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EPA settles with Genoa Tree Nursery over worker protection violations

Release Date: 08/11/2009
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149 Perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

Minden, Nev., company faces $5,440 in fines

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined a Minden, Nev.-based ornamental tree nursery for allegedly misusing pesticides contrary to labeling requirements and failing to comply with federal pesticide worker safety laws.

Genoa Tree Nursery misused the pesticides Round-Up Pro, Lontrel, and Amine 4 2,4 Weedkiller during applications in May and June 2008. The company failed to comply with label directions that require it to minimize the risk of exposure by notifying workers and handlers of recent pesticide applications on particular fields, and failed to provide workers with nearest emergency medical care facility information in case of exposure. The EPA fined Genoa Tree Nursery $5,440 for these three violations.

“Notifying employees about potentially harmful pesticide exposure is not just a good idea, it’s the law,” said Katherine Taylor, the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division associate director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Employers of agricultural workers must ensure their employees are provided with information and protections that minimize the risk of potential exposure to pesticides—failure to do so is a serious violation.”

The Nevada Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during a routine inspection in June 2008.

The Worker Protection Standard, part of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, aims to protect workers from occupational exposure to pesticides through the strict enforcement of labeling requirements. The standard contains requirements for the provision of pesticide safety training, decontamination supplies, and emergency medical assistance, as well as the notification of recent pesticide applications, the use of protective equipment, and restrictions on reentry into fields where pesticides have been applied.

For more information on the federal regulation and enforcement of pesticides, please visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ and http//:www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/fifra/index.html. For further information on the Worker Protection Standard, please visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/worker.htm

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