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Pesticide applicator pays $8,320 for misusing pesticides

Release Date: 05/08/2006
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248, chavez.wendy@epa.gov

(San Francisco, Calif.-- 05/08/2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined a Farmington, New Mex. commercial applicator $8,320 for improperly using registered pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law.

Four Corners Weed Control, Inc. allegedly misused the registered herbicides Krovar I DF and Razor Pro at an oil and gas well site located within the Navajo Nation.

During an application to control weeds, a company employee failed to follow label directions by not wearing proper protective equipment and by entering treated areas before the pesticides had dried. By failing to follow use directions, the employee increased his risk of illness due to pesticide exposure, as well as violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States.

“Companies must ensure their employees comply with all labeling requirements to minimize the potential exposure to pesticides during applications,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Failure to obey these necessary safeguards is considered a serious violation, and can harm the employees and others in the area.”

Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, companies must register the pesticide with the EPA. Among other requirements, federal law requires each commercial applicator to ensure that the registered pesticide is labeled with directions and other information necessary to protect workers, consumers, and the environment, and that applicators comply with labeling directions during pesticide applications.

The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency discovered the violations during a routine inspection in June 2004.

For more information on pesticide regulation and enforcement, please visit the EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/fifra/index.html

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