data accurately, designing the data entry forms so that the right information gets put in the right spot, and making sure the output is as customized as we can get it are the hurdles we had to cross to get to a tool I felt we could call Version 1.0.

Each time you create an IPM Plan (or soon, BMP documentation) your document will get labeled with the version number. As we update the output or add functionality to the data entry, we will increment the version number. If your plan has an older version number, all you need to do to keep your IPM Plan current is to "Save and Next" through the data entry pages to confirm they still reflect your practices, diseases, pests, action thresholds, and pesticide usage, then download a new plan! Voila! You're up-to-date! The same will hold true for the BMP Generator (we'll be starting beta testing of that system in the very near future!).

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Regulatory Update

The USEPA is developing a general NPDES permit for the use of aquatic herbicides. Until early this year, no permit was required to apply pesticides to water as long as it was used in accordance with the pesticide label. A decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, on January 7, 2009, vacated the rule that allowed this practice. A draft general permit is expected to be available for public comment in 2010, with the final general permit expected to be required starting in 2011. Some states, such as Washington, already require NPDES permits for aquatic pesticide applications so be sure to check with your state's environmental agency or EnviroLogic Resources, Inc. to find out what is required.

The Oregon DEQ has beefed up its Underground Injection Control (UIC) staff. Another name for UIC is drywell. If you have unregistered drywells, or have drainage pipe that might meet the definition of a drywell under the UIC rules, consider completing the registration process and get in compliance. Click this link for more information. Call EnviroLogic Resources, if you have questions about this program or if you need to respond to DEQ.

The State of Florida and the EPA will be setting water quality criteria for nutrients by January 2010. I believe the state is taking the lead, working with stakeholders, and EPA will be reviewing the standards proposed. This action in Florida is likely only the first. Other states will probably follow suit as time goes on. We posted an earlier report on our blog at GreenGolfUSA.com.

The Oregon Pesticide Use Reporting System was suspended until at least 2016 during the last legislative session. I understand when it comes back, it will require reporting at a watershed scale versus the basin-scale reporting required previously.

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Mind Your "Ps" & "Qs"

Over the last few years the Oregon DEQ has been developing a list of Priority Persistent Pollutants for regulation in Oregon waterways. Increasingly called the "P3 list" by members of the environmental community, this list covers a variety of bioaccumulative compounds including certain plasticizers, fire retardants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and personal care products. Several pesticides used at golf courses are listed on the P3 list. Substances on the list are considered toxic and persist in the environment or accumulate in human, fish, wildlife, or plant tissue with associated health effects. DEQ will add these substances to surface water monitoring priorities and may address them within its water quality programs in the future as part of an agency-wide surface water toxics reduction strategy.

Using existing data, DEQ must report to the Oregon Legislature by June 2010 on the wide variety of P3 sources, and identify source reduction and control methods that can reduce P3 discharges. P3 sources are not exclusive to point (end-of-pipe) and legacy sources of persistent pollutants in Oregon. Non-point P3 sources must also be addressed.

The DEQ began addressing comments on its draft proposal for the selection of "trigger levels" for P3 chemicals. This program has already identified PCNB as a "Tier 2" chemical, meaning that its considered a "legacy" chemical. Legacy chemicals are those that are banned or have otherwise lost registration for use. Some commonly used pesticides on the Tier 3 list include chlorothalanil, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, pendimethalin, triadimefon, trifluralin, and myclobutanil.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT? The P3 list, as currently defined, should not have a direct effect on your operations, unless your storm water runoff enters a municipal sanitary sewer system. But, land and turfgrass application of P3 substances at golf courses in Oregon now may carry an inherent liability.

The "easiest" way to limit the potential for P3 discharges to surface water is by eliminating the use of the chemical altogether. There may be alternative, less-toxic, or natural products or other means that will perform to the desired result. If the use of a certain pesticide cannot be avoided, implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) plan can help reduce the frequency and volume of applied pesticides while maintaining a specified minimum level of performance. Best Management Practices, such as on-site storm-water retention/infiltration, water reuse, and streamside buffering, can also reduce the impacts to nearby surface waters. The results of water quality monitoring and sampling can provide useful information for optimizing turf health while minimizing the impacts to the environment.

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The recession (or slight depression, if you prefer) has affected all of us. Luckily, GreenGolfUSA is a free service. It doesn't cost you anything to document an IPM program. Rick Brandenburg, PhD, in a recent Golf Course Management magazine article talks about how IPM can save you money. I think there are many ways to incorporate Rick's ideas in a GreenGolfUSA IPM Plan to demonstrate savings and have a plan that helps keep costs down.

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Closing Comments

Well, that concludes our first GreenGolfUSA newsletter! I'll work on introducing regulatory updates from other states in future newsletters.

As always, feel free to contact us or EnviroLogic Resources, Inc., if you have questions or comments about GreenGolfUSA, environmental stewardship programs, or need any other help we can provide. Request a copy of our SOQ.

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Thomas J. Calabrese, RG, LHg, CWRE
EnviroLogic Resources, Inc.
Portland, Oregon

Page last modified on Wednesday 30 of September, 2009 18:47:24 PDT