Jump to main content.


Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): Agriculture-Related Enforcement Cases

The following are agriculture-related enforcement cases pertaining to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Additional related enforcement cases can be found on the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Enforcement Cases page.

The following links are provided for navigation to FIFRA enforcement cases below by year:

EPA Enforcement Cases for 2011
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2010
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2009
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2008
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2007 and Earlier

EPA Enforcement Cases for 2011
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2010
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2009
EPA Enforcement Cases for 2008

EPA Enforcement Cases 2007

EPA Enforcement Cases 2006

EPA Enforcement Cases 2005

EPA Enforcement Cases 2004

EPA Enforcement Cases 2003

EPA Enforcement Cases 2002

EPA Enforcement Cases 2001

EPA Enforcement Cases 1999 and 2000


November 21, 2011

Agrichemical Company To Pay $6,237 Civil Penalty for Failure To File Notice of Imported Pesticide
Douglas Products and Packaging LLC, an agrichemical company in Liberty, Mo., has agreed to pay a $6,237 civil penalty to the United States for failing to provide EPA with a required notice that it had imported a nearly 25-ton shipment of pesticide from China.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the Agency was notified on May 19, 2011, that a 49,537-pound shipment of Drex-PH3 Aluminum Phosphide Fumigant Pellets was being held at the U.S. Customs Port of Entry at Kansas City, Mo., because Douglas Products and Packaging had not filed a Notice of Arrival (NOA) with EPA prior to its importation.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), importers of pesticides must file NOAs with EPA prior to importation of pesticides. Violation of the FIFRA regulation impacts EPA’s ability to track potentially hazardous and toxic pesticide products.

The pesticide involved in this case, aluminum phosphide, is highly toxic. It is commonly used as a fumigant for stored grains.

As part of its settlement with EPA, Douglas Products and Packaging has certified that it is presently in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

Top of Page


November 9, 2011

Oregon Pesticide Vendors Violated Laws Aimed at Protecting Consumers from Mishandling Products
Three Oregon companies violated federal pesticide laws designed to protect consumers, according to three separate settlements with EPA. Nufarm Americas, Inc., Morrow County Grain Growers, Inc. and Grange Cooperative Supply Association will pay $127,000 for selling mislabeled pesticide products in Oregon.

“When pesticides aren't handled properly they can make people sick and harm the environment," said Scott Downey, Manager of EPA’s Pesticide Unit in Seattle. “Companies must label products correctly and according to the law so people can use them safely."

Nufarm Americas Inc. and Morrow County Grain Growers Inc.

Morrow County Grain Growers sold two different Nufarm Americas products with out-of-date labels at their facility in Wasco, Oregon.

Morrow County Grain Growers sold and distributed broadleaf herbicides, Weedone LV6 EC and Weedar 64, with labels lacking important updates to the first aid statements. Nufarm failed to provide the proper labeling to Morrow County Grain Growers for use when repackaging their products. The violations, discovered by an Oregon Department of Agriculture inspector, occurred from 2009 to 2010.
The active ingredient in the pesticides, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, can cause eye irritation and damage the kidneys, thyroid and reproductive organs.

Nufarm has agreed to pay over $60,000 in fines and Morrow County Grain Growers will pay over $10,000.

Grange Cooperative Supply Association

Grange Cooperative Supply Association sold and distributed a pesticide marketed as another similar product at its business in Central Point, Oregon.

The company sold and distributed a product called Super 90—440 Spray Oil and portrayed it as Super 94—440 Spray Oil. These are two different registered pesticides with different concentrations of the same active ingredient.

The violations, discovered by an Oregon Department of Agriculture inspector, occurred in 2010.

The active ingredient in these pesticides, paraffin mineral oil, can cause eye, skin, or upper respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, and respiratory distress.

The company has agreed to pay over $57,000 in fines.

Top of Page


October 11, 2011

Massachusetts and Japanese Companies Settle with EPA for Pesticide Violations
A Wakefield, Mass. company and a company from Nagoya, Japan have agreed to pay a total of $220,000 to settle claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency that they imported, distributed and sold silver-ion based antimicrobial pesticide products in violation of federal pesticide requirements.

According to the settlement filed last week by EPA’s New England office, EPA alleged that Sciessent LLC, formerly known as Agion Technologies Inc., violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, known as FIFRA, between 2006 and 2009 by making illegal claims about these products and by importing them without filing the required reports with EPA. The company supplies silver-ion antimicrobial ingredients to numerous customers who then incorporate the substances into various consumer, commercial, and industrial products to protect the products against deterioration. Under the settlement, Sciessent has agreed to pay a $180,000 penalty over two years based partly on the company’s financial ability to pay.

The other party involved in the settlement is Sinanen Zeomic Co., Ltd., a Japanese company that produces and supplies pesticides to Sciessent. The violations EPA alleged against Sinanen stem from the company’s failure to properly register its Nagoya facility under federal law as a pesticide-producing establishment. To resolve those claims, Sinanen has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty.

Agion was a Delaware corporation that dissolved early in 2011. Sciessent, also a Delaware corporation, is believed to be the corporate successor to Agion and is located at Agion’s former headquarters in Wakefield. Sinanen supplies Sciessent with a number of FIFRA-registered pesticides, specifically the silver-ion based substances used as antimicrobial agents that are the subject of this EPA enforcement case.

In response to EPA’s compliance concerns and, after a February 2009 EPA inspection, the Sinanen facility was registered as a pesticide-producing establishment. Also, Sciessent has made changes to its web-based product claims and is continuing with efforts to ensure that the company’s operations are in full compliance with FIFRA. 

The requirements underlying the violations are intended to protect public health and the environment from unreasonable risks from pesticides. Products that kill or repel bacteria or other microbes are considered pesticides, and must be registered with the EPA before their sale or distribution. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been shown that the substance will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. Consumers should be careful to follow directions for proper use and look for the EPA registration number printed on product labels.

In the past few years, silver-ion antimicrobials have been the subject of several EPA enforcement cases relating, specifically, to entities making public health-based claims in violation of federal law about their products that have silver-ion ingredients. Some of these cases include: Samsung Electronics America Inc. in 2009; VF Outdoor Inc. and Califone International Inc. in 2010; and Logitech Inc. in 2011. 

Top of Page


September 28, 2011

Six New England Companies Settle with EPA for Pesticide Violations
Six companies based in New England that produce pesticide products recently agreed to pay a total of more than $34,000 to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that they failed to properly submit annual production reports to the agency, as required by federal law.

The law that governs pesticide use in the U.S., the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), requires pesticide manufacturers to submit annual production reports to EPA. According to the settlements filed by EPA’s New England office, each of the six companies has failed on at least one previous occasion to properly submit this information.

The companies and what they paid to settle include:

The companies have addressed all violations and have paid their fines. Penalties were based on several factors including the type of violation and size of the business.

This federal pesticide law requires that any company registered as a pesticide producer submit annual production reports to EPA on or before March 1. These reports are the only means that EPA has for obtaining information on the types and amounts of pesticides being produced, sold or distributed both domestically and for export. EPA uses the information to trace ineffective, contaminated or recalled pesticide products, among other purposes.

Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, antimicrobials and other substances and pest control devices used to control insects, weeds or microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

Top of Page


July 12, 2011

Oregon Pesticide Company Agrees To Pay $54,000 for Using Outdated Labeling on Pesticide Products
Today, EPA reached a $54,080 settlement with Orcal, Inc., for numerous violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The settlement follows an Oregon Department of Agriculture inspection of Orcal’s Harrisburg, Oregon facility on February 4, 2009. EPA’s subsequent investigation found that Orcal was using outdated labeling on at least two products they produced. The outdated labeling included directions for use that did not match EPA accepted statements. On at least 52 separate occasions in 2008-2009, Orcal sold, and distributed Orcal Slug & Snail Bait and Southern Ag Snail & Slug Bait with incorrect labeling.

On September 29, 2009, EPA immediately issued a Stop-Sale Order on the products and helped bring the company into compliance.

According to Scott Downey, manager of EPA's pesticide unit in the Seattle office, pesticides must be properly labeled to ensure protection of human health and the environment.

“EPA is very concerned with ensuring that labeling in the marketplace matches language accepted by EPA in their label review process,” said EPA’s Downey. “When registrants do not keep their labels up-to-date it undermines the efforts EPA takes to ensure public safety.”

Orcal, Inc. is a manufacturer of slug and snail bait, lime sulfur, and liquid fertilizers that service the agricultural community.

Top of Page


February 22, 2011

Missouri Firm Agrees To Pay $12,480 Penalty for Failure To Have Proper Authorization To Repackage Herbicide
Central Elevator, Inc., an agrichemical firm in Lincoln County, Mo., has agreed to pay a $12,480 civil penalty for failing to have proper written authorization from E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc., (DuPont) to repackage and sell DuPont’s Steadfast herbicide.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, Del., had a contract repackaging and label authorization agreement with Central Elevator, Inc., that was effective from November 2005 through September 2006. In May 2009, however, an inspector from the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of Central Elevator’s facilities at Silex and Olney, Mo., and collected documentation that the Missouri company had been repackaging Steadfast for sale to its customers, without a legally required repackaging and label authorization agreement.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a repackager of a pesticide such as Central Elevator must have written authorization with a pesticide’s registrant, and must meet certain other conditions, to allow the repackager to repackage pesticide products without obtaining its own new registration. Without an authorization agreement in place, repackaged products are legally considered to be unregistered. Without such agreements, a registrant cannot ensure the safety or integrity of its product. Unregistered and misbranded pesticide products may pose risks to human health and the environment, because neither the safety of the product nor directions for its safe and proper use has been verified.

Central Elevator obtained a repackaging agreement with DuPont shortly after the violation was discovered by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

In a separate but related administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in December 2010, DuPont agreed to pay a $15,600 civil penalty to settle its violation of FIFRA regulations.

Top of Page


February 14, 2011

Large Fine for Hawaii Corporation for Pesticide Violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined the Marukai Corporation in Honolulu $222,030 for selling and distributing unregistered pesticides and improperly labeled pesticide devices.

EPA found that Marukai sold 37 different household products at the company’s retail outlets including kitchen and bathroom cleaners, detergents, and other home care products that claim to kill insects, germs or bacteria and were not registered. In addition, two roach trap products were mislabeled and did not have directions for use. The violations were discovered through an inspection conducted by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Branch in 2008.

“This action is part of EPA’s effort to protect our families from pesticide products that are not approved by the federal government,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “To use them safely in homes, these products must have proper instructions that let buyers know what precautions to take.”

The company will also be required to have its managers, supervisors and purchasing agents at all stores complete a basic training course covering all of EPA’s pesticide rules and regulations and after completing the initial training, receive yearly refresher training once a year. The company will also need to certify to the EPA that the employees have successfully completed the training and refresher courses.

“Consumer products claiming to disinfect, kill, or control germs and pests, including home care products, must be registered as pesticides,” said Dean Higuchi, Hawaii Press Officer for the EPA’s regional office. “Retailers need to ensure the products they sell have the required labeling to limit risks to public health and the environment.”

Top of Page


January 13, 2011

Massachusetts Company Fined for Pesticide Violations
A Billerica, Mass. company has agreed to pay $526,500 in civil penalties to settle allegations by EPA that it distributed and sold an unregistered pesticide and imported pesticides and pesticide devices without submitting the required forms to the EPA, in violation of federal environmental law. This is one of the largest settlements in an EPA pesticide law case in New England.

In the complaint filed Sept. 30, EPA’s New England office alleged that Millipore Corporation imported pesticides (chlorine tablets) for distribution or sale on numerous occasions without submitting the “Notice of Arrival” forms required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The complaint also alleged that Millipore imported pesticide devices used for water purification on numerous occasions without submitting the required forms. EPA alleged that the violations occurred from Sept. 2005 to Oct. 2008.

Under the settlement announced by EPA, Millipore must pay the penalty, but will not admit to any liability for the violations. Since first becoming aware of EPA’s concerns, Millipore has stopped importing the unregistered chlorine tablets and, according to the information available to EPA, has since imported the pesticide devices in compliance with applicable FIFRA regulations.

Under FIFRA, all pesticides used and sold in the U.S. are required to undergo a rigorous, science-based review process to ensure that they can be used safely and do not pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. Importers of pesticide products must provide data to EPA regarding pesticides or devices that may be entering the U.S. prior to their import.

The Notice of Arrival forms provide important information to EPA regarding pesticides and pesticide devices entering the country including, for example, the major active ingredients, quantities, countries of origin, identity of producing establishments, carriers, ports of entry, and contact information.

Top of Page


December 20, 2010

DuPont Agrees To Pay $15,600 Civil Penalty for Failure To Properly Authorize Missouri Company To Repackage Herbicide
E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc., (DuPont) has agreed to pay a $15,600 civil penalty for failing to have proper written authorization for a Missouri agrichemical company to repackage and sell DuPont’s Steadfast herbicide.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, Del., had a contract repackaging and label authorization agreement with Central Elevator, Inc., that was effective from November 2005 through September 2006.

In May 2009, however, an inspector from the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of Central Elevator’s facilities at Silex and Olney, Mo., and collected documentation that the Missouri company had been repackaging Steadfast for sale to its customers, without a legally required repackaging and label authorization agreement.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a registrant of a pesticide such as DuPont must have written authorization with a repackager, and must meet certain other conditions, to allow the repackager to repackage pesticide products without obtaining its own new registration. Without an authorization agreement in place, repackaged products are legally considered to be unregistered.

Without such agreements, a registrant cannot ensure the safety or integrity of its product. Unregistered and misbranded pesticide products may pose risks to human health and the environment, because neither the safety of the product nor directions for its safe and proper use have been verified.

Central Elevator obtained a repackaging agreement with DuPont shortly after the violation was discovered by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Top of Page


November 2, 2010

Pesticide Distributors in Washington State Fined over $35,000 for Illegal Imports and Mislabeled Products
Three pesticide distributors working in Washington State will be fined over $35,000 for mislabeling products and importing illegal pesticides, according to EPA orders.

Skyline Chemical, LLC, Axss USA, and Pace International will pay penalties for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Skyline failed to follow proper pesticide registration and labeling rules, which could increase risks associated with the handling and use of these pesticides. In the cases of Axss USA and Pace International, EPA inspectors in Seattle identified the unlabeled pesticides during inspections of containers that arrived from China.

All pesticides must be appropriately labeled to legally enter the U.S. Unlabeled pesticides can pose a great risk to those involved in their transport and storage, especially during spills.

“EPA continually monitors pesticide imports for correct labeling because unlabeled products can be dangerous and really harm people,” said Scott Downey, Pesticide Manager in EPA’s Seattle office. “Companies that sell and distribute mislabeled pesticides risk steep fines.”

Skyline Chemical, LLC: The company sold and distributed unregistered and misbranded pesticides, produced pesticides in an unregistered facility, and failed to report the amounts of pesticides produced each year. These violations greatly increase the risk posed to distributers and users because the pesticides were not traceable to their source. EPA identified the violations based on an inspection conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture in 2008 at the Skyline Chemical facility in Farmington, Washington. EPA is fining the company $24,960.

Axss USA: On June 3, 2010 and June 25, 2010, EPA inspected a shipment of the company’s Axss USA 2,4-D Acid Technical, a commonly used broadleaf herbicide. The shipment was targeted because of prior import compliance violations. The inspectors found that the product was missing all the required pesticide labeling. EPA is fining the company $5,760. Axss USA is based in Greeley, Colorado and was importing pesticides through the Port of Seattle.

Pace International: On July 13, 2010, EPA inspected a shipment of Pace International’s Chlorpropham 98% Technical, a product used to control the sprouting of potatoes in storage. EPA found that the product was also missing the entire pesticide label and is fining the company $4,800. Pace International is based in Seattle.

Top of Page


November 1, 2010

Four Affiliated Missouri Pesticide Companies Agree to Penalties for Selling Unregistered or Sales-Restricted Pesticide Products
EPA Region 7 has reached a civil settlement with four affiliated Missouri pesticide companies and two of their owner-managers in which the businesses will pay a consolidated $51,850 penalty for allegedly violating federal pesticide regulations in 2005 and 2008. By the agreement, the respondents will also pay a separate $22,712 civil penalty that had gone unpaid by one of the firms since a previous EPA enforcement action in 2005.

FRM Chem, Inc.; Advanced Products Technology, Inc.; Synisys, Inc.; and Custom Compounders, Inc.; all of Union, Mo., and owner-managers Keith G. Kastendieck and Karlan C. Kastendieck, are the respondents in a consolidated consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan.

Separate amended complaints against the respondents were filed by EPA in June 2009, alleging that the four companies held for sale or distribution, or distributed or sold one or more unregistered pesticides, all in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The separate complaint against FRM Chem, Inc., alleged that FRM also sold or distributed pesticides in violation of a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO).

The settlement announced today resolves the allegations from those complaints, which were based in part on inspections conducted by the Missouri Department of Agriculture in December 2005 and October 2008.

EPA’s subsequent review of records from the companies and some of their customers showed that between December 2005 and November 2008, on at least 77 occasions, the respondents sold quantities of the unregistered pesticide products FRM Chlor 1250, Steri-Dine Disinfectant, and Sodium Hypochlorite Solution. The review also showed that on at least two occasions, in October and November 2008, FRM Chem, Inc., sold quantities of FRM Chlor 1250 after a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order had been issued against the product.

Besides agreeing to pay a $51,850 civil penalty for those violations, the respondents also agreed to pay a previously unpaid $22,712 civil penalty that was brought against FRM Chem, Inc., in 2005 for selling an unregistered and misbranded pesticide product known as Root Eater in 2002.

Top of Page


October 4, 2010

North Carolina Producer and Wisconsin Distributor To Pay Civil Penalties for Selling Misbranded Lawn Herbicide-Fertilizer
A North Carolina manufacturer and registrant for the herbicide Barricade (prodiamine), and a Wisconsin company that served as an authorized distributor of a fertilizer product containing the herbicide, have agreed to pay civil monetary penalties to the United States to settle allegations that they sold a misbranded pesticide and altered labels on the pesticide product.

Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., of Greensboro, N.C., will pay a civil penalty of $9,152, and Eau Claire Co-op Oil Company, Inc., of Eau Claire, Wis., will pay a civil penalty of $6,864, according to separate but related administrative consent agreements filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan.

Syngenta is the official EPA registrant for Prodiamine Pro F 0.38% Herbicide. Eau Claire Co-op Oil is an authorized supplemental distributor of the herbicide in a herbicide-fertilizer product marketed as Award Turf Fertilizer with 0.38% Barricade.

During an inspection of a Missouri lawn care business in March 2010, a representative of the Missouri Department of Agriculture found bags of Award Turf Fertilizer with 0.38% Barricade that bore conflicting stick-on labels for the percentage of active ingredients. The stick-on labels also partially covered the directions for the product’s safe and proper use.

The bags containing the misbranded product and bearing the altered labels were produced by Eau Claire Co-op Oil Company. Eau Claire Co-op Oil Company’s distribution of those bags of herbicide-fertilizer product constituted a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Syngenta was also in violation because it was the registrant and Eau Claire was its supplemental distributor for the pesticide.

The sale or distribution of misbranded or mislabeled pesticides can pose serious risks to human health, plant and animal life, and the environment. Without proper labeling or safety instructions on packaging, users can unintentionally misapply pesticides and may not have adequate information to address needs for first aid in the event of emergency.

Through their approvals of the respective settlements, Syngenta and Eau Claire Co-Op Oil Company have both certified that their operations are now in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

Top of Page


July 30, 2010

Order Issued To Stop Sale and Distribution of Tainted Warthog 2 EC Herbicide
EPA Region 7 has issued an order to HPI Products, Inc., of St. Joseph, Mo., directing the company to immediately halt the sale or distribution of its supplies of Warthog 2 EC, following reports that a tainted batch of the herbicide distributed by the company damaged 8,000 acres of soybeans near Beattie, Kan.

Under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), similar Stop Sale, Use or Removal Orders (SSUROs) have also been issued by EPA to the pesticide’s registrant, J. Oliver Products, LLC, of Hernando, Miss.; and to Pony Express Warehouse, in St. Joseph, Mo., which received distribution of the product from HPI Products.

During the week of July 12, the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) responded to multiple complaints from farmers near Beattie, Kan. The farmers indicated their soybean crops sustained damage from the recent use of Warthog 2 EC that was purchased from Frontier Chemical, Inc., a dealership in Beattie. KDA then conducted an inspection of Frontier Chemical to collect records and product samples.

On July 20, the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) conducted an inspection of HPI Products, 317 West Florence Road, in St. Joseph, to collect sales records and samples of Warthog 2 EC. Further investigation showed that samples of Warthog 2 EC taken from stocks at HPI Products appeared to be tainted with another herbicide, Dicamba.

Warthog 2 EC is commonly used to control annual and perennial grasses among a wide range of field crops, including soybeans, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Dicamba is used to control broadleaf weeds in a variety of settings, and can be harmful to soybeans and other legumes.

KDA has placed a state SSURO on Warthog 2 EC at Frontier Chemical in Beattie, Kan.; and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) has placed its own SSURO on the product at J. Oliver Products, LLC, in Hernando, Miss.

EPA has encouraged J. Oliver Products to consider issuing a broad recall of any quantities of the product that it may have already distributed.

Top of Page


July 13, 2010

Mississippi Company To Pay $4,082 Civil Penalty for Aerial Pesticide Application Drift to Public Trail in Decorah, Iowa
A Mississippi company has agreed to pay a $4,082 civil penalty to the United States for an August 2009 incident in which a liquid pesticide that it sprayed over an Iowa corn field drifted to an adjacent public use trail, causing several trail users, including members of a high school cross country running team, to complain of skin and eye irritation.

Custom Air, LLC, of Louisville, Miss., was hired to spray Quilt fungicide over 120 acres of corn in a field owned by Jeff Sanderman, of Decorah, Iowa, on August 12, 2009, according to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan. The field is situated immediately adjacent to the Trout Run Trail, an eight-mile public trail for bicyclists, walkers and runners that circles the city of Decorah.

Several people who were on the trail on the day of the field application, including at least five members of the Decorah High School cross country team, later told a state investigator that they had been sprayed multiple times by a helicopter flying overhead near the field. The students reported various symptoms, including burning or stinging eyes, worsened allergies, and a bad taste in the mouth. None of the runners sought medical attention.

An investigation by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship confirmed that samples of vegetation taken along the trail adjacent to Sanderman’s field were contaminated with residue from Quilt fungicide. The investigation also confirmed that weather conditions near Decorah on the day of the application by Custom Air, LLC, were conducive to pesticide drift.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) prohibits the aerial application of registered pesticides such as Quilt in ways that will result in human contact, either directly or through drifting. EPA-approved product labeling for Quilt notes that the pesticide can cause substantial but temporary eye injury and is harmful if swallowed.

“EPA wants all aerial applicators operating in Region 7 to know that the Agency and its state partners will respond to complaints about pesticide drift, and where appropriate, enforcement actions will be taken,” Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “It’s easy to see how incidents of this type, occurring near a well-used public area, carry the potential for serious outcomes.”

As part of its settlement with EPA Region 7, Custom Air has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA and all of its regulations.

Top of Page


July 8, 2010

EPA Fines Monsanto for Distributing Misbranded Genetically Engineered Pesticide
EPA announced that Monsanto Company Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri, has agreed to pay a $2.5 million penalty to resolve misbranding violations related to the sale and distribution of cotton seed products containing genetically engineered pesticides. This is the largest civil administrative penalty settlement ever received under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

"This agreement shows that when a company violates the law by distributing misbranded pesticides, EPA will take action," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The regulated community should understand that we take these violations seriously, and the public will accept nothing less than compliance.”

“People who manufacture and distribute pesticide products must follow the federal registration requirements,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “These requirements are critical to preventing the development and spread of insect resistance.”

Monsanto Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton seed products contain genetically engineered pesticides known as plant incorporated protectants (PIPs), which are registered as a pesticidal product under FIFRA. As a condition of the registrations, EPA included planting restrictions on Bollgard and Bollgard II, which contain the PIP Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). EPA restricted planting of the cotton seed product in 10 Texas counties (Carson, Dallam, Hansford, Hartley, Hutchison, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Roberts and Sherman) to protect against pests becoming resistant to Bt PIPs and other microbial products used in sprays and dusts. Monsanto was required to control the sale and distribution of the cotton seed by including information on the planting restrictions in its labeling and grower guides.

In 2007, Monsanto disclosed to EPA that it had distributed misbranded Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton seed to customers in the Texas counties where EPA had restricted its planting. EPA’s subsequent investigation confirmed that between 2002 and 2007, the company distributed or sold the cotton products more than 1,700 times nationwide without the planting restrictions in its grower guides and that Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton was planted in the restricted counties.

Monsanto subsequently corrected the grower guides by including the required planting restriction for the Bollgard and Bollgard II products. In September 2008, EPA lifted the planting restriction in the 10 Texas counties for Bollgard II, after Monsanto applied for a change in the registration of that product.

Top of Page


June 10, 2010

Manufacturer To Pay $3,568 Civil Penalty for Failure To Properly Label and Advertise Pesticide Product
A Kansas City, Mo., pesticide manufacturer has agreed to pay a $3,568 civil penalty to the United States for failing to properly label a restricted use pesticide, and failing to identify the product as a restricted use pesticide in advertising messages.

Douglas Products and Packaging, 1550 East Old 210 Highway, in Kansas City, Mo., was cited for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), according to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan.

As part of its settlement with EPA Region 7, the company has agreed to hire a third-party environmental compliance auditor, at a cost of $25,000, to perform periodic compliance audits on its products twice a year. The compliance audits are scheduled to begin in July 2010.

In September 2008, the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of Douglas Products and Packaging’s facility in Liberty, Mo., and found that it was holding for sale or distribution a quantity of Sanafoam Vaporooter II that was misbranded. The product was considered misbranded because its labeling did not include EPA-required language about hazards to humans, animals and the environment; information about environmental use precautions, and requirements about protective clothing and equipment. Later, in August 2009 and February 2010, in advertising that appeared in trade industry publications and on its company website, Douglas Products and Packaging failed to identify Sanafoam Vaporooter II as a restricted use pesticide, as required under FIFRA.

Sanafoam Vaporooter II is a herbicide product most commonly used to control tree and plant roots that penetrate buried sewer and utility lines. Through the settlement, Douglas Products and Packaging has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

Top of Page


June 4, 2010

Kansas City Pesticide Manufacturer To Pay $6,000 Civil Penalty for Importing Misbranded Pesticide from Argentina
PBI-Gordon Corporation, a Kansas City, Mo., pesticide manufacturer, has agreed to pay a $6,000 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations related to the importation of more than 147 tons of a misbranded pesticide from Argentina.

According to a consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan., PBI-Gordon Corporation violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by importing a 294,880-pound shipment of the misbranded pesticide 2,4-D Acid to Kansas City in June 2009. The shipment consisted of 152 bags of the pesticide, each containing 1,940 pounds of technical grade 2,4-D Acid, which the company uses to manufacture other pesticide products. Under FIFRA, the bags were considered to be misbranded because they did not have required labeling that must include directions for safe and proper use and handling.

“It is important that the most recent, up-to-date labels are used on all pesticide products so that people who process, package and use them have critical information at their fingertips regarding first aid, environmental hazards and directions for use,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Regional Administrator. “Companies that import pesticide products from foreign countries must be sure that those products comply with FIFRA, including the use of proper labeling.”

As part of the consent agreement, PBI-Gordon Corporation has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

Designated as a herbicide, 2,4-D is used in many products to kill weeds, often in mixtures that contain other herbicides. It comes in several forms, including salts, esters and acids, according to the National Pesticide Information Center.>

Top of Page


May 5, 2010

Iowa Agrichemical Company To Pay $27,360 Civil Penalty for Alleged Importation of Misbranded Pesticide from Argentina
Albaugh, Inc., an agrichemical company based in Ankeny, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $27,360 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations related to the importation of nearly 1,000 tons of misbranded pesticide from Argentina.

According to a consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan., Albaugh violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by importing a total of 1,990,440 pounds of the misbranded pesticide 2,4-D Acid to the Kansas City Port of Entry during March and April. The six shipments, comprising a total of 1,026 bags of the pesticide, were delivered to Albaugh’s facility at 4900 Stockyards Expressway, in St. Joseph, Mo. Under FIFRA, the bags were considered to be misbranded because they did not have required labeling that must include directions for the safe and proper use and handling of the pesticide. Albaugh was ordered to hold the material until it was relabeled with the correct information.

As part of the consent agreement, Albaugh has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

Designated as a herbicide, 2,4-D is used in many products to kill weeds, often in mixtures that contain other herbicides. It comes in several forms, including salts, esters and acids, according to the National Pesticide Information Center.

Top of Page


April 14, 2010

Texas Company Fined $128,300 for Violating Federal Pesticide Law
The President and Chief Executive Officer of a Texas pesticide producing company agreed to settle a complaint brought by EPA for violating a federal pesticides law designed to provide proper registration, distribution and sale of pesticides, EPA announced today.

J. Wade Bowman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Voluntary Purchasing Groups, Inc. (VPG) of Bonham, Texas, agreed to the settlement agreement after the company was found in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, also known as FIFRA. According to the complaint, VPG distributed and sold a registered pesticide whose composition was different from its registration, and distributed and sold unregistered and/or misbranded pesticides including Hi-Yield 5% Malathion Dust, Ferti-Lome Come and Get It! Fire Ant Killer, Hi-Yield Dusting Wettable Sulphur, Ferti-Lome Dormant Spray and Summer Oil Spray, Natural Guard Lawn, Plant & Pet Insect Spray, and Hi-Yield Kill-A-Bug II.

“Assuring the safety of chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies is one of our highest priorities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “Consumers need proper information to ensure they are using pesticides safely and correctly. Improper labeling can result in harm to public health and the environment.”

EPA inspectors, joined by staff from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) conducted an inspection at VPG’s Bonham facility on July 27, 2008. The inspection was conducted as a result of several referrals from other EPA regions regarding VPG pesticide products being distributed and sold in violation of FIFRA. EPA and TDA inspectors collected copies of documents from VPG and verified the alleged violations.

Top of Page


March 3, 2010

Agricultural Merchant To Pay $14,560 Civil Penalty To Settle Allegations of Unauthorized Repackaging of Four Pesticides
A Missouri agricultural merchant has agreed to pay a $14,560 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it repackaged and sold four different pesticides without proper authorization at its facility in Waverly, Mo., in 2008.

According to a consent agreement filed this week in Kansas City, Kan., Bartlett Grain Company, LLC, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., was found to be in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as a result of an inspection of its Waverly facility by the Missouri Department of Agriculture in November 2008. The inspection and subsequent review of records revealed that the business distributed or sold repackaged forms of the pesticides Medal II; Atra-5; Lo-Vol 4 2,4-D; and Parallel; all without having prior written authorization from the legal registrants of those products, as required by FIFRA.

As a result of the enforcement action, Bartlett Grain has since obtained the necessary written authorizations for all pesticide products that it repackages at the Waverly facility.

Top of Page


December 21, 2009

Southwest Missouri Pet Supply Dealer To Pay $56,632 Penalty for Re-Labeling, Selling Misbranded Cattle and Hog Insecticide
A southwest Missouri pet supply dealer has agreed to pay a $56,632 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by repackaging, relabeling and selling an insecticide meant for use on cattle and hogs as a flea and tick treatment for dogs.

Hunte Kennel Systems and Animal Care, Inc., of Goodman, Mo., will pay the civil penalty under terms of an administrative consent agreement filed today by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan. The allegations stem from findings made by the Missouri Department of Agriculture during October 2006 inspections of the company's facilities in Goodman and Buffalo, Mo. The inspections found that the company had bottled the pesticide Prolate/Lintox-HD into different packaging and sold it as another pesticide, Paramite. During the inspections, the company was ordered to immediately stop selling the repackaged pesticide.

Prolate/Lintox-HD is formulated for use in the control of flies, lice, mange and ticks on cattle, and for the control of lice and mange on swine. Paramite is no longer manufactured as a flea and tick treatment for dogs.

Top of Page


November 18, 2009

Three Northwest Companies Fined for Violating Federal Pesticide Laws
Three companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are the target of enforcement actions for their failure to follow federal pesticide laws, according to orders issued by EPA. J.R. Simplot Company of Boise, Idaho; Agricare of Amity, Ore.; and Northwest Agricultural Products of Pasco, Wash. violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) at their respective facilities, according to the EPA.

"Companies that produce pesticides but fail to register their facilities or submit required reports are not only operating illegally, but also pose a safety hazard to the public," said Scott Downey, manager of EPA's pesticide unit in the Seattle office. "Knowing where pesticides are produced provides vital information to EPA and to responders in the event of a spill or natural disaster."

J.R. Simplot Company is being fined $28,080 for failing to register two pesticide facilities. A facility in Grafton, N.D. owned and operated by J.R. Simplot produced three pesticides in 2008 but inactivated its registration in 2002 and did not register until 2009, according to an EPA order. Facilities must be actively registered with EPA to produce pesticides. An additional facility in Moorhead, Minnesota produced six pesticides in 2008, but was inactivated in 1996 and did not reactivate until 2009. These violations were processed through EPA Region 10 because the J.R. Simplot Company headquarters is located in Idaho.

Agricare is being fined $2,160 for failing to register a pesticide facility. The facility in Amity, Ore. produced a pesticide in 2008, but did not register until 2009, in violation of FIFRA.

Northwest Agricultural products is being fined $1,280 for failing to submit yearly reports on time that document the types and amounts of pesticides produced and distributed. These reports are due March 1 for the previous calendar year. The company submitted its report for 2006 on March 6, 2007. For 2008 it submitted its report on July 17, 2009.

Top of Page


November 3, 2009

EPA Takes Enforcement Action Against Agricultural Products Distributor for 21 Violations of Federal Pesticide Law
EPA has fined a California-based national distributor of agricultural products, the Wilbur-Ellis Company, $99,600 for 21 alleged violations of federal pesticide law. The case was the result of investigations conducted by regulators in Arizona, Idaho, Navajo Nation, Ft. Mojave Indian Tribe, and EPA’s Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regional Offices.

"Through the cooperation of several regulatory agencies, we were able to bring to the attention of this large corporation some serious problems," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. "Failure to include personal protective equipment requirements on a label for a highly toxic pesticide is a serious violation of federal pesticide laws."

Following a Fort Mojave Indian Tribe inspector’s discovery of a pesticide product with a single page copy of a label which appeared to be missing several key safety elements, EPA requested that Arizona conduct an inspection of Wilbur-Ellis Company.  In 2007, Arizona Department of Agriculture investigators found that the Wilbur-Ellis facility in Ehrenberg, Arizona was distributing and selling a misbranded pesticide, in violation of federal law. A separate inspection in 2008 by Arizona Department of Agriculture investigators found that Wilbur-Ellis was distributing a minimum risk pesticide with a label that failed to meet the regulatory requirements.

Navajo Nation EPA, Idaho Department of Agriculture and U.S. EPA inspectors found the following significant violations:

The Wilbur-Ellis Company has agreed to pay the fine to resolve this enforcement action.

Top of Page


October 7, 2009

Six New England Companies Settle with EPA for Pesticide Violations
Six New England companies that produce pesticide products recently settled with EPA for failing to properly submit annual production reports, as required by federal law. The law that governs pesticide use in the U.S., the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), requires pesticide manufacturers to submit annual production reports to EPA. An EPA review concluded that each of the six companies has failed to properly submit this information.

The six companies are: Roebic Laboratories Inc. of Orange, Conn.; NIAF Corp. of Framingham, Mass.; Seaman Paper Co. of Massachusetts, Inc. of Otter River, Mass.; Tropical Products, Inc. of Salem, Mass.; BioDefense Corp of Boston, Mass.; and Elm Research Institute of Keene, N.H. The companies have addressed all violations and must pay fines ranging from $150 up to $7,650. Penalties were based on several factors including, among other things, the type of violation, the size of business, and the financial ability to pay a penalty.

Section 7 of FIFRA requires that each registered pesticide producing establishment submit annual production reports to EPA on or before March 1st. These reports are the only means that EPA has for obtaining information on the types and amounts of pesticides being produced, sold or distributed both domestically and for export during the year. EPA uses the information to trace ineffective, contaminated or recalled pesticide products, among other purposes.

Top of Page


October 2, 2009

EPA Announces Settlement with Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture for Pesticide Misuse and Worker Protection Standard Violations
EPA recently settled with the Crop Protection Program of the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture (PRDA). After three years of investigations conducted by EPA, in conjunction with partnering agencies, some of the program’s activities were found to be in violation of the federal pesticide law known as the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The program has agreed to make a number of improvements to meet worker protection requirements and to ensure that during commercial applications at farms throughout Puerto Rico, pesticides are used in a manner that is consistent with labeling requirements.

"EPA wants to stress that worker protection should be the utmost priority when dealing with pesticides," said Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. "By entering into this agreement, we are putting others on notice that EPA is out there enforcing these requirements and that workers must be educated on and protected against potentially harmful pesticides."

Worker protection provisions of FIFRA are designed to reduce the risk of illness or injury resulting from agricultural field workers’ occupational exposure to pesticides. They regulate pesticide use and require that workers and pesticide handlers be given appropriate training, equipment and information. Workers may be injured from direct spray, drift or residue left by pesticide applications; handlers face additional risks from spills, splashes, inhalation and inadequate protective equipment.

In September 2008, EPA filed a complaint against the Crop Protection Program for being in violation of the worker protection provisions of FIFRA. The program has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $31,000. Additionally, as part of its commercial application practices, it has agreed to use metering devices and use a less toxic, registered pesticide instead of the more toxic pesticide that is currently being used. This will ensure better incorporation of the pesticide into the soil, reducing exposures of workers and handlers to pesticide contamination resulting from spray drift or direct contact.

Moreover, the program will spend a minimum of $106,000 to perform what is called a supplemental environmental project, which will include training of farm workers and pesticide handlers in order to educate them about worker protection standards. The training will also discuss FIFRA requirements to use pesticides in a manner consistent with their labels and the obligations of agricultural employers to assure that handlers have knowledge of pesticide labeling before the pesticides are used. The program is also required to purchase personal protective equipment for farm workers and pesticide handlers, including disposable overalls, half face respirators, rubber boots and gloves. The program has agreed to meet specific deadlines set by EPA to report on progress that has been made under the settlement agreements.

Top of Page


October 1, 2009

Unregistered and Misbranded Pesticide at Dairy Supply Leads to Guilty Plea and Sentence (PDF) (1 pg, 96K, About PDF)
United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that Gene Dwayne Cordeniz, 60, of Tivis, New Mexico, pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin, in Fresno, to three years probation, an $8,000 fine, and payment of a total of $37,595 in restitution, on three misdemeanor violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

This case was the product of an extensive investigation by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. According to Assistant United States Attorney Kirk E. Sherriff, who prosecuted the case, Cordeniz formerly owned and operated GB&S Marketing Inc., a dairy supply company in Tulare, Calif. GB&S produced, sold, and distributed a chlorine bleach product called “Liquid Sani” to dairies for use as a pesticide to sanitize and disinfect dairy equipment. FIFRA makes it a misdemeanor offense to distribute or sell a pesticide that has not been registered with EPA, to distribute or sell a misbranded pesticide, or to produce a pesticide at an establishment that has not been registered with EPA.

Cordeniz admitted in his plea that neither he nor GB&S had registered Liquid Sani with EPA, but nonetheless sold and distributed it between August 2004 and March 2008. He also admitted that they had produced Liquid Sani at a facility that was not registered with EPA. He caused GB&S to misbrand the Liquid Sani products by listing on Liquid Sani labels, without authorization, an EPA product registration number that did not belong to Liquid Sani and an EPA establishment registration number that did not belong to the GB&S facility.

"Through the sale of unregistered, misbranded pesticides, Gene Cordeniz placed his customers’ dairies and the public at risk of producing and consuming contaminated dairy goods," stated Nick Torres, Special Agent-in-Charge of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in San Francisco. "This conviction sends the message to all those who would put profit ahead of industry and consumer safety that the EPA will pursue criminal sanctions against individuals who knowingly and willfully violate federal environmental laws."

Cordeniz was ordered to pay restitution to the following entities for the cleanup of a chemical spill at the unregistered facility that produced the dairy sanitation products:

Top of Page


September 22, 2009

EPA Acts To Protect Public from Unregistered Pesticides
EPA recently filed a complaint against Peoria, Ariz.-based Granite Marketing, Inc. for the alleged sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. EPA is seeking up to $5,200 in civil penalties from Granite Marketing, Inc., located at 8190 W. Deer Valley Road, for offering for sale the unregistered antimicrobial pesticide known as Titania Antibacterial System.

"Companies must ensure that products that claim to act as antimicrobials are registered with the EPA," said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Without the required registrations, we have no information on the potential effects of these products, which could result in serious harm to public health and the environment."

The violation was identified through an inspection conducted by U.S. EPA Region IX on November 21, 2008. The sale or distribution of a pesticide that has not been registered with the EPA is a violation of federal pesticide law, which requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, as well as proper pesticide labeling. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, handling, and application of pesticides.

Top of Page


August 12, 2009

EPA Cites Arizona Nursery for Pesticide Misuse, Worker Safety Issues
EPA fined Linden Tree Nursery, Inc. $1,760 for allegedly misusing a pesticide and failing to comply with federal pesticide worker safety regulations. In 2008, Linden Tree Nursery, located at 19644 North 111th Ave, misused the restricted use pesticide Diazinon AG500 and failed to assure that an applicator received safety training during the previous 5 years as required by law, constituting violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

"Agricultural employers must ensure that their workers are provided with information and protection to minimize the risk of exposure to pesticides," said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Failure to provide these necessary safeguards is considered a serious violation."

The Arizona Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during a worker protection inspection in May 2008. During the pesticide applications, Linden Tree Nursery, Inc. failed to provide its pesticide applicators with required safety training, which under federal law constitutes a misuse of a registered pesticide. These safeguards are required by the federal Worker Protection Standard, which aims to reduce the risk of pesticide injuries to agricultural workers.

Diazinon AG500 is limited to agricultural use only and must be applied by a certified applicator or a person under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Linden Tree Nursery’s May 2008 application of Diazinon AG500 had neither a certified applicator nor a person under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.

The Worker Protection Standard, part of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, aims to protect worker health and the environment from 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.

Top of Page


August 11, 2009

EPA Settles with Nevada Tree Nursery Over Worker Protection Violations
EPA fined a Minden, Nevada-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.

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.

Top of Page


July 31, 2009

EPA Reaches Settlement with Nation’s Largest Manufacturer of Hospital Disinfectants
EPA recently settled a third pesticide enforcement case against Lonza Inc., the nation’s largest manufacturer of hospital disinfectants, for multiple violations of the federal law that regulates pesticides. Most recently, the New Jersey-based company agreed to pay more than $550,000 in fines for allegedly making misleading claims regarding the efficacy of two products. The settlement is one of the largest civil penalties assessed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Combined with earlier settlements, the penalties total over $640,000. Under a previous settlement, the company also developed a ground-breaking supplemental environmental project, valued at $390,000.

“It may surprise people to know that part of EPA’s job is to make sure disinfectants are as effective as they claim, and we take this job very seriously,” George Pavlou, Acting EPA Regional Administrator said. “Products that make claims that are not met put people at risk of getting sick. We are pleased that Lonza has agreed to not only pay penalties but to take steps that will go a long way toward rectifying the problem.”

Before any pesticide is sold in the U.S., it must go through EPA's vigorous registration process. During this process, companies must provide health studies and environmental information about the product to ensure that its proper use does not cause any negative human or environmental effects. It is incumbent upon the manufacturer to ensure that a product functions as stated on the label. If EPA decides to register the product, it grants the manufacturer an EPA registration number, which is listed on the product. EPA also works closely with the manufacturer on the label language to make sure that it is clear and as specific as possible about how the product may be used.

Products cited for inefficacy in the most recent case were: Saniphor No. 450, registered as a tuberculocide, but found ineffective against a bacterium that causes tuberculosis; and 7 Healthcare Disinfectant Neutral Cleaner, which EPA tests determined did not kill the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as claimed on the label. In addition, Klear Guard Tub & Tile Foaming Germicidal Cleaner was cited as misbranded for use of a label with missing first aid information.

In addition to monetary fines, EPA’s earlier settlement with Lonza Inc. required it to implement the innovative supplemental environmental project. Lonza has already begun its project to institute rigorous quality assurance and product efficacy testing at more than 470 formulators of Lonza products nationwide. This will help ensure that the products sold are effective and provide public health protection.

Top of Page


July 30, 2009

EPA Fines New Mexico Pesticide Company for Illegal Pesticide Application
EPA has fined PDI Pest Control Co., $650 -- the maximum penalty for first-time offenders applying registered "general use" pesticides -- for allegedly using pesticides contrary to label requirements at a daycare center on Navajo Nation lands. An employee of PDI Pest Control Co., a pesticide applicator, applied Tempo SC Ultra in an occupied classroom where contact by people could occur contrary to explicit label instructions. The pesticides were improperly applied at the Ganado Child Care facility in Ganado, Arizona.

"This company’s failure to apply the pesticide correctly may have put children at risk," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. "Companies must ensure employees applying pesticides protect people from exposure by following all label requirements."

The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency discovered the violation during a routine inspection in October 2008. Navajo Nation inspectors are authorized to inspect for violations of both Navajo and federal pesticide laws.

Top of Page


July 20, 2009

Pesticide Firm To Pay $100,000 in Civil Penalties To Settle Allegations of Improper Packaging, Labeling and Sales
A southwest Missouri pesticide dealer has agreed to pay $100,000 in civil penalties to the United States to settle a series of alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, also known as FIFRA. Greenleaf, LLC, of 13960 Palm Road, Neosho, neither admits nor denies any of the allegations contained in an administrative consent agreement and final order, filed June 16, 2009, by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan.

According to the agreement, a representative of the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of Greenleaf's Neosho facilities on January 8, 2008. Based on that inspection and a review of records, the agreement alleges that the company was in violation of various aspects of federal pesticide regulations, including:

Greenleaf remains legally incorporated in the State of Arkansas, but has ceased operating its only business locations, in Neosho and Pineville, Mo.

On November 19, 2008, in a separate but related matter handled by the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Greenleaf entered a corporate guilty plea to a criminal charge of violating federal pesticide laws and agreed to pay a maximum fine of $200,000. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, from January 2007 to January 2008 the firm received broken bags and unwanted pesticides from Wal-Mart stores throughout the United States, and then redistributed and sold more than two million pounds of the products after improperly repackaging them.

The $100,000 civil penalty that Greenleaf has agreed to pay in settlement to EPA is separate from the $200,000 fine that the company agreed to pay in the criminal case.

Top of Page


June 24, 2009

EPA Issues Suspension Orders for Certain Bonide Carbaryl and Sodium Acifluorfen Pesticide Registrations
Pursuant to section 6(f)(2) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), certain Notices of Intent to Suspend issued by EPA have become final and effective suspension orders. The Notices of Intent to Suspend were issued following the Agency's issuance of a Data Call-In notice (DCI), which required Bonide Products Inc., the registrant of the affected pesticide products, to take appropriate steps to secure certain data; and following the registrant's failure to submit these data or to take other appropriate steps to secure the required data. Failure to comply with the data requirements of a DCI is a basis for suspension of the affected registrations under section 3(c)(2)(B) of FIFRA. As a result of this order, Bonide may not legally distribute, sell, use, offer for sale, hold for sale, ship, deliver for shipment, or receive and (having so received) deliver or offer to deliver, to any person, the following affected products: Grubtox Lawn and Insect Control; Bonide Sevin 5% Dust Insecticide; Bonide Slug, Snail and Sowbug Bait; Bonide Sevin Garden Dust; and KleenUp Grass & Weed Killer Ready to Use.

Top of Page


May 11, 2009

Helena Chemical Company Fined $41,600 for Misbranded Pesticide
Helena Chemical Company will pay a $41,600 federal fine for the alleged distribution and sale of pesticides lacking up-to-date safety labels, according to an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. At least ten times in 2007, Tennessee-based Helena Chemical Company sold and distributed an improperly labeled herbicide, Barrage HF, through its LaCrosse, Wash. distributor Dusty Farms Cooperative. This herbicide is approved for use on food crops.

The labels on the product lacked important updates to the First Aid Statement, which is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The First Aid Statement provides initial first steps to take when accidental exposure occurs and may inform physicians and emergency responders of appropriate medical procedures for victims of poisoning.

"Careless mistakes in pesticide labeling are not to be taken lightly—they can have deadly consequences," said Scott Downey, manager of EPA’s Pesticides and Toxics Unit in Seattle. "Pesticide producers will be held responsible when their products don’t bear the right safety information."

Helena Chemical Company, which is responsible for the integrity of all Barrage HF produced and sold through its distributors, has provided current labels to the Dusty Farms Cooperative and re-evaluated its label distribution process. The Washington State Department of Agriculture conducted the inspection that revealed the violations.

Top of Page


March 31, 2009

Farmers Cooperative Agrees to Help Control Invasive Weed
As part of a legal settlement for alleged violations of federal laws that apply to the proper sale of pesticides, a farmers cooperative in Arcadia, Iowa, has agreed to help the Crawford County Conservation District in its efforts to control the invasion of an aquatic weed in two local lakes.

The Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company, also known as Farmers Coop, of 12543 190th Street, Arcadia, will pay a settlement penalty of $4,290 to the United States, under terms of a consent agreement and final order filed today by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan.

Additionally, Farmers Coop has agreed to provide eight gallons of the pesticide SONAR to the conservation district for use in controlling the growth of brittle naiad in Yellow Smoke and Nelson Park lakes. If left uncontrolled, brittle naiad could fill the lakes with thick mats of weeds that would adversely affect the lakes' aquatic life and recreational use.

Farmers Coop must verify that the SONAR pesticide is applied to the lakes by a certified applicator, the legal agreement says. The pesticide donation project has a value of $13,506, according to the agreement with EPA.

Staff from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship inspected the Farmers Coop facility on January 11, 2008, and found several violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The violations included the sale of a pesticide to a non-certified applicator and sale of a misbranded pesticide whose contents had been manipulated.

Top of Page


February 27, 2009

Bayer Crop Science To Pay Penalty for Environmental Violations
Bayer CropScience will pay a $112,500 penalty and spend more than $900,000 for environmental projects to settle a wide range of environmental violations at its chemical plant in Institute, West Virginia, EPA announced today.

The violations stem from a series of EPA inspections in 2001, when the facility was owned by Aventis CropScience USA. The violations are unrelated to the explosion and fire at the facility last August.

EPA inspectors identified violations of five different environmental laws designed to limit air and water pollution and protect the public from hazardous chemical leaks and spills. These violations included 35 instances between 1999 and 2001 when chemicals discharged through water violated permitted limits. The company also failed to properly monitor water discharges and failed to update equipment in accordance with best management practices.

Other violations included: not properly labeling chemical storage containers; not properly disposing of wastewater sludge; not maintaining records associated with the use of oil; and not properly following the plant's own waste analysis plan. The facility was also cited for not properly notifying the National Response Center as soon as it had knowledge of the release of carbosulfan on Feb. 5, 2001.

Environmental improvement projects under the settlement require Bayer CropScience to donate equipment and funding to the Kanawha Valley Emergency Preparedness Center and three local fire departments to support training and emergency response. The agreement also requires Bayer CropScience to upgrade its wastewater treatment facilities to improve monitoring and reduce pollution discharges. As part of the settlement, Bayer CropScience neither admits or denies the allegations.

Top of Page


January 29, 2009

Judge Rules Against Bahnke Lubricants on Pesticide Violations
An administrative law judge has decided in favor of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 by assessing a $55,055 penalty against Behnke Lubricants Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wis., for violations of federal pesticide rules.

According to the judge's decision, Behnke sold or distributed five unregistered pesticides. The products, JAX Poly-Guard FG-2, JAX Halo-Guard FG-2, JAX Poly-Guard FG-LT, JAX Halo-Guard FG-LT and JAX Magna-Plate 74, were distributed by Behnke with claims that the lubricants provide antimicrobial protection against listeria, E. coli, salmonella and other organisms.

The company's labeling, advertising and marketing claims for the lubricants used to grease equipment used in food processing plants included public health pesticide claims. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture inspectors cooperated with EPA in the investigation.

"In light of recent outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli in food supplies, it is imperative that products claiming to control these organisms be registered with EPA," said Margaret Guerriero, director of the region's Land and Chemicals Division. "Only then can we be certain a product is effective and will not cause harm to the environment or people."

Top of Page


January 7, 2009

2006 Final Rule on Aquatic Pesticides Vacated
On January 19, 2006, EPA received petitions for review of the Aquatic Pesticides rule from both environmental and industry groups. The case was assigned to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. On January 7, 2009 the court held in National Cotton Council, et al, v. EPA, that the final rule was not a reasonable interpretation of the CWA and vacated the rule.

The court's decision, which applies nationally, is effective when the mandate takes effect. The mandate takes effect seven days after the deadline for rehearing expires or seven days after a denial of any petition for rehearing. Parties have until April 9, 2009 to seek rehearing. The Agency, working with DOJ, is reviewing the opinion and considering next steps. Pending the effective date of the court's decision, the final aquatic pesticides rule remains in effect and permits are not required for the application of pesticide products in accordance with the product's Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) label.

While EPA is evaluating the complete implications of the Court's decision, it is clear that once the mandate takes effect, NPDES permits will be required for pesticides applied directly to water to control pests and/or applied to control pests that are present in, over or near waters. Irrigation return flows and agricultural runoff will not require NPDES permits as they are specifically exempted from the CWA.

EPA recognizes that spring planting season is just around the corner and the Agency is committed to finding interim and long-term approaches that are both realistic and protective of the environment and public health. Twenty-three states have pesticide permitting programs and the Agency is evaluating these programs for possible national application.

Top of Page


December 16, 2008

EPA Files Complaint Against Oregon Pest Control Company After Illegal Use of Pesticides Leads to Homeowner Death
Stemming from a pesticide exposure event that led to a Florence, Oregon woman’s death, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an Administrative Complaint to Swanson’s Pest Management, Inc. (Swanson’s) of Eugene, Oregon. The Complaint was filed following a review of Swanson’s use of two pesticides, which uncovered multiple violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

In the Complaint, EPA alleges that on June 29, 2005, Swanson’s illegally used the pesticides, Conquer Residential Insecticide Concentrate (EPA Reg. # 1021-1641-57076) and ULD BP-100 Contact Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 499-452). The alleged illegal actions included: 1) failing to properly ventilate the homes prior to the occupants re-entering, 2) applying Conquer improperly as a “space spray”, and 3) improperly applying Conquer at nearly three times the allowable rate.

Tragically, one of the homeowners died when she entered her home approximately 2.5 hours after the pesticides were applied. Seven more people, including the responding paramedics, experienced respiratory distress or became ill when they entered the treated home.

The complaint also contains alleged violations pertaining to an application at another residence that took place prior to the application that led to the women’s death. In this case, the applicator allegedly used the same tank mix of pesticides, though no adverse health affects were reported.

Although the consequences of Swanson’s alleged violations were extremely serious, the federal pesticide law limits the penalty EPA can seek to a maximum of $4,550.

Swanson’s has thirty days from the day they receive the Complaint to either arrange a settlement conference, file an answer to the Complaint, or pay the proposed penalty.

Top of Page


December 15, 2008

EPA Orders Cleanup of the Former Chem-Wood Site in Oahu, Hawaii
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an order to the Estate of James Campbell and Sogo Hawaii, Inc., to cleanup and secure the former Chem-Wood wood treatment site in Ewa, Oahu.

The order issued under both the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires the removal of equipment, tanks, and containers that contain hazardous materials and increased efforts to further secure the property.

In October, vandals broke into the Chem-Wood property to remove metal from tanks and containers to sell for recycling. In the course of doing so, approximately 300 pounds of copper chromated arsenic was spilled from the tank at the site. The Hawaii Department of Health’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office responded, contained the spill, and located and returned the tank to the Chem-Wood property.

“This order will result in removal of all hazardous material and increased site security to prevent future vandalism” said Jeff Scott, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Waste Division. “Property owners need to secure their sites awaiting cleanup to prevent similar situations.”

The order requires the Estate and Sogo to:

Chem-Wood operated from 1973 to 1988 and used copper chromate arsenic and pentachlorophenol to treat wood. Numerous inspections between 1985 and 1988 by the Hawaii Department of Health and the EPA resulted in an order to clean up the site in September 1988.

As part of that order, Chem-Wood removed drums of hazardous waste, conducted soil and groundwater investigations, and installed an asphalt cap over contaminated soil at the Precision Wood site, a neighboring area contaminated from a spill at Chem-Wood.

In 1997, the company stopped cleanup of site and filed for bankruptcy. Presently the site is about half paved with asphalt or concrete, fenced and vacant with some remaining tanks, piping and debris. The property is currently in negotiations to be sold. Sogo Hawaii currently owns the former Chem-Wood property. The Estate of James Campbell owned the property during the operation of Chem-Wood and sold the property to Chem-Wood in 1989.

Top of Page


November 7, 2008

EPA Reaches Settlements with Four Companies for Violations of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in its continuing effort to protect the public from illegally produced, improperly labeled, and misused pesticides in the Pacific Northwest, has reached settlements with four companies for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Among EPA’s latest actions:

According to Scott Downey, manager of EPA’s Pesticide and Toxics Unit in Seattle, maintaining required records and strictly following the law is crucial in the manufacturing and handling of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

“Annual pesticide production information is vitally important to us,” said EPA’s Downey. “Knowing the type, amount, and location of pesticides not only helps us keep illegal and unsafe products off the market, but the information can be used in case of emergencies or natural disasters. For instance, such information was used after Hurricane Katrina to help emergency responders identify, prioritize, and secure sites where large amounts of toxic chemicals were located.”

Downey also noted that accurate pesticide labels are very important since they provide EPA-approved details on what to do if you are exposed to the product and how to use the product safely to minimize harm to people and the environment.

“This is all about public health and safety,” said Downey, “Pesticide producers have a responsibility to follow the law by reporting required information on time and by properly labeling their products. Our top priority is ensuring that the public is protected.”

According to EPA officials, all four companies have now taken necessary measures to comply with FIFRA regulations.

Top of Page


November 6, 2008

EPA Fines Los Angles Distributor for Selling Illegal Pesticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc., a Los Angeles, Calif., distributor of general merchandise, $6,000 for distributing unregistered pesticides in violation of federal pesticide law.

The EPA determined that the Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc., distributed disinfectants and a mothball product on 22 separate occasions. Because these products are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, distributing them when they were not registered with the EPA is a violation of federal law.

The pesticides illegally distributed by Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. are a bleach product produced in Mexico; Fabuloso Pasion De Frutas; Fabuloso Fresca Menta; Fabuloso Lavanda Citrica; and Heavenly Scent Mothball Odor Eater.

According to the EPA, in early 2006, Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. distributed these products to a variety of grocery stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as in Yuma, Ariz., San Elizario, Texas, Church Rock, N.M. and Las Vegas, Nev. These violations were identified based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in March 2006.

“Without proper labeling and registration, these illegal pesticides could harm families and communities,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “The EPA's responsibility is to make sure that products claiming to be pesticides have been properly evaluated, and are clearly labeled so that consumers can use them safely.”

Manufacturers and distributors whose products claim to prevent, destroy or repel any pest must register the products as pesticides with the EPA. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. Consumers should be careful to look for the EPA registration number printed on product labels, and to follow the directions for use.

Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. has agreed to cease operations and formally dissolve the corporation as part of this settlement.

Top of Page


October 15, 2008

EPA Issues Two "Stop Sale" Orders to Arizona Company
EPA has ordered Scottsdale, Arizona-based Unelko Corporation to stop selling nine unregistered pesticides in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. EPA has issued a “Stop Sale” Order to prevent Unelko, located at 14641 N. 74th Street, from continuing to offer for sale to the public the following unregistered pesticides held on its premises: Eliminate Stainless Shine 3-in-1 Surface Care, Eliminate 3-in-1 Sani-Shield Antimicrobial Surface Barrier, Eliminate Sani-Shield 3-in-1 Surface Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bath Scrub, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bathroom Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Care, and Eliminate Sani-Scrub 3-in-1 Surface Care.

The EPA has also issued a “Stop Sale” Order to prohibit Unelko from continuing to market and offer for sale the following unregistered pesticides from its Web sites: 1 Step Clean & Shield Bathroom Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bath Scrub, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Wipe, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Care, Eliminate Sani-Scrub 3-in-1 Surface Care, Sani-Shield Surface Wipe, Eliminate Sani-Shield 3-in-1 Surface Care, and Eliminate Stainless Shine 3-in-1 Surface Care. In particular, the EPA has ordered Unelko to stop making unsubstantiated claims that its products are effective against specific microorganisms such as Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (i.e., MRSA), Escherichia coli, Salmonella, noroviruses, and the AD14 common cold virus.

“Without proper labeling and registration, these products may pose a risk to consumers,” said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “The sale of these products not only puts the public at risk through unjustified reliance upon their usefulness as pesticides, but also unfairly undercuts legitimate businesses that have registered their products.”

In addition to the two “Stop Sale” Orders, the EPA has recently filed a Complaint in administrative court for the alleged illegal offering for sale of the pesticides at issue as well as Unelko’s failure to provide the EPA with access to documents relating to the shipment of these unregistered products.

Top of Page


October 15, 2008

EPA Settles With Virginia Company for Violating Federal Pesticide Law
EPA announced that Mareva, Inc. has agreed to pay a $27,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that occurred at its 1119 Cavalier Boulevard, Chesapeake, Va. location. The company has since moved its location to 840 Juniper Crescent, Suite 101, Chesapeake, Va.

According to the EPA, between September 2003 and April 2006, Mareva, a swimming pool supplies retailer, violated FIFRA by selling an unregistered and misbranded pesticide product called REVASTOP – MUSTARD ALGAE on 49 separate occasions. As part of the settlement, Mareva neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA requirements.

Today’s action contributes to EPA's record-shattering enforcement results for the 2008 Fiscal Year. To date, EPA has concluded enforcement actions requiring polluters to spend an estimated $11 billion on pollution controls, clean-up and environmental projects, an all time record for EPA. After these activities are completed, EPA expects annual pollution reductions of more than three billion pounds.

Top of Page


October 8, 2008

EPA Cites Pesticides Practices of Puerto Rico Agency
EPA has cited the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture’s (PRDA) Crop Protection Program for allegedly violating federal pesticide and worker protection regulations. The EPA complaint, issued under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), comes after a series of investigations conducted by EPA revealed that PRDA was using pesticides in ways that were inconsistent with their labeling. These practices included failing to mix pesticides properly with the soil, using them inappropriately, putting workers and pesticide handlers in potential danger, and applying pesticides on crops for which they were not approved for use. In addition, PRDA failed to provide proper pesticide application information to farm owners. EPA’s complaint against the PRDA proposes a penalty of $263,980.

"Whether they are government agencies or private companies, EPA will pursue parties that violate the law and fail to protect farm workers and pesticide handlers," said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. "EPA is making sure that those parties who deal with pesticides do so safely and by the rules in place to protect workers, pesticide handlers and the environment."

PRDA applies pesticides at farms located throughout Puerto Rico. On March 13, 2007 and March 14, 2007, EPA conducted inspections of PRDA’s central and regional field offices to evaluate whether or not the department was in compliance with FIFRA and worker protection standards, and to evaluate how pesticides, particularly restricted-use pesticides, are being applied. EPA found that PRDA was in violation of FIFRA and worker protection standards. Subsequent investigations were carried out in August 2007 and April 2008, and both inspections maintained that PRDA continued to be out of compliance with the requirements of FIFRA and the worker protection standards spelled out under it.

Top of Page


October 6, 2008

Pennsylvania Chemical Company Settles Pesticide Violations
EPA today announced that Hydrol Chemical, Inc. has agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of federal pesticide regulations at its facility in Yeadon, Delaware County, Pa. Hydrol Chemical is a manufacturer of organic chemicals. EPA cited Hydrol Chemical for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a federal law requiring the registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, the proper labeling of pesticides, and the proper handling and application of pesticides. FIFRA's requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring the safe production, handling and application of pesticides; and by preventing false, misleading, or unverifiable product claims. EPA cited Hydrol Chemical for 18 FIFRA violations concerning sales or distributions of two different pesticide products. EPA alleged six sales of an unregistered pesticide (Formaldehyde Solution 35 Microbiocide) and 12 sales of misbranded pesticides (Formaldehyde Solution 37 and Formaldehyde Solution 35 Microbiocide).

As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations. The company has certified to EPA that it is currently complying with applicable provisions of FIFRA. Hydrol Chemical has also terminated manufacturing and selling of the unregistered pesticide product and certifies that it has corrected the label on the other misbranded pesticide – the products that gave rise to these violations. The label of the second product needed to contain the proper EPA Establishment Number showing where the pesticide was manufactured.

Top of Page


September 30, 2008

EPA Seeks Nearly $1 Million From 99 Cents Only Stores for Pesticide Violations
EPA filed a complaint against 99 Cents Only Stores for the alleged sale and distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides in multiple stores operated by the company, a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. EPA is seeking $969,930 in civil penalties from 99 Cents Only Stores for selling two unregistered pesticides, "Bref Limpieza y Desinfeccion Total” and “Farmer’s Secret Berry & Produce Cleaner," and a misbranded pesticide, "PIC Boric Acid Roach Killer II."

Bref Limpieza y Desinfeccion Total was imported from Mexico and made claims in Spanish that it disinfects or sanitizes surfaces. Farmer’s Secret Berry & Produce Cleaner claimed that it "inhibits mold, fungus & bacteria including E coli." Products that make surface disinfection or sanitizer claims are considered pesticides and must be registered under federal law. The third product, PIC Boric Acid Roach Killer II, had labels on eleven containers that were either inside out or upside down making them difficult to read.

"No matter what price consumers pay for products like these, the products must be registered with the EPA and labeled correctly so consumers can use them properly," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. "All pesticides distributors -- discounters and high-end retailers alike -- must comply with the law. This company's apparent disregard for state and federal law in its business practices has led to this enforcement action."

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the Nevada Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during multiple inspections from 2004 to 2008.

Top of Page


September 29, 2008

EPA Fines Pesticide Distributor for Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined Bug Stop Pest Control $500 for allegedly producing an over-formulated pesticide at an unregistered establishment, violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. EPA cited Bug Stop Pest Control, located at 3215 East Thunderbird Road in Phoenix, Ariz., for production of the pesticide Methrin P.C. with three times the active ingredient than indicated on its labeling. In addition, the EPA cited the company for production of the pesticide Methrin P.C. in an unregistered establishment.

"Distribution of a pesticide with three times the active ingredient puts people and the environment at increased risk," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional office. "In addition, when a company fails to register their establishment it hampers our effectiveness in overseeing the manufacture of pesticides."

The violations were discovered as a result of an inspection performed by the Arizona Department of Agriculture in March 2007. Bug Stop voluntarily pulled the product from the shelves following notification of the lab analysis results indicating over-formulation.

Top of Page


September 29, 2008

Tobacco Company To Pay $65,000 for Pesticide Misuse and Alleged Worker Safety Violations
EPA recently fined Vector Tobacco Inc. $65,040 for allegedly misusing six pesticides and failing to comply with federal pesticide worker safety laws. Vector Tobacco, a subsidiary of Vector Tobacco Group of Durham, NC, allegedly misused the pesticides Terramaster 4EC, Nemacur 3, Lorsban 4E, Prowl 3.3EC, Devrinol 50DF, and Ridomil Gold EC during their application at its agricultural research facility in Kekaha, Kauai, in 2005 and 2006. On 93 occasions, Vector Tobacco failed to follow label directions intended to protect workers from exposure to pesticides, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

"Employers of agricultural workers must ensure their employees are provided with information and protections that minimize the risk of potential exposure to pesticides," said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Failure to provide these necessary safeguards is considered a serious violation."

During the pesticide applications in 2005 and 2006, Vector Tobacco failed to provide its workers and pesticide handlers with required protective equipment, pesticide information, decontamination supplies, safety training, and notification that pesticides had been applied. These safeguards are required by the federal Worker Protection Standard, which aims to reduce the risk of pesticide injuries to agricultural workers. Vector Tobacco also failed to prevent workers from entering areas where pesticides had recently been applied, and subsequently denied them prompt transportation to a medical facility after these workers reported averse health effects due to the pesticide exposure.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during inspections performed in March and June of 2006. Worker complaints triggered the initial investigation. Since the inspections, Vector Tobacco has shut down the Kekaha facility.

Top of Page


September 29, 2008

EPA Settles With Registered Pesticide Producer, Protects Public From Mislabeled Product
EPA has settled with Westbridge Agricultural Products of Vista, Calif., for $23,400 for allegedly distributing a pesticide that lacked important safety information and directions for use. Through an inspection in December 2007, EPA determined that Westbridge Agricultural Products, a registered pesticide producer located at 1260 Avenida Chelsea, distributed “Soil Triggrr” using pesticide labels not currently accepted by EPA, which failed to list proper first aid and human hazards. Under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act regulations, “Soil Triggrr” is considered a pesticide and is registered with EPA. The product is designed to improve the growth of a wide variety of agricultural commodities.

"Pesticide labels communicate to the public the risks and preventive measures to take when using these products,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. "Pesticide producers are required to use only labels that have been accepted by EPA and to keep those labels updated."

Top of Page


September 29, 2008

EPA Acts To Protect Horses and Owners From Unregistered Pesticides
EPA has fined Eqyss International Inc., a Vista, Calif., retailer of horse care supplies, $72,000 for distributing four unregistered pesticides in violation of federal pesticide law. EPA determined that the company distributed four pesticides that were not registered with the Agency as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The illegal products included:

"Without proper labeling and registration, these illegal pesticides could endanger horses and their owners,: said Katherine Taylor, the Associate Director of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "EPA's responsibility is to make sure that products claiming to be pesticides have been properly evaluated, and are labeled so that consumers can use them safely."

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation discovered the products during inspections at several retail establishments in the state. The EPA then completed the investigation with an inspection at the company’s headquarters in December 2007.

Top of Page


September 25, 2008

EPA Fines Nevada Wholesaler for Allegedly Selling Unregistered Water Cleaning Product
EPA recently fined Thermwell Products Co., Inc., $5,200 for allegedly selling an unregistered water cleaning product with labels claiming the product eliminates bacteria and removes common bacteria in air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and refrigerators, a violation of federal law.

Disinfectants and products that control bacteria are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. In 2006, the company distributed and sold Frost King Double Strength Pan-Tablets to Lowes with labels making claims that would require registration as pesticides with EPA.

"Our message is clear—if you manufacture or distribute a product that claims to disinfect, kill, control or remove bacteria, it must be registered as a pesticide," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division of EPA Southwest Regional Office "Registration ensures that labels include use directions and safety precautions designed to limit risks to people and the environment."

Top of Page


September 24, 2008

EPA Acts To Protect Public From Unregistered Pesticides
EPA today filed a complaint against Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Unelko Corporation for the alleged sale and distribution of seven unregistered pesticides in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. EPA is seeking penalties of up to $53,950 from Unelko Corporation for offering for sale the following seven unregistered pesticides: Eliminate Stainless Shine 3-in-1 Surface Care, Eliminate 3-in-1 Sani-Shield Antimicrobial Surface Barrier, Eliminate Sani-Shield 3-in-1 Surface Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bath Scrub, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bathroom Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Care, and Eliminate Sani-Scrub 3-in-1 Surface Care. In addition, Unelko Corporation, located at 14641 N. 74th Street, twice failed to provide the state and EPA with access to documents relating to the shipment of these antimicrobial cleaning products.

"Companies must ensure that products that claim to act as antimicrobials are registered with the EPA," said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Without the required registrations, we have no information on the potential effects of these products, which could result in serious harm to public health and the environment. Moreover, without shipment information, we do not know where these unregistered products ended up."

The nine violations were identified through an Arizona Department of Agriculture inspection conducted on behalf of the EPA in November 2007.

Top of Page


September 19, 2008

EPA Reaches Agreement with Pesticide Manufacturers on Federal Pesticide Rules Violations
The Southeast office of EPA (EPA Region 4) has settled an administrative penalty case against E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company (Dupont) and Griffin LLC Valdosta, GA (Griffin) for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to the terms of the settlement, Dupont and Griffin collectively will pay a total civil penalty of $877,500, and will undertake corrective actions to ensure that the violations do not recur. Dupont and Griffin manufacture, market, and sell a variety of pesticide products. These products are sold to farmers in the United States for use on cotton and tobacco.

“By law, pesticides must be properly labeled and registered,” said Beverly Bannister, EPA's Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division Director in Atlanta. “This helps ensure the safe use of pesticides and reduces risks to human health and the environment.”

Based on a review of pesticide importation records and inspections conducted by EPA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture at Dupont’s pesticide production facility in Valdosta, GA, EPA determined that Dupont and Griffin LLC had been importing a registered pesticide active ingredient, ethephon, from a non-approved manufacturing facility in China, and that the composition of the ethephon differed from the composition specified in the statement of formula set out in the registration. As a result, the composition of two end-use products manufactured by the companies, Super Boll and CottonQuik, differed from the compositions specified in EPA’s approved registrations for those products. The original registrant, Griffin Corporation, began importing the active ingredient from the unapproved facility in 1996. In 1998, Griffin Corporation and Dupont formed Griffin LLC and in 2003, Dupont acquired 100% interest in Griffin LLC. Both Griffin LLC and Dupont continued the practice of importing the ethephon from the unapproved source in China.

EPA also determined that the containers of ethephon imported from China were misbranded in that they stated the incorrect percentage of the active ingredient ethephon contained in the product. Additionally, analytical results from samples of the end-use products Superboll and CottonQuik showed that they contained ethephon in concentrations exceeding the allowable certified limits specified in their registrations. After EPA notification in April 2005 that it was in violation of FIFRA, Dupont filed a registration amendment for the active ingredient to indicate the new source and to revise the formulation. Dupont recently sold the registrations for these products to another company.

Top of Page


September 18, 2008

EPA Settles Pesticides Violations With Pennsylvania Chemical Manufacturer
EPA and Paradigm Labs, Inc., of Pine Grove, Pa., have settled alleged violations of the federal law governing the manufacture and use of pesticides. Paradigm, a manufacturer of chemicals including dry-cleaning products, will pay a $24,000 penalty. EPA alleged that Paradigm violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in seven sales of an unregistered pesticide and seven sales of a misbranded pesticide. The 14 violations pertain to three different pesticidal products -- Microbloc MMR, DSP and MSE. These products were used as surface protectants to prevent the growth of microorganisms such as mold, mildew, fungus, algae, bacteria and viruses.

As part of the settlement, Paradigm neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA requirements.

Top of Page


September 10, 2008

Nevada Chemical Company Pays $29,100 in Penalties for Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined the Sparks, Nev.-based company Sierra Chemical Co. $29,100 for the alleged misuse of a pesticide and for distributing a pesticide with two different EPA registration numbers – violations of federal pesticide law.

The Sierra Pure Chlor label states, "mix only with water according to label directions." During a delivery of the product to a community swimming pool in Reno, a Sierra Chemical Co. employee allegedly misused Sierra Pure Chlor by mixing it with muriatic acid. The improper mixture created a strong chlorine gas that caused the evacuation and transportation of swimmers to local hospitals.

“Companies that service swimming pools must ensure that label directions are followed and precautions taken to ensure harm does not occur,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “In this case, failure to follow label directions resulted in a hazardous situation.”

In addition, Sierra Pure Chlor was distributed on five occasions to various pool supply stores and municipalities with two different registration numbers on the bottles, one which correctly identified the product and one which incorrectly identified the product.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation identified the violations during multiple inspections.

Top of Page


September 9, 2008

EPA Fines Hawaiian Agribusiness for Pesticide Violations
EPA recently announced a settlement with Syngenta Seeds, Inc., for $17,550 in fines for alleged violations of federal pesticide regulations. The settlement is part of three separate administrative complaints totaling $284,050 in civil penalties with Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., and Syngenta Seeds, Inc., for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. EPA Region 4 in Atlanta consolidated the violations throughout the United States to emphasize the need for quality control in all aspects of pesticide production and distribution.

EPA found alleged pesticide worker protection violations by Syngenta Seeds, Inc., in Kekaha, Kauai. These violations include failing to store all personal protective equipment separately from clothing and apart from pesticide-contaminated areas, and failing to post the spraying of the pesticide Liberty at its Central Notification Site.

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. also settled alleged violations including use of a pesticide contrary to a provision of an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) issued by EPA. EPA alleged that the company had not obtained a State permit or license from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico prior to the shipment and/or use of a corn that was the subject of the EUP.

The other settlements include:

- Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. agreed to pay a penalty of $196,300 for alleged violations involving two products. The settlement agreement resolved alleged violation of distributing Mesotrione Wet Paste with ingredients that differed in composition from the formula submitted to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mesotrione Wet Paste is produced in Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc’s Bucks, AL facility. The settlement agreement also resolved alleged advertising violations of the pesticide Lumax Selective Herbicide because television commercials aired in the Midwest did not include the classification that it was a restricted-use pesticide.

- Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. self-disclosed additional violations under EPA’s Audit Policy regarding written advertisements for restricted use pesticides and paid a penalty of $70,200.

FIFRA regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. Importers, distributors, and retailers, are required by federal law to ensure that any pesticides they distribute have been registered with EPA and comply with FIFRA.

Top of Page


August 26, 2008

Three Southern California Businesses Pay Over $59,000 for Distributing Unregistered Korean Pesticides
EPA recently settled with two Southern California importers and a supermarket for a total of $59,040 for the alleged sale or distribution of unregistered Korean pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law. The settlements included:

All of the products sold were imported from Korea and made either English or Korean-language claims to disinfect or sanitize surfaces. Disinfectants and sanitizers are considered “pesticides” under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and must be registered with EPA.

“Companies must be aware that products intended to kill or control germs need to be registered as pesticides,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “EPA will continue to pursue violators of the law to ensure that these products do not make misleading and unverifiable claims.”

Top of Page


August 25, 2008

Wilco-Winfield LLC Agrees To Pay Over $18,000 for Violating Federal Pesticide Rules
Today, EPA reached an $18,400 settlement with Wilco-Winfield, LLC (WWL) (formerly Wilco-Farmers/Agriliance) for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). WWL had been producing pesticides in an unregistered establishment and selling pesticides which were misbranded. The FIFRA violations had been occurring for at least the past three years (2005, 2006, and 2007). WWL’s unregistered facility, located at 13007 Downs Road in Mt. Angel, Oregon had been using the establishment number that was assigned to another facility located at 190 South Main Street in Mt. Angel, Oregon. The Main Street facility was owned by WWL, but had been inactivated since 2000.

“Production of any pesticides at the Downs Road facility was in violation of FIFRA since this facility was not registered,” said Chad Schulze, EPA’s Region 10 FIFRA Enforcement Officer in Seattle. “Furthermore, these pesticides produced at the Downs Road facility were misbranded because they bore an invalid, inactive EPA establishment number. These numbers help EPA track the type, amount, and location of pesticides being produced and sold in the U.S.”

EPA has worked with WWL to ensure that all of their establishments are registered according to Section 7 of FIFRA and that they are submitting the required annual reports.

Top of Page


July 15, 2008

Landscaping Business Fined $12,300 After Misused Pesticides Reach Northern California Waterway
EPA has fined a Houston-based landscaping service company $12,300 for causing two pesticides to enter a tributary of the Klamath River after employees failed to follow pesticide label instructions -- violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act. In April 2007, Trees, Inc. sprayed pesticides Direx 4L and Garlon 4 in a pool of water abutting Junior Creek, which feeds into the Klamath River on the Resighini Rancheria tribal lands in Northern California. Both pesticide labels prohibit applicators from applying the products directly to water or to areas where surface water is present.

“Klamath River watershed, from the Oregon border to the Pacific Ocean, supports several native fish species, including coho and steelhead salmon,” said Alexis Strauss, director of the Water Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “EPA is committed to working with the tribe and California to enforce federal laws to protect these valued resources.”

The Resighini Rancheria notified EPA of the violations, who then investigated the company’s pesticide application. The tribe provided EPA with water sampling and testing results, which later showed both pesticides had entered Junior Creek.

Pesticides that are registered for use in the United States must include labeling that provides directions for use and other information necessary to protect human health and the environment. FIFRA requires that pesticide applicators comply with labeling directions during commercial pesticide applications to protect workers, the surrounding community and the environment

The CWA requires companies that discharge into waterways to obtain a pollutant discharge permit, which contain limits on discharges, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that water quality and human health are protected. By not following label directions and allowing the pesticides to reach the stream, Trees, Inc. also violated the CWA in lacking a permit to discharge.

Top of Page


July 2, 2008

California Company Settles With EPA for $171,600 for Selling Unregistered Japanese Pesticides
EPA settled with a Torrance, Calif. company for $171,600 for allegedly selling unregistered, imported Japanese pesticides at its San Jose, Calif. location. In June 2007, EPA inspectors discovered that Mitsuwa Corporation sold 33 unregistered products from Japan, including “Kao Magic Clean” for bath and toilets and “Lion Clean Clean Kitchen,” at its Mitsuwa Marketplace store. The antimicrobial products claimed to control bacteria, mold and germs.

“If a company is going to sell pesticides they must be sure that the products are registered and meet all federal and state regulations,” said Katherine Taylor, EPA’s associate director for agriculture for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Without products going through the proper EPA registration process, we cannot be sure what they contain and whether they are properly packaged and labeled.”

Since the violations were discovered, the company has cooperated with EPA’s investigation and promptly discontinued all sales of the unregistered products. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are all responsible for ensuring that pesticides sold in the U.S. fully comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States.

FIFRA requires companies to register products as pesticides if the cleaning product makes claims to control germs. These requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring safe production, handling, and application of pesticides, and by preventing false, misleading, or unverifiable product claims. EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. The agency also makes sure that pesticide labels provide consumers with the information they need to use the products safely. Pesticides that have been registered with the agency will have an EPA registration number on the label.

Top of Page


May 16, 2008

Massachusetts Cleaning Company Faces Fine for Pesticide Violations
A Brighton, Mass. soap and specialty cleaning company faces a penalty of up to $16,000 for allegedly violating pesticide production reporting requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

According to EPA, Spectrowax Corp. failed to file production reports by the March 1 deadline for the reporting years of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Spectrowax is being penalized as a second time offender for each of these alleged violations because of a prior penalty action against the company in 2003.

Pesticide producers must annually submit the following information to EPA for each pesticide product:
- Types and amounts produced in the past calendar year;
- Types and amounts sold/distributed in the past calendar year, regardless of when produced; and
- Estimated amounts expected to be produced in the current year.

Annual pesticide production reports are the only means available to EPA for obtaining information about pesticides produced in the U.S. (or produced for import). EPA uses the information to protect public health and the environment and to maintain the integrity of the pesticide program.

The primary federal pesticide law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), regulates products that are intended (or claimed) to prevent or destroy pests, including algae, viruses and bacteria. Under FIFRA, regulated pesticides must undergo a rigorous scientific evaluation and be "registered" by EPA before they are sold or distributed, and claims made on the product labels must be consistent with the required claims made during the registration process.

Top of Page


April 23, 2008

EPA Orders Scotts To Stop Selling Certain Pesticides
EPA Region 5 issued a "stop sale, use or removal" order against Scotts Miracle Gro Co. and three affiliates, all of Marysville, Ohio, for illegal, unregistered and misbranded pesticides. EPA will also issue a stop sale order to Scotts Lawn Care Service. Scotts has agreed to recall these products from all retail locations across the United States and to set up a process for consumers to safely return any unregistered products they may have purchased.

An EPA consumer hotline to answer questions about the action has been established at 888-838-1304 (9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Central Daylight Time). Questions may also be answered by the National Pesticide Information Center at 800-858-7378 (6:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, including weekends). A fact sheet and regularly updated information are posted online at http://www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/ptb/news/.

At this time the risks, if any, posed by these unregistered products are unknown. EPA and its state partner Ohio Department of Agriculture are conducting a laboratory analysis of these products. Updated information will be posted online when it becomes available. Until EPA has more information about the contents of these products, consumers are advised not to use these products and to store them in a safe, cool and dry place such as a garage or utility shed. Do not dispose of them down the drain, in the garbage or at a community disposal site.

EPA ordered the companies, collectively an international producer and distributor of lawn care products, to immediately stop selling and distributing two products which can be identified by the invalid "EPA registration number" listed on the package. Invalid registration number 62355-4 is marketed under names including "Garden Weed Preventer + Plant Food" and "Miracle Gro Shake 'n' Feed All Purpose Plant Food Plus Weed Preventer." Invalid registration number 538-304 is used primarily by Scotts Lawn Service, a lawn care company. It is marketed under names including "Scotts Lawn Service Fertilizer with .28% Halts," "Scotts Lawn Service Fertilizer 0-0-7 Plus .28% Halts Pro," "Scotts Lawn Service Fertilizer 14-2-5 Plus .28% Halts Pro" and "Scotts Lawn Service Fertilizer 22-0-8 Plus .28% Halts Pro."

In an effort to make sure these products are immediately removed from the marketplace, EPA will also issue stop sale orders to major retailers that carry these products. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, all pesticides must be submitted to EPA for review, evaluation and registration to ensure that they do not pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. EPA's review and registration process is internationally recognized. Pesticide products that have not undergone EPA review may pose risks to human health and the environment.

"A manufacturer such as Scotts cannot ignore the important legal requirement of registering its pesticides," said Region 5 Administrator Mary A. Gade. "This is a serious violation of EPA's system for protecting people and the environment from the potential harmful effects of pesticides. EPA will fully investigate this violation and take appropriate actions. We are committed to keeping the public informed about any health consequences and providing information to assure the safe recall of these products as soon as possible."

Top of Page


April 21, 2008

EPA Settles with California Grocery Distributor for Alleged Pesticide Violations
EPA reached a $270,000 settlement with Unified Western Grocers, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based grocery distributor, for the sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide, a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Unified Western Grocers, located at 5200 Sheila Street, allegedly sold and distributed “Western Family Cleanser with Bleach,” an unregistered product that stated on the label that it “wipes out most household germs, including Staph, Salmonella, and Pseudomonas.”

"Staph, Salmonella, and Pseudomonas are harmful bacteria that can cause serious damage to human health. Products that claim to eliminate such bacteria must be registered with EPA as a pesticide," said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires companies to register cleaning products as pesticides if the cleaning product makes claims to control germs. These requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring safe production, handling, and application of pesticides, and by preventing false, misleading, or unverifiable product claims. The case was based on inspections conducted by the State of California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture in 2005 and 2006.

Top of Page


April 16, 2008

EPA Cites Pennsylvania Lab for Violating Federal Pesticide Law
EPA announced that is has issued an administrative complaint to Paradigm Labs, Inc., for violating federal pesticide regulations at its facility in Pine Grove, Pa. The complaint seeks a civil penalty of $53,145. The complaint cites Paradigm for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a federal law regulating the production, distribution and use of pesticide products. FIFRA requires the registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, and the proper labeling of pesticides. These requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring the safe production, handling and application of pesticides; and by preventing false, misleading or unverifiable product claims. FIFRA also prohibits the marketing of misbranded, improperly labeled or adulterated pesticides.

EPA’s complaint cites the company for violations related to the sale and distribution of three of the company’s pesticidal products, Microbloc MMR, DSP, and MSE, from June-September 2006. None of these three products were registered pesticides. The violations were discovered after an inspection by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) in September 2006. EPA’s complaint also alleges that these three products were misbranded because information on the product labels failed to list the EPA establishment number and failed to express active and/or inert ingredients as a percentage of weight. Also, the total percentage of active and inert ingredients failed to total 100 percent. The complaint’s seven misbranding counts also result from the seven sales of mislabeled products in June-September 2006. The company has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.

Top of Page


March 5, 2008

EPA Fines Southern California Technology Company $208,000 for "Nano Coating" Pesticide Claims on Computer Peripherals
EPA has settled with ATEN Technology, Inc., of Irvine, California, acting for its subsidiary IOGEAR, for selling unregistered pesticides and making unproven claims about their effectiveness. EPA maintains that IOGEAR made unsubstantiated public health claims regarding unregistered products, and their ability to control germs and pathogens -- a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

“We’re seeing far too many unregistered products that assert unsubstantiated antimicrobial properties,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Whether the claim involves use of an existing material such as silver, or new nano technology, EPA takes these unverified public health claims very seriously. Consumers should always follow common-sense hygiene practices, like washing hands frequently and thoroughly.”

IOGEAR products at issue were: wireless laser mouse with nano shield coating, laser travel mouse with nano coating technology, and wireless RF keyboard and mouse combinations. After being contacted by EPA, IOGEAR stopped making claims that their computer peripherals protect against germs.

Products that kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides, and must be registered with EPA prior to distribution or sale. The Agency will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. Consumers should be careful to look for the EPA registration number printed on product labels, and to follow the directions for safe use. This enforcement action was based on a tip, and ensuing inspection conducted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Top of Page


February 20, 2008

Six New England Companies Settle With EPA for Pesticide Violations
Six companies based in New England that produce pesticide products settled with EPA for failing to properly submit annual production reports to the Agency, as required by federal law. The law that governs pesticide use in the U.S., the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), requires pesticide manufacturers to submit annual production reports to EPA. According to EPA complaints, each of the six companies has failed on at least one previous occasion to properly submit this information.

The companies are: Hydros, Inc. of Bourne, Mass.; AIRMAR Technology Corp. of Milford, N.H.; Goldline Controls, Inc. of North Kingstown, R.I.; North Safety Products, Inc. of Cranston, R.I.; Blue Seal Feeds, Inc. of Richford, Vt.; and Swish Maintenance, Ltd. of Burlington, Vt. The companies have addressed all violations and have paid fines of up to $5,400. Penalties were based on several factors including the type of violation and size of the business.

Section 7 of FIFRA requires that each registered pesticide producing establishment submit annual production reports to EPA on or before March 1st. These reports are the only means that EPA has for obtaining information on the types and amounts of pesticides being produced, sold or distributed both domestically and for export during the year. EPA uses the information to trace ineffective, contaminated or recalled pesticide products, among other purposes.

Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, antimicrobials or other substances and pest control devices used to control insects, weeds or microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

Top of Page


February 8, 2008

EPA Settles With Animal Products Distributor for $56,200 Following Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined Modesto, California, company Veterinary Service, Inc. $56,200 for selling its California-registered pesticide outside the state, a violation of federal pesticide law. The pesticide, Tomcat Ground Squirrel and Gopher Bait, was registered specifically for use in California, and did not go through the full registration process required for federally registered pesticides. As a result, EPA did not have the opportunity to review the product for its potentially adverse affects on the environment, prior to its distribution and use.

"The label clearly indicated that this product was only meant for distribution and use in the state of California," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "Pesticide distributors and retailers must ensure that they do not sell pesticides outside of a state that has been granted a special registration."

The illegal product was initially found during a routine inspection by the Nevada Department of Agriculture at Fernley Hay and Grain, a garden supply and feed store in Fernley, Nevada. The store selling the product was fined $3,120. The discovery led to a further investigation by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, which uncovered sales of the product by VSI to additional stores in Nevada and Arizona. VSI has voluntarily recalled the product that was distributed outside of California, and is complying with federal pesticide laws.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires federal registration of pesticide products, and proper labeling, to protect public health and the environment. FIFRA allows states to issue "Special Local Needs" registrations to address pest problems specific to that state. Each producer, seller, and distributor is required, pursuant to federal law, to ensure that these state-specific pesticides are distributed only in that state.

Top of Page


January 9, 2008

Rhode Island Pool Supply Company Fined for Violating Pesticide Laws
A Rhode Island swimming pool company paid a $10,400 penalty for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Modern Swimming Pool Supply Company, Inc. of North Providence produces, distributes, and sells pool supply products, including the pool disinfectant and pesticide sodium hypochlorite.

Two routine EPA inspections of the Modern Pool facility revealed that the company repackaged and sold a sodium hypochlorite solution on multiple occasions without first obtaining a distribution agreement with the product’s manufacturer. The distribution of a pesticide without a supplemental distribution agreement amounts to the sale of an unregistered pesticide, which is a violation of FIFRA. Modern Pool’s violations occurred between April 2006 and August 2006.

The state of Rhode Island has reported that numerous industries in the state disregard the required practice of obtaining supplemental distribution agreements. As a result, EPA has made it a priority to target industry violators. Modern Pool came into compliance with FIFRA soon after becoming aware of its violations.

FIFRA regulates products that are intended (or claimed) to prevent or destroy pests, including algae, viruses and bacteria. Under FIFRA, regulated pesticides must undergo a rigorous scientific evaluation and be “registered” by EPA before they are sold or distributed, and claims made on the product labels must be consistent with the required claims made during the registration process.

Top of Page


January 2, 2008

EPA Fines Saipan Company $26,000 for Pesticide Violations
EPA has settled with Japan Water Systems of Capitol Hill, Saipan, for $26,000 for allegedly distributing an unregistered water disinfectant in violation of federal pesticide laws. EPA cited the company for allegedly selling and distributing an unregistered water disinfectant “Tosoh Cube.” The product, a 12 percent sodium hypochlorite solution, was imported from Japan and sold to hotels and other businesses in Saipan for private water system disinfection. The products, labeled almost entirely in Japanese, lacked directions for use, precautionary statements, and other labeling required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

“In order for a company to sell a disinfectant, it must be registered with the EPA,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director for the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Communities and Ecosystems Division. “Registration ensures that the products will have proper labeling, including instructions, warnings, and first aid information. Without the required label, there’s no way for a consumer to know how to use the product effectively, or to protect themselves from harm.”

The company discontinued all sales of the unregistered product, and shipped it back to Japan. Existing customers were notified to discontinue use of the product. Sodium hypochlorite is an extremely corrosive disinfectant that, at its full strength, can cause severe damage to the eyes and skin. Disinfectants are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the production, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States.

Distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring that all pesticides distributed in the U.S. fully comply with federal pesticide regulations. Both the EPA and CNMI DEQ have increased enforcement efforts on the island to ensure compliance with federal pesticide law and the CNMI pesticide regulations.

Top of Page

This page is sponsored by EPA's Ag Center. Ag Center logo


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.