AN aerial spray operator has copped a $1500 fine for misuse of pesticide near Moree.
The man was fined by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) after an EPA officer witnessed the operator applying pesticides on the southern side of Moree in overcast conditions and with light rain falling.
The label on the pesticides which were being used at the time stated: "Do not apply if rain is expected within 6 hours".
EPA's director of regulatory operations regional North Karen Marler said the February 6 incident was very concerning and that the use of pesticides was undertaken in unsuitable conditions.
"Safe pesticide use relies on users following the label instructions and applying pesticides in appropriate weather conditions," Mrs Marler said.
"Using pesticides according to the stated use conditions is essential to ensure the best outcomes for the environment and people consuming produce."
Mrs Marler said it is essential that operators have a high regard for safety, including the safety of the environment and the local community uppermost in their minds when applying pesticides.
"Spraying during or just before rain has the potential to wash pesticide from the target plants into streams and waterways," she said.
"This can not only render the pesticide application ineffective but place aquatic life at risk and cause water pollution."
Anyone who witnesses the misuse of pesticides is urged to report the incident to the EPA's 24-7 Environment Line on 131 555.