10 Jul 2010

Hazardous substances law review deferred

5:00 pm on 10 July 2010

A review of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act has been deferred for at least another year.

A spokesperson for Environment Minister Nick Smith says the review was considered a priority but had to be put back because of the development of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The spokesperson, Simon Beattie, says the HSNO Act is administered by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), which is to become a part of the EPA.

Mr Beattie says a review will be carried out once the merger is complete, and that is not likely to be until at least next year.

Federated Farmers, veterinarians and agrichemical groups have misgivings about the Act, saying it adds unnecessary compliance costs.

The agrichemical and animal remedy manufacturers body Agcarm says it's understandable the review has been delayed, given the pressures the Government is under with climate change and establishing the EPA.

Chief executive Graeme Peters hopes that in the meantime ERMA will carry on with its work updating aspects of the HSNO regulations, in particular those to do with excluding animal medicines.