This resource is designed to help land owners identify and manage plants in privately owned water bodies (ponds or tanks). If you are trying to manage nuisance aquatic vegetation in public water you must first submit a Treatment Proposal for review by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), as well as sending out a notice of intent to apply any aquatic herbicide at least 14 days in advance. More information on the treatment proposal process can be found HERE.
Treatment proposals do not need to be submitted for private property management, except when aquatic vegetation is being treated on a non-impounded creek or when prohibited exotic aquatic vegetation is physically removed, in which case a TPWD exotic species permit is required.
You can hire a professional who is licensed to apply herbicides, but if you want to apply herbicides yourself you may still need a TCEQ permit to do so in Texas. Permits are determined by the size of your pond, explained below:
Select the size of your pond to determine if you need a permit…
Level III Operators are not required to have a permit. We recommend that you complete a Self-Certification Form from the Pesticides General Permit TXG870000, and keep it on site.Inspectors from TDA, TCEQ, or EPA occasionally do site visits. That is why we recommend that even though level III applicator does not need to fill out the form or keep it on site, we recommend you do so anyway to avoid potential legal issue.
- You need Level IA operator’s permit to apply restricted use pesticides – which means you must have a license before you can buy them. Level IA Operators are required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) Application Form to obtain coverage under Pesticides General Permit TXG870000. Send the NOI to the address on the form.
- You need Level IB operator’s permit to apply general use pesticides – anyone can buy general use pesticides over the counter without a license. Level IB Operators are required to submit a Self-Certification Form to their TCEQ Regional Office to obtain coverage under Pesticides General Permit TXG870000.
For further explanation of these rules or forms, visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Permit holders should understand the following state law on calculating water areas…
To clarify calculating the threshold for vegetation and algae control and animal pest control use patterns, Part II.A.1.(b)(ii) and Part II.A.1.(b)(iii) of the permit were revised to add the phrase “a treatment area” and now reads as follows:
“(ii) Vegetation and Algae Control- Operators treating a treatment area greater than or equal to 100 acres in water or greater than or equal to 200 linear miles at water’s edge;
(iii) Animal Pest Control- Operators treating a treatment area greater than or equal to 100 acres in water or greater than or equal to 200 linear miles at water’s edge;…”
For vegetation and algae control, and animal pest control the annual threshold is 100 acres or more of surface water or 200 linear miles or more at water’s edge, regardless of whether the operator is treating both sides of a river or stream. These thresholds must be met or exceeded within a treatment area to qualify as Level I.
To calculate the surface acres treated, at least one treatment area must meet or exceed 100 acres. So, if a Pest Management Area (PMA) has two separate lakes that are being treated, the PMA would have two treatment areas. Suppose Lake A is 50 acres and Lake B is 150 acres. The operator treats 20 acres in Lake A and 70 acres in Lake B so the treatment would be 20 acres and 70 acres, respectively. Neither treatment area meets or exceeds the 100 acre threshold so the operator would not be in Level I, regardless of the number of times these acres are treated. However, if the operator treated 125 acres in Lake B this would exceed the annual threshold, putting the operator in Level I.
To calculate the linear miles at water’s edge, the calculation should include the linear extent of the application made at water’s edge within each treatment area, regardless of whether the operator is treating both sides of the river or stream. For example, if each side of a river is treated and the operator treats 12 river miles, the treatment area remains 12 miles, regardless of whether they are treating one side or both sides of the river or stream. At least one treatment area must meet or exceed 200 linear miles. Another example, if an operator has a linear PMA such as a right-of-way that is 100 yards wide, which crosses three (3) waters of the U.S., the operator will have 3 treatment areas, each 100 yards in length. None of the treatment areas meet or exceed the 200 linear miles. The three treatment areas are not added together.
These examples are intended to help the regulated community understand how to calculate treatment size to determine when the annual threshold is met or exceeded