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EPA Settles with Freeman and Patrick Wood Products, L.L.C., of Centerville, Ala., for violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

Release Date: 06/20/2006
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – June 20, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Freeman & Patrick Wood Products, L.L.C., located in Centreville, Ala., for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Freeman & Patrick to comply with FIFRA and pay a penalty of $7,500.

The violations at Freeman & Patrick were discovered during an inspection conducted by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries in August 2004. EPA contends it is a misuse of the chromated copper arsenate (CCA) label to treat dimensional wood for a use not listed on the label. CCA is a chemical wood preservative containing chromium, copper and arsenic. In addition, the improperly treated wood is then considered an unregistered pesticide. All facilities that produce pesticides are required to be registered with the EPA. Freeman & Patrick is not registered with EPA as a pesticide-producing facility.

Since December 31, 2003, wood treaters are not allowed to use CCA to treat wood for many residential purposes and the labels to CCA products were changed to show a more restrictive use. This change was a voluntary decision by industry in their efforts to move consumer use of treated lumber products away from wood pressure-treated with arsenic in favor of new alternative wood preservatives.

EPA has emphasized enforcement actions against facilities that illegally treat wood with CCA in an effort to ensure compliance with FIFRA and the new label requirements. While EPA has not concluded that CCA-treated wood poses any unreasonable risk to the public or the environment, arsenic is a known human carcinogen and, thus, the Agency believes that any reduction in the levels of potential exposure to arsenic is desirable.