Nurseries & Greenhouses and Irrigation systems

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Nurseries & Greenhouses
Nursery and Greenhouse Highlights

* Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule
* How To Comply With the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, Revised 2005

This page will give you information about environmental requirements specifically relating to the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

* Facts and Figures
* Alternatives to Methyl Bromide
* Best Management Practices
* Information on Potential Use of Unregistered Pesticides with Burlap, Jute, or Hessian Natural Fabric
* Managing Non-Point Source Pollution in Coastal Waters
* Nutrient Management
* Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides

Information from EPA
GreenScaping for Homeowners: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard – GreenScaping encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources.
WaterSense: Certification Programs for Irrigation Professionals – WaterSense began labeling certification programs for irrigation professionals that include water-efficient principles and practices.

Information from states
EZregs Exit EPA – University of Illinois Extension Web site that identifies environmental regulations that pertain to specific agricultural and horticultural operations and practices in Illinois.

Facts and Figures
Nurseries and greenhouses are classified in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code 111 (Crop Production). Nurseries have and Greenhouse are grouped under NAICS Code 1114. NAICS has replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. According to Dun and Bradstreet, an estimated 88,000 U.S. establishments were listed under SIC code 01 in 1996. These businesses are in a separate category on this Web site because their practices differ considerably from those of field crop production.

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Alternatives to Methyl Bromide
Case studies illustrate the fact that materials do exist which can manage pests where methyl bromide is now used. The alternative materials and methods discussed here are not intended to be complete replacements for methyl bromide, but tools which are effective on the pests that are currently controlled by this pesticide. The case studies described here were chosen because of their level of development and availability, and should not be construed to be the only alternatives to methyl bromide:

More information from EPA
Methyl Bromide
Time-Limited Registration of Iodomethane (Methyl Iodide)
Methyl Bromide Alternatives
Methyl Bromide Alternatives for Applicators, Commodity Owners, Shippers, and their Agents (PDF) (68 pp, 464KB, About PDF)

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Best Management Practices
Pollution prevention opportunities for greenhouses include:

* Locating storage facilities for fuel, wood waste, fertilizer, or pesticides far away and contained from any watercourse.
* Locating well water sites on the highest elevation on the property and as far as possible from areas where fertilizer, pesticides, and petroleum products are stored or handled.
* Designing the greenhouse so that it can accommodate efficient drip irrigation systems.
* Planning facilities that can separate and disinfect irrigation or wash water so that the water can be reused.
* Installing closed systems that minimize or prevent leaching from irrigation systems.
* Constructing foundations and floors that permit recovery of leachate, such as lined soil zones and concrete floors.
* Selecting efficient watering systems.
* For outdoor areas, using well-drained gravel keeping impervious pavement to a minimum.

Related publications from the Ag Center
Agricultural Sector Profiles – Sector Notebooks

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Managing Non-Point-Source Pollution in Coastal Waters
EPA specifies management measures to protect coastal waters from sources of non-point pollution.

Management Measures
“Management measures” are defined in section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 (CZARA) as economically achievable measures to control the addition of pollutants to our coastal waters, which reflect the greatest degree of pollutant reduction achievable through the application of the best available nonpoint pollution control practices, technologies, processes, siting criteria, operating methods, or other alternatives.

These management measures will be incorporated by States into their coastal nonpoint programs, which under CZARA are to provide for the implementation of management measures that are “in conformity” with this guidance. Under CZARA, States are subject to a number of requirements as they develop and implement their Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs in conformity with this guidance and will have some flexibility in doing so.

Management Practices
In addition to specifying management measures, EPA also lists and describes management practices for illustrative purposes only. While State programs are required to specify management measures in conformity with this guidance, States programs need not specify or require implementation of the particular management practices described by EPA. However, as a practical matter, EPA anticipates that the management measures generally will be implemented by applying one or more management practices appropriate to the site, location, type of operation, and climate. The practices have been found by EPA to be representative of the types of practices that can be applied successfully to achieve the management measures. EPA has also used some of these practices, or appropriate combinations of these practices, as a basis for estimating the effectiveness, costs, and economic impacts of achieving the management measures.

More information from EPA

* Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters
* Agriculture Chapter Fact Sheet
* Agriculture Chapters Related to Nurseries
— Erosion/Sediment Control Management Measure
— Irrigation Water Management Measure
— Nutrient Management Measure
— Pesticide Management Measure

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Nutrient Management
During all phases of the crop production process, nutrients (e.g., fertilizer, manure, biosolids) can be applied to horticulture crops. Nutrients enhance crop growth by providing essential nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micro-nutrients. Nutrients can be applied directly to the plant or soil surface, incorporated into the soil, or applied with irrigation water through chemigation. Techniques used to apply fertilizer include the following:

* Band placement
* Broadcast application
* Injection
* Addition of fertilizer to irrigation water (fertigation)
* Manure and biosolids

Pollution prevention techniques that can be used to reduce pollution and impacts from nutrient application include the following:

* Application methods that prevent runoff.
* Restricting application in close proximity to surface waters.
* Applying nutrients at agronomic rates to crops/cropland.
* Managing the site to eliminate erosion or reduce the runoff potential.
* Developing and implementing a nutrient management plan.

Related publications from the Ag Center
Agricultural Sector Profiles – Sector Notebooks

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Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides
The Agricultural Worker Protection Standard 40 CFR parts 156 and 170 Interpretive Policy document addresses questions on these regulations that were posed to the Agency by the EPA Regional Offices, State Lead Pesticide Agencies, and the public. This document consists of the previously issued questions and answers on the Worker Protection Standard as well as new ones:

* Interpretation of definition of “nursery” and “greenhouse” (scroll down to 4.17)
* Interpretation of inclusion of “sod/turf growing establishments” (scroll down to 14.14)
* Interpretation of inclusion of “retail facilities” (scroll down to 14.16)
* Applicability to persons “stepping up nursery stock” (scroll down to 14.27)
* Applicability to persons “carrying nursery stock” (scroll down to 14.29)
* Applicability and requirements with respect to potting soil mixtures (scroll down to 14.22)

Related topics
Worker Protection Standard

Related publications from the Ag Center
Nurseries and greenhouses
Worker Protection Standard

More information from EPA
Worker Protection Standard