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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Water Protection > Pesticide Management Plan > Pesticide Management Plan Committee > PMPC Meetings > PMPC Notes 2016

Pesticide Management Plan Committee Meeting Notes from 6/25/2015 Meeting

June 30, 2016
Room B145 Orville Freeman Building, Saint Paul, MN

Meeting Notes

PMPC members in attendance:

Roger Becker – UM Extension
David Flakne – Syngenta Crop Protection
Warren Formo – Minnesota Agr. Water Resources Coalition
John MacKenzie – MN Golf Course Sup.
Steve Morse - MN Environ. Partnership
Catherine Neuschler – MN Pollution Control
Deanna Scher – MN Dept of Health
Jill Trescott – Dakota Co. Environmental Mgt

PMPC Members not in attendance: Dick Rossman-MN Dept. of Natural Resources; Michael Ratka-Farmer

Others attending (does not include facilitator or speakers): Dan Stoddard-MDA; Gregg Regimbal-MDA; Gurindebir Chahal-MDA; Philip Monson-MPCA; David Christopherson-MPCA; Bharat Bulyan-PAN; Lex Horan-PAN

Welcome and Introductions
Kevin Cavanaugh, Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) welcomed the participants, reviewed the agenda and the Pesticide Management Plan objectives. Kevin Cavanaugh facilitated the meeting.

Committee meeting information is posted

2015 Monitoring: When, Where, How and What’s New
MDA presenter: Bill VanRyswyk/Matt Ribikawskis

Bill provided general information related to the 2015 groundwater and surface water monitoring effort. Between the GC-MS/MS and the LC-MS/MS analytical methods plus glyphosate, the MDA analyzed for 138 pesticide analytes, including three new analytes that were added to the list (bromoxynil, cyantraniliprole, tolfenpyrad). Groundwater samples were collected from 167 sites across the state generating 248 sample sets. Surface water samples were collected from 82 locations, generating 1,010 pesticide samples (52,869 individual analyses). Bill informed the committee that in an effort to reduce installation and on-going maintenance costs, the MDA moved to a single well with a 10-foot screen set at 7-feet into the water table. The previous well monitoring system of wells seta at 3 or 5-feet straddled the water table, but only one well was sampled during sampling events. The result was that one of the wells often went unsampled.

Matt Ribikawskis reviewed a new layout of the report stating the report summary will appear before the table of contents. Matt added the 2015 report was organized in four sections with a simplified page, table and figure numbering system. Additionally, “non-detections” (nd) will be presented as “<MRL” (method reporting limit) as nd was ambiguous over time when MRLs changed.

Details of the groundwater and surface water monitoring sites, glyphosate monitoring, deep and shallow wells, nitrate and pesticide co-occurrence, precipitation monitoring, Root River Pilot Study, and Wetland Pesticide sampling were discussed.

Review of 2015 Groundwater Monitoring Data
MDA Presenter: Michael MacDonald

Mike reviewed the 2015 detections in groundwater. The summary focused on groundwater “common detection pesticides,” as well as additional detected pesticides including bentazon, clothianidin, imazamox, imidacloprid, metalaxyl, and thiomethoxam. A color code of red for increasing, green for decreasing and white for no change was introduced in reporting pesticides by PMR. The committee liked this new addition as it helped to identify trends more quickly associated with the PMR. Nitrate-nitrogen was found in 189/212 groundwater samples, or 89 percent of all samples.

A question was raised as how far back trend analysis goes back. Mike answered that it looks back 20 years and it does not include nd (no-detections). (Note – The trend analysis work for the MDA groundwater data starts in 2000 and goes through 2015.) Another question raised was at what point analysis (MRL) of new data would trigger a pesticide to be at sensitive level. MDA responded that about 10 years is required for robust data set, but if the MRL were lower MDA could lower the time frame interval. One committee member inquired if Alachlor should be moved off the “common detection” list as its use is not trending. Another committee member responded that due its reduced use, MDA can determine if monitoring for Alachlor could be decreased.

Detection frequency for nitrate-nitrogen was 100 percent in PMR 4, 5, and 9. The maximum amount found was from PMR 4 at 74.2 mg/Liter. One committee member thought this amount was very alarming. Another committee member concurred that high nitrate levels were being found in Dakota County water monitoring. Another committee member suggested MDA create a trending map by PMR region tracking nitrate levels. One committee member suggested that an R-value be affixed to the nitrate-nitrogen graph (2-46) to show the strength of the relationship of pesticides to nitrate-nitrogen.

Review of 2015 Surface Water Monitoring Data
MDA Presenter: Dave Tollefson

Dave led the review of the 2015 pesticides detections in surface water and rainfall sampling. One committee member inquired as to what constitutes a pesticide to become a “Pesticide of Concern.” MDA (Dan Stoddard, Interim Director of PFMD) responded that “Common Detection” is a statutory term whereby the Commissioner of Agriculture determines what pesticides are in common detection in groundwater based on monitoring data. “Pesticide of concern” applies to surface water and is not defined in statute but is included in the Pesticide Management Plan (PMP) The PMP serves as a guidance document for monitoring pesticides in groundwater and surface water of the state and is a requirement of the Pesticide Control Law. For surface water the MDA uses thresholds of 10 percent to 50 percent in analyzing historical data that may trigger specific actions by MDA in development of specific best management practices (BMPs) or increased monitoring. One committee member inquired about chlorpyrifos BMPs. The MDA responded that over 12,000 letters were sent to pesticide applicators reminding them to follow the chlorpyrifos BMPs. One committee member complimented the groundwater and surface water reporting format. Several committee members commented how they liked the graphics and maps of data placed together which helped to visualize the area in the state with the data.

Special Monitoring Studies – 2015
MDA presenters: Matt Ribikawskis, Mike MacDonald, Jeff Paddock, Heather Johnson, Dave Tollefson and Lucy Hunt
An overview of report results were presented that included Root River Pesticide Pilot Project, Neonicotinoid Water Quality Summary 2010-2015, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP), Private Well Pesticide Sampling, 2015 Reconnaissance Study of Pesticide Compounds in Community Public Water Supply Wells, Expanded monitoring in the Beauford Ditch Watershed, and the South Branch Whitewater River fish kill summary. One committee member inquired as to what the cost/sample of the Private Well Project. MDA responded that the MDA List 1 analyses used by the PWPS program during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, which included 22 pesticide analytes, cost $130 per sample. For the 2016 season MDA has changed to a different contract lab capable of testing for 132 pesticide analytes at a cost of approximately $550 per sample. During the MDA/MDH 2015 Reconnaissance Study of Pesticide Compounds in Community Public Water Supply Wells presentation, one committee member asked how wells are selected for testing. MDA responded that MDH selects the wells for testing. Another committee member added, city wells in use are tested and others not in use are skipped. The presentation of the South Branch Whitewater River fish kill generated a lot of discussion. Scientific evidence gathered from the investigation was unable to draw a clear conclusions as to the cause of the fish kill.

2015 New Projects
MDA presenter: Bill VanRyswyk
Bill presented an overview of isxoaflutole (i.e. Balance herbicide) water quality monitoring requirements. In this project, 16 monitoring wells in vulnerable locations will be installed. Additionally, three subsurface drainage tiles will be monitored in the vulnerable test area. The monitoring project will run for five years.

MDA Updates
Pesticide Product Updates – Matt Sunseri
Special Registration Review – Raj Mann

Matt provided a brief update on glyphosate + 2,4-D and dicamba herbicides. Enlist Duo (Dow AgroSciences) is currently registered in Minnesota but a lawsuit with EPA has put it on hold. Roundup Ready II Xtend soybeans (Monsanto-glyphosate +dicamaba) seed may become available in late summer of 2016 in Minnesota. Sufloxaflor (Dow AgroSciences-insecticide) for Minnesota grown crops potatoes, small grains, soybeans was issued a cancellation order by EPA in November of 2015 as it pose danger to pollinators. The EPA has issued a proposal to revoke all chlorpyrifos food tolerances and anticipates a final rule by December of 2016.

Raj informed the committee that MDA’s Special Registration Review of Neonicotinoids is nearly complete. The Commissioner of Agriculture is reviewing the report for final changes.