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Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): Agriculture-Related Enforcement Cases 2006

The following are agriculture-related enforcement cases pertaining to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act. This information is provided for reference. Over time, links to news items may become unavailable. In these cases the item will remain listed, but no link will be provided. Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

EPA Enforcement Cases 2008 through present

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


December 21, 2006

EPA Fines Syngenta $1.5 Million for Distributing Unregistered Genetically Engineered Pesticide
Syngenta Seeds, Inc., of Golden Valley, Minnesota, has agreed to pay a $1.5 million penalty for selling and distributing seed corn that contained an unregistered genetically engineered pesticide called Bt 10. While the federal government has concluded that there are no human health or environmental concerns with Bt 10 corn, it is still illegal to distribute any pesticide not registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

"This action shows that when a company violates the law by distributing unapproved pesticides, EPA vigorously enforces the law," said Granta Y. Nakayama, EPA's assistant administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Late in 2004, Syngenta disclosed that it may have distributed the seed corn to the United States, Europe, and South America. Immediately following the disclosure, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA began an investigation and evaluation that confirmed the distribution of unregistered seed corn on over 1000 occasions. A penalty was assessed by USDA and the company destroyed all the affected seed under USDA supervision. EPA filed today's settlement with its Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). The EAB is the final EPA decision maker on permit, enforcement, and other administrative appeals under all major environmental statutes that the agency administers. If approved by the Board, Syngenta will pay a penalty of $1.5 million.

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December 13, 2006

EPA Reaches Settlement for Federal Pesticide Rules Violations
The Seattle office of EPA announced that that an agricultural operator has agreed to pay a penalty of $774.40 in order to settle claims for two alleged violations of the federal pesticide law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)) on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. EPA previously issued a warning letter for a drift incident in 2001. According to EPA, in July of 2005, the improper drift of pesticides occurred following an aerial application of Nufarm Credit Extra Systemic Herbicide and Amine 4 2,4-D Weed Killer to fields on the Nez Perce Reservation. This drift of pesticides impacted trees and shrubs on neighboring property. The labels for these pesticides contain instructions prohibiting drift onto desirable ornamental plants and vegetation.

“It is important that users of pesticide products follow directions on labels,” said Chris Gebhardt, a FIFRA Enforcement Officer in EPA’s Regional Office in Seattle. “Ensuring proper use of pesticides on tribal reservations through tribal pesticide programs is a priority for EPA.”

The agricultural operator avoided a more substantial fine by taking measures to prevent the drift, including spraying the perimeter of the target field in advance of the aerial application with a ground sprayer and by trying to avoid poor weather conditions. The neighboring property owner was compensated for plant damage. Statements prohibiting drift prevent inadvertent contamination of people, plants, water and sensitive areas. Ensuring proper use of pesticides on tribal reservations through tribal pesticide programs remains an EPA priority.

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November 14, 2006

Connecticut Firm Fined for Pesticide Labeling Violations
A Glastonbury pesticide manufacturer, BioSafe Systems L.L.C., will pay a $17,250 penalty in a settlement resolving EPA concerns that it marketed two pesticide products for an unapproved use in floor mats. The violations relate to marketing claims BioSafe made about two of its own EPA-registered pesticide products (“ZeroTol” and “OxiDate”). EPA’s New England regional office alleged that the products contained claims which were substantially different from statements approved by EPA for the product labels during the rigorous EPA registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, or “FIFRA.” EPA New England alleged that BioSafe distributed or sold these pesticides for use in floor mats and, in particular, in a BioSafe product known as the “BioMat.”

The two products each contain 27 percent hydrogen dioxide as the active ingredient. Although BioSafe product literature called for using a dilute solution in the BioMat, at full strength, these pesticides are corrosive and can present serious risks of permanent damage to the eyes, skin, digestive system or respiratory tract if proper application procedures are not followed. Since the violations were first discovered, BioSafe has worked effectively with EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, D.C. to ensure that these pesticides can now be used in floor mats.

In order to ensure that pesticides used in the U.S. are not likely to cause unreasonable harm to human health or the environment, EPA performs a rigorous science-based assessment of pesticide products before they are allowed to be distributed or sold. Under that process, pesticides and their product labeling are approved for use in the U.S. once properly registered by EPA. The settlement with BioSafe is contained in a “Consent Agreement and Final Order” resolving the FIFRA violations without any admission of liability by BioSafe.

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October 16, 2006

EPA Settles With Springs Industries, Inc. for FIFRA Violations
EPA announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Springs Industries, Inc., (Springs) in Fort Mill, South Carolina, for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Springs to comply with FIFRA and pay a $104,422.50 penalty.

The violations were discovered during an inspection conducted by the Clemson University Department of Pesticide Regulation in November 2004. EPA contends that, at the time of the inspection, the labels for two products, “Amicor Pure Pillows” and “Amicor Pure Mattress Pads,” contained claims of pesticidal activity related to the control of dust mites. These products should have been registered with EPA before being legally sold or distributed in the United States. Registered pesticides are required to conform to FIFRA’s labeling regulations, and establishments that produce pesticides must be registered with EPA.

The two products found to be in violation are no longer produced by Springs. The labels for current products have been revised to conform to the treated articles exemption, which removes them from the purview of FIFRA. The treated articles exemption allows a product that has been treated with a registered pesticide to make certain claims limited to the protection of the product itself.

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October 10, 2006

Seattle’s International District Stores Ordered by EPA to Stop the Sale of Illegal Imported Pesticide Products
On October 5, 2006, EPA issued orders requiring Lucky An Dong, Inc. and Viet Wah Supermarket, two stores in the Little Saigon Neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, to stop selling two illegal, unregistered pesticide products. The two pesticide products named in the stop sale orders are “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” and “Talent naphthalene BALL” (moth balls) which are imported from China and Taiwan. EPA inspected the two stores on August 29, 2006. At this time, the stores removed the illegal pesticide products from their store shelves upon EPA request. EPA is especially concerned about children’s potential exposure to “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk.” Children can easily mistake this product for common blackboard chalk. The active ingredient in “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” is a chemical called deltamethrin, which is in the pyrethroid group of insecticides. The packaging contains no list of ingredients or consumer warnings. In fact, the package claims the product is "harmless to human beings and animals" and "safe to use." Inadvertent overexposure (such as a child ingesting or inhaling a large amount of deltamethrin) can produce serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains, convulsions, tremors, coma, and death due to respiratory failure. Serious allergic reactions are also possible.

“EPA registers pesticide products to make sure they are safe through testing and good label information,” said Scott Downey, EPA’s Pesticide and Toxics Manager in Seattle.” “It is easy to imagine children, and even adults, not understanding the danger of ‘Miraculous Insecticide Chalk’ and becoming exposed.” Under FIFRA, EPA reviews and registers all pesticide products sold and distributed in the U.S. to ensure that, when used according to approved label instructions, they do not pose an unreasonable risk to people’s health or the environment.

EPA’s Region 10 Pesticides & Toxics Unit in Seattle is working closely with their regional counterparts and U.S. Customs to keep these dangerous, illegal products from store shelves across the country. EPA believes that the best long term solution to these types of incidents is to provide culturally and language-appropriate education. EPA has asked the International District Housing Alliance (IDHA), which provides community services to the International District, to assist business owners to understand what is legal and safe on their shelves. "We see this as an opportunity to partner with International District businesses to give them access to the information that they need," says Joyce Pisananont, WILD Program Director for IDHA. IDHA has been working with youth, elders, businesses and others under a grant from EPA to educate the community about reducing exposures from toxic chemicals in the International District.

If you have these or other unregistered pesticide products, please contact EPA’s Pesticide and Toxics Unit at (206) 553-0505. For disposal options, contact Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) at (360) 902-2048.

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October 10, 2006

Virginia Company Settles Alleged Violations of Federal Pesticide Law
Care-A-Lot, Inc., owner of a pet supply warehouse in Virginia Beach, Va., has agreed to pay a $30,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of a federal pesticide law. EPA cited the company for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which requires EPA regulation of pesticide products and prohibits the distribution or sale of misbranded/improperly labeled pesticides.

The alleged FIFRA violations involved unregistered and misbranded pesticide products for dogs and cats. According to EPA, the company offered for sale or distribution various tick and flea control products under “Advantage” and “Frontline” labels that were not registered with EPA as required by FIFRA, and were misbranded with labels of EPA-registered pesticide products. The products were offered for sale in the company’s store, catalogue, and website.

The settlement penalty reflects the company’s compliance efforts, cooperation with EPA’s investigation, and agreement to settle this matter prior to the issuance of a formal complaint. A variety of distributors and retailers may be selling counterfeit pet care products in the U.S. sometimes without realizing these products are, in fact, counterfeit imitations of legitimate pet care products. EPA has investigated several such potential violations. Once EPA learns of a suspected violation, it works in cooperation with its state partners, in issuing orders to stop the sale of counterfeit Frontline Top Spot, Frontline Plus, and Advantage flea and tick control products for dogs and cats. To help consumers know what to look for, visit EPA’s fact sheet on Advantage and Frontline/Frontline Plus products available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/retailerfactsh.pdf.

One of the many problems that face distributors and consumers is that in some cases, to determine a legitimate product from a counterfeit product, it is necessary to examine the product containers that are inside the retail carton. As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA requirements.

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October 10, 2006

Pennsylvania Farm and Garden Store Settles EPA Pesticide Case
Wurster Farm & Garden, Inc., owner of the farm and garden store in Dublin, Pa., has agreed to pay a $6,450 penalty to settle alleged violations of a federal pesticide law. EPA cited the company for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which requires EPA registration of pesticide products and production facilities. The law also prohibits the distribution or sale of misbranded, improperly labeled, or adulterated pesticides.

An April 20, 2005 EPA inspection discovered that Wurster Farm was selling an unregistered pesticide product, “Gardeners Disinfectant Betacide Plus+.” The store was also selling a misbranded pesticide device, “Barn and Staple Fly Trap,” that did not have the required production facility registration number. The settlement penalty reflects the company’s compliance efforts, cooperation with EPA’s investigation, and agreement to settle this matter prior to the issuance of a formal complaint. As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA requirements.

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October 5, 2006

EPA Settles with Cook County Wood Preserving, Inc., for Misuse of CCA, Sale of Illegally Treated Wood
EPA announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Cook County Wood Preserving, Inc. in Adel, Georgia, for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Cook County Wood to comply with FIFRA and pay a penalty of $50,400.

The violations at Cook County Wood were discovered during an inspection conducted by EPA in August 2005. EPA contends it is a misuse of the chromated copper arsenate (CCA) label to treat dimensional wood for uses not listed on the label. The label does not permit CCA-treated wood to be used to construct poultry houses and trailers to haul animals on farms. In addition, the improperly treated wood is considered an unregistered pesticide. All facilities that produce pesticides are required to register with EPA. Cook County Wood is not registered with EPA as a pesticide-producing facility.

Since December 31, 2003, wood treaters are no longer allowed to use CCA to treat wood for many residential purposes and the labels for CCA products were changed to indicate a more restrictive use. This change resulted from a voluntary decision by industry in their efforts to move consumer use of treated lumber products away from wood pressure-treated with arsenic to new alternative wood preservatives.

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

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September 27, 2006

EPA Files Complaint Against Connecticut Firm Charged with Violating Pesticide Laws
EPA's New England office announced that it intends to seek monetary penalties against a Connecticut company that distributes and sells products intended for agricultural, aquatic, horticultural, turf, and general uses for alleged violations of pesticide laws. EPA's New England Office will be seeking the assessment of an administrative penalty against BioSafe Systems, L.L.C. of Glastonbury, CT citing violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA’s Complaint proposes a penalty of $39,000 against BioSafe and cites the company for distributing, selling or offering for sale, two EPA-registered pesticides while making claims that were substantially different than the statements that are required by the pesticide law to register the products. EPA also alleges that BioSafe violated an EPA Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order previously issued to the company regarding the same EPA-registered pesticides. The alleged violations occurred between January and December 2005.

“Vigorous enforcement of pesticide laws ensures that consumers are sold products that work the way they are supposed to work,” said Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England office. “The law is designed to protect us against buying products that make false claims that could be harmful to our health by stopping the sale of these products before they reach the marketplace.” Products are regulated as pesticides under FIFRA because they are intended (or claimed) to prevent or destroy pests, including algae, viruses and bacteria, among other things. Under the law, regulated pesticides must be registered with 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.

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September 27, 2006

EPA Settles for $57,200 with California Company Over Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined El Centro, California-based The Dune Company of Imperial Valley $57,200 for the alleged sale and distribution of pesticides with inadequate labels, in violation of federal pesticide law. EPA cited The Dune Company of Imperial Valley for failing to affix accurate labels to recyclable pesticide containers when repackaging the herbicide EPTAM 7-E. The outdated labels on the repackaged herbicide failed to include upgraded safety precautions and failed to properly identify where the product was repackaged. “Producers of pesticides must ensure that their products carry the proper warnings and information on their product labels,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Selling pesticides without required updated labels may result in misuse of the pesticide, increasing risk to human health and the environment.”

The Dune Company of Imperial Valley was also cited for not maintaining registration of its pesticide producing establishment. Pesticide-producing companies are required to submit to EPA information on the physical location of each establishment and the types and amounts of pesticides and devices produced and distributed at that establishment. EPA uses pesticide reports to track pesticide production, their safe management and distribution. The enforcement action was based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in September 2005. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, companies must register the pesticide with EPA. Each producer, seller, and distributor is required pursuant to federal law to ensure that the registered pesticide is labeled in accordance with Agency requirements.

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September 20, 2006

Vernon Firm Pays EPA $4,160 for Selling Unregistered Brazilian Pesticide
Under the terms of a recent settlement with EPA, Landmark Enterprises of Vernon, Calif. agreed to pay $4,160 for allegedly selling an unregistered Brazilian pesticide in violation of federal law. Based on an inspection conducted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in 2005, EPA enforcement officials determined that Landmark Enterprises was allegedly offering for sale “Pinho Lysol Bactericida,” an unregistered product imported from Brazil that is used as a home disinfectant. The sale, distribution or use of an unregistered pesticide in the United States is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. “Companies must ensure that all pesticide products they sell are properly registered with EPA, including pesticide products that are imported,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. 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.

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September 14, 2006

EPA Settles Case for $3,300 Against Kamehameha Schools for Alleged Violation of Pesticide Permit
EPA has reached a settlement for $3,300 with Kamehameha Schools for the improper use of a rodenticide within the Keauhou forest region on the Big Island, in violation of federal pesticide laws. EPA asserts that Kamehameha Schools failed to comply with the conditions set forth in an EPA experimental use permit. The permit authorized the limited aerial application of the pesticide Eaton’s Bait Pellet Rodenticide with Fish Flavorizer for the control of invasive species, such as mongoose and rats for wildlife conservation purposes. Kamehameha Schools, together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, apparently set ground bait traps in violation of the permit’s provisions. As a result of the pesticide’s non-permitted use inside bait traps, at least 12 non-targeted wild pigs were killed in addition to the targeted rat and mongoose populations. “Although Kamehameha Schools may have had well-meaning intentions behind its use of the pesticide, it violated federal pesticide law by using a pesticide contrary to the provisions of the experimental use permit,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest Region.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, an experimental use permit is required for the testing of any unregistered pesticide. The experimental use permit spells out conditions for how and when a specific pesticide can be used. Using a pesticide in a way that does not comply with the permit is not only a violation, but can pose risks to the public and the environment. As a result of this enforcement action, a notice of warning has also been issued by EPA to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, for its role in assisting with the ground application of the pesticide. The enforcement action is based upon inspections conducted by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture in late 2003.

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September 11, 2006

EPA Settles Case for $16,290 Against California Company for Pesticide Violations
EPA has reached a settlement for $16,290 with DECCO Cerexagri, Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., for four violations of federal pesticide law, including the alleged sale and distribution of three pesticides with inadequate labeling and the failure to identify these pesticides in a 2005 report. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires that export-only pesticides be conspicuously labeled as such to prevent the use of unregistered pesticides in the United States. EPA cited DECCO Cerexagri for failing to include the required statement: “Not Registered for Use in the United States of America”. In addition, because these pesticides were not identified in the annual pesticide production report, EPA cited the company for submitting a pesticide production report with major omissions of required information. “Federal law requires that unregistered pesticides produced solely for export carry a statement that the product is not registered for use in the United States,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “In addition, accurate reports detailing a company’s pesticide production are necessary in EPA’s effort to ensure safe management and distribution of these pesticides.” The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act provisions protect public health and the environment by requiring safe handling and application of pesticides and by preventing false or misleading product claims. This settlement was based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in February, 2006.

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September 8, 2006

EPA Settles for $6,500 with Arizona Company for Importing Misbranded Pesticide
Gowan Company, of Yuma, Ariz. recently agreed to pay $6,500 for allegedly importing misbranded bottles of Ultiflora, a pesticide used to control and kill mites, into the Port of Los Angeles, in violation of federal pesticide law. The Gowan Company produces pesticides, and is located at 370 South Main Street, in Yuma. The bottles of Ultiflora lacked required labeling, such as directions for use and other safety information. EPA learned of this violation through the "Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices" form submitted for this shipment; according to federal regulations, a “Notice of Arrival” form must be submitted for all pesticides imported into this country. "Companies must ensure that proper labeling is attached to the products they import and sell," said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest Region. "Without proper labeling, the consumer will not know if the product has been registered with EPA, and have no information on the effects of the products, which could result in harm to the consumer and the environment." In addition to the fine, the Gowan Company must ensure that the product is properly re-labeled before selling or distributing it. Companies that produce pesticides must register them with EPA, as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Registered pesticides will be labeled with an EPA registration number, directions for use, and other information to provide consumers with the information they need to use the products safely.

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August 24, 2006

California Hardware Company To Pay More Than $20,000 for Allegedly Selling Unregistered Pesticide
EPA has fined Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH), based in San Jose, Calif., for allegedly selling a pesticide that has not been registered with the federal government. OSH has agreed to pay a $21,960 penalty in this case. “Goo Gone All Purpose Cleaner,” whose label at the time made claims it “washes away germs and bacteria,” was found at OSH’s Turlock store in January 2004. When a product is said to control bacteria, viruses or fungi it is being sold with a pesticidal claim. Products making pesticidal claims must be registered as pesticides under federal law. After the inspector notified the store manager that this product was being sold in violation of law, the product was found at other retail locations in Fresno, Modesto, Capitola and Merced during subsequent inspections in 2004 and 2005.

“Pesticide producers and retailers have a responsibility to ensure that the pesticides they sell are registered with EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the Community and Ecosystems Director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Companies selling or distributing pesticides must ensure that those products are legal or face penalties for federal violations.” The sale or distribution of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. This federal law requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide production facilities, as well as proper pesticide labeling. These requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring safe handling, and application of pesticides, and by preventing false or misleading product claims. The law also prohibits marketing of misbranded, improperly labeled or adulterated pesticides. This enforcement action was based on inspections performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

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August 1, 2006

EPA and International Dioxcide, Inc. Reach Settlement for Federal Pesticide Rules Violations
The Seattle office of EPA announced that International Dioxcide, Inc. (IDI), a DuPont Company, will pay $21,840 for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by selling and distributing pesticides with outdated and inaccurate labels. On May 9 and December 7, 2005, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) inspected BHS Acquisitions of Nampa, Idaho. During the inspections, ISDA collected sample labels of ASC SOLUTION, a 25 percent Aqueous Sodium Chlorite disinfectant for municipal and other potable water systems and food processing systems. IDI registered this product with EPA as ADOX 8125 and allowed, under a written agreement, BHS Acquisitions to supplementally distribute it as ASC SOLUTION. An EPA review of the ISDA inspection report showed that on six occasions, BHS Acquisitions sold ASC SOLUTION with an outdated label lacking key precautionary, first aid and physical and chemical hazard statements. “A pesticide registration is a contract between EPA and pesticide-producing companies with terms established to protect human health and the environment,” said Chris Gebhardt, a FIFRA Enforcement Officer in EPA’s Regional Office in Seattle. “It’s important that registrants and their agents update pesticide labels in a timely way to ensure that users have access to better information.” EPA is pleased that IDI and BHS Acquisitions updated the label of ASC SOLUTION quickly after they were told that the label was outdated.

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July 19, 2006

EPA Cites Two Suffolk County Firms for Selling Off-Spec, Misbranded Pesticides
A pesticide producer and a telemarketer/distributor in Suffolk County, New York have been cited by EPA for multiple violations of the federal pesticide law. EPA is seeking financial penalties totaling nearly $1.5 million in separate complaints against the Topaz Turf Corporation in Holtsville and Southern Chemical Supply, Inc. in Bohemia, which used Topaz as its supplier. EPA is alleging the companies distributed off-spec and misbranded pesticides to the public since at least October 2003. In addition, the agency charged Topaz with selling an unregistered pesticide (to kill insects on plants) and failing to maintain and furnish production records. EPA also alleges that Southern made misstatements in the sale of the pesticides. Pesticide products, in this case weed killers, contain a percentage of active chemical ingredients that are approved by EPA for a specific end-use. By law, these registered formulations must match the information on the product label, which must have the correct EPA product registration numbers. EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said, “Companies that sell pesticides that are misformulated, unregistered or misbranded to unsuspecting customers and telemarketers that make misstatements are not only doing a disservice to the public and the environment, they are shooting their businesses in the proverbial foot.”

On February 28, 2006, EPA issued stop sale orders against Topaz and Southern based on the findings of joint inspections of the Holtsville and Bohemia facilities with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The stop sale orders and complaints against the two companies resulted from an EPA and state initiative to investigate pesticide producers, distributors and telemarketers on Long Island. NYSDEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, “New York State is committed to enforcing the stringent pesticide laws and regulations in order to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. DEC was pleased to work with EPA in this investigation into the alleged illegal distribution and misbranding of herbicides and will continue to work with our partners on the federal, state and local levels to bring violators to justice.”

Topaz wrote EPA on April 11, 2006 indicating that it had conducted an investigation of the problems in manufacturing and documentation that were uncovered by EPA and the state and the company said that these problems have been corrected. Southern wrote EPA on March 29, 2006 that it had implemented procedures to minimize the risk of any misstatements by its sales force. The complaints are seeking $797,500 from the Topaz Turf Corporation and $702,000 from Southern Chemical for multiple violations of federal law. The owners/operators of both companies can request a hearing to contest the allegations in the complaints, enter into settlement discussions and present documented proof of compliance with the applicable federal environmental regulations

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July 17, 2006

EPA Settles with Southern California Pesticide Company for $5,850
EPA has settled for $5,850 with California Pool and Chemical Service of Artesia, Calif., for failing to submit their 2005 pesticide production report on time, a violation of the federal pesticide law. The company, which produces sodium hypochlorite for swimming pool disinfection, was subject to an EPA action last year due to similar violations. “Pesticide production reports are important to EPA. With the information contained in these reports, we can identify companies producing cancelled products, assist inspectors in the field, and more closely monitor pesticides produced for the U.S. market,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, companies must report their annual pesticide production to EPA by March 1st.

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July 13, 2006

EPA Region 5 Steps Up Pesticide Export Oversight
EPA Region 5 has increased oversight of pesticide exporters over the past two-and-a-half years. During that time, $440,000 in penalties were assessed against seven companies for violations.

The seven companies are:

They failed to take one or more of these required steps:

Federal pesticide export requirements provide some of the same protections to foreign purchasers of pesticides that are provided in the United States and lets foreign customers know if the United States has not registered a certain pesticide.

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July 11, 2006

Mesa, AZ Company Pays $24,400 Fine for Pesticide Violations
EPA fined a Mesa, Ariz. company $24,400 for violating federal pesticide law. Water & Energy Systems Technology, Inc. allegedly sold its pesticide, C124, with a composition that differed from the composition described in the registration for this pesticide. The company also allegedly continued to sell or distribute pesticide C1204 after its registration had been canceled. Both products are used to control algae in recirculating cooling water. “Pesticide producers have a responsibility to ensure that pesticides are EPA registered and to use correct ingredients when repackaging for their own labels,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the Community and Ecosystems director for the Pacific Southwest region. "Manufacturing facilities selling or distributing pesticides must ensure that those products are legal.”

EPA noticed irregularities in the company’s annual production report, and at the request of EPA, the Arizona Department of Agriculture conducted a special inspection in January 2005. The sale or distribution of a pesticide whose registration has been cancelled, or a pesticide whose composition differs from that of the registered product, is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. This federal law requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, and proper pesticide labeling. 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 law also prohibits marketing of misbranded, improperly labeled, or adulterated pesticides.

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May 31, 2006

EPA Settles for $42,120 Against a Huntington Harbour Chemical Company for Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined a Huntington Harbour, Calif. chemical company $42,120 for the alleged sale and distribution of two antimicrobial disinfectants in violation of federal pesticide law after the two products failed effectiveness testing. EPA cited Sunshine Makers, located at 15922 Pacific Coast Highway, for selling and distributing “Simple Green D” and “Simple Green Antibacterial Disinfectant,” pesticidal disinfectants designed for use in hospitals and medical facilities to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylcoccus aureus. EPA’s testing of the effectiveness of these two pesticides determined that, contrary to the claims on their labels, Simple Green D was ineffective against P. aeruginosa and Simple Green Antibacterial Disinfectant was ineffective against S. aureus. Due to these testing failures, neither pesticide can meet its claim of being a broad spectrum disinfectant suitable for hospital use. “In order for a hospital disinfectant to be registered by EPA, the registrant must submit to the agency data demonstrating the product does what it says it is supposed to do,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Southwest Region. “If EPA finds that a company's product fails agency testing for product effectiveness and formulation, the company can expect significant penalties."

Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, a company must register the pesticide with EPA. As part of the registration process, the company must ensure that the pesticide is effective in meeting the claims on its label. Due to the false statement of effectiveness on the two pesticides’ labels, Sunshine Makers sold and distributed two misbranded pesticides in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. The enforcement case was based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Registration in January 2005 and effectiveness testing obtained by EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in September 2005. Sunshine Makers, Inc. has voluntarily recalled these products.

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May 23, 2006

California Firm Pays $52,000 for Distributing Unregistered Japanese Pesticides
Under the terms of a recent settlement with EPA, the Marukai Corporation of Gardena, Calif. will pay $52,000 for allegedly selling and distributing unregistered, imported Japanese pesticides at their Gardena location, a violation of federal law. Based on an inspection conducted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in 2004, EPA investigators determined that the Marukai Corporation had sold and distributed 11 unregistered products from Japan, including “Cabitori Haitah, Cabi-Killer, BasuCabi, Cabitori Look, Gokichiru-Z” and “Mrs. Lloyd Insecticide.” The products claimed to be ant and roach killers, moth repellents and mold removers. “This is the second case we’ve had against the Marukai Corporation within the last 5 years, the last violations occurred in Hawaii,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “If a store is going to sell imported products, they must be sure that they are registered to ensure that their products meet all federal and state regulations.” Since these Japanese products were not registered as pesticides with EPA, their alleged sale and distribution is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the U.S. 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.

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May 8, 2006

EPA Seeks Fines Against Nevada Hardware Stores for Selling Cancelled Pesticides
EPA is seeking nearly $5,000 in fines against two northern Nevada True Value stores for selling residential pesticides that contain chlorpyrifos, a chemical that has been federally restricted since 2001. EPA seeks a fine of $4,400 from North Valleys True Value of Reno alleging that in March, 2004, the store offered for sale Greenthumb Flea & Tick Killer, a pesticide designed for residential use that contains chlorpyrifos. In a separate settlement, Shellys True Value of Sparks has agreed to pay a penalty of $500, for allegedly selling True Value Greenthumb Borer Spray II,” which is also a pesticide designed for residential use that contains chlorpyrifos. EPA removed chlorpyrifos from the residential market due to its potential health risks, especially to children said Enrique Manzanilla, the Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPAs Pacific Southwest region. Retailers selling pesticides to the general public must ensure those products are legal. Retail sales of most residential-use chlorpyrifos pesticides have been prohibited since Dec. 31, 2001. Chlorpyrifos can damage the nervous system and interfere with brain development. Short term exposure can result in confusion, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The metabolites of chlorpyrifos continue to be found in human tissue.Today’s announcement stems from March 2004 inspections conducted by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Consumers may still legally use remaining stocks of chlorpyrifos products, provided that they follow all label directions and precautions. Use of these products according to label directions does not pose an immediate hazard. However, consumers who choose to use these products or any pesticide should always take special care to read and follow the label precautions and directions. Consumers may contact their local solid waste agency for disposal information.

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May 8, 2006

Pesticide Applicator Pays $8,320 for Misusing Pesticides
EPA fined a Farmington, New Mex. commercial applicator $8,320 for improperly using registered pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law. Four Corners Weed Control, Inc. allegedly misused the registered herbicides Krovar I DF and Razor Pro at an oil and gas well site located within the Navajo Nation. During an application to control weeds, a company employee failed to follow label directions by not wearing proper protective equipment and by entering treated areas before the pesticides had dried. By failing to follow use directions, the employee increased his risk of illness due to pesticide exposure, as well as violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. “Companies must ensure their employees comply with all labeling requirements to minimize the potential exposure to pesticides during applications,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Failure to obey these necessary safeguards is considered a serious violation, and can harm the employees and others in the area.” Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, companies must register the pesticide with EPA. Among other requirements, federal law requires each commercial applicator to ensure that the registered pesticide is labeled with directions and other information necessary to protect workers, consumers, and the environment, and that applicators comply with labeling directions during pesticide applications. The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency discovered the violations during a routine inspection in June 2004.

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April 7, 2006

Southern California Firm to Pay $5,200 for Distributing Unregistered Pesticide Over Internet
Under the terms of a recent settlement with EPA, Restore4, Inc. of Northridge, Calif. will pay $5,200 for allegedly distributing an unregistered pesticide over the Internet, a violation of federal law. Responding to a tip, EPA investigators determined that Restore4, Inc. had sold and distributed “Restore4" – a kitchen/bathroom cleaner over the Internet – claiming it “kills pathogenic bacteria.” Restore4 was not registered as a pesticide with EPA, a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. “Companies distributing products over the Internet cannot ignore federal pesticide laws,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Due to the scope of the Internet, these products have the potential for negative impacts on human health and the environment over a wide geographic area. All pesticide producers need to ensure that their products meet all federal and state regulations.” 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.

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April 6, 2006

Utah Company Cited for Violating Federal Pesticide Laws in Nevada
EPA cited Intermountain Farmers Association $5,200 for improperly distributing and selling a restricted use pesticide to a non-certified applicator, a violation of federal pesticide law. EPA cited the Salt Lake City-based association for allegedly distributing and selling Fort Dodge Gopher Bait to a non-certified applicator in Yerington, Nev. "Restricted use pesticides must be handled carefully in order to protect the users and the environment," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Companies selling these chemicals must make sure that they do not fall into inexperienced hands." Fort Dodge Gopher Bait, a restricted use pesticide, is used to control pocket gophers underground in rangeland, pastures, and nonagricultural areas. EPA classifies certain pesticides that present significant human health or environmental hazards as restricted use pesticides. In order to minimize risks to human health and the environment, EPA requirements limit the use of restricted-use pesticides to trained, certified applicators. EPA regulations outline specific certification and training requirements necessary to qualify applicators to use these types of pesticides. Nevada Department of Agriculture inspectors discovered the violations during an inspection in July of the Intermountain Farmers Association store in Yerington, Nevada.

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April 3, 2006

EPA Cites Leola, Pennsylvania, Facility for Violating Federal Pesticide Law
EPA announced that it has cited Fisher & Thompson Inc. (F&T) for violating federal pesticide regulations at its facility in Leola, Pa. F&T owns and operates a milking equipment and supply facility at 15 Newport Road in Leola, Pa. EPA cited F&T for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a federal law regulating the production, distribution, and use of pesticide products. The regulations include products promoted as anti-bacterial or anti-viral agents. According to EPA, a February 13, 2004, inspection of this facility by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture documented several FIFRA violations related to an equipment sanitizing product. EPA alleges that F&T purchased an EPA-registered pesticide product called ECOLAB Equipment Sanitizer from a Charlotte, N.C. company. F&T then allegedly removed the original EPA-approved label, and re-labeled and resold over 300 containers of this product as Fisher & Thompson Liquid Chlorinated Sanitizer. The re-labeled product, which F&T did not register under FIFRA, included false and misleading EPA product and facility registration numbers. 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. FIFRA provides a statutory maximum penalty of $5,500 per violation. EPA will propose a penalty after the company has had the opportunity to answer the complaint and provide additional information about the alleged violations. The company has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.

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March 27, 2006

EPA Settles for $31,200 with Southern California Chemical Manufacturer Over Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined Grow More, Inc., of Gardena, Calif., $31,200 for the alleged sale and distribution of a misbranded antimicrobial disinfectant in violation of federal pesticide law. EPA cited Grow More, Inc. for selling and distributing “Naccosan Concentrate Cleaner,” a one-step pesticidal disinfectant designed for use in veterinary clinics and greenhouses to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. EPA’s testing of Naccosan’s effectiveness determined that, contrary to the claims on the disinfectant’s label, Naccosan was ineffective against this microorganism. Due to the Naccosan label’s false statement of its effectiveness, Grow More, Inc. sold and distributed a misbranded pesticide in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. “Producers of antimicrobial products must ensure that their products kill all the microorganisms claimed on their product labels,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Unsubstantiated label claims of effectiveness against bacteria may result in an increased risk to human health and the environment based on these false assurances.” Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, companies must register the pesticide with EPA. Each producer, seller, and distributor is required pursuant to federal law to ensure that the registered pesticide is labeled in accordance with Agency requirements. For antimicrobial products, the company must ensure that the pesticide is effective in meeting its labeled claims. The enforcement action was based on information gathered pursuant to an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in January 2005 and effectiveness testing carried out by EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in September 2005.

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February 27, 2006

California Fertilizer Company Fined $5,800 for Distributing Mislabeled Fungicide
EPA has fined Britz Fertilizers, Inc. of Fresno, Calif. $5,800 for allegedly distributing a mislabeled fungicide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. An October 2004 inspection by a Tulare County, Calif. investigator revealed that Britz Fertilizers, Inc. had distributed “Britz Botran Dust 6" - a fungicide used to control rot and blight on agricultural products - with a label displaying the signal words “Warning” and “Caution” violating federal laws since only one precautionary term is permitted. The signal word is used to inform the user how acutely toxic a pesticide is. For this product the correct word is “Caution.” “Due to the potential for health risks and environmental impacts, pesticide producers need to ensure that their products carry current and accurate labels,” said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Every pesticide product label must show clearly and prominently the hazard and precautionary statements.” Follow-up inspections by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation found misbranded “Britz Botran Dust 6" available in the Central California communities of Five Points and Traver. Britz corrected the labeling of the product.

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January 31, 2006

Agreement Reached in UFW v. Johnson, Regarding Azinphos-methyl and Phosmet
EPA has reached a settlement with the United Farm Workers and the other public interest plaintiffs who brought a lawsuit against the Agency in January 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington regarding the pesticides azinphos methyl (AZM) and phosmet. The suit alleged that the azinphos-methyl (AZM) and phosmet Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (IREDs) were inconsistent with the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) because EPA did not appropriately consider the risks and benefits of these pesticides. The settlement agreement between EPA and the plaintiffs effectively stays this challenge pending EPA's reconsideration of the "time limited" uses of these pesticides, scheduled for reevaluation in 2006. The Settlement Agreement was available for comment through January 19, 2006. One comment was received in support of the agreement. The Settlement Agreement establishes a time frame in which EPA will propose decisions on the re-evaluation of the ten AZM time-limited uses and the nine phosmet time-limited uses. By April 3, 2006, EPA will propose a decision on both the remaining ten AZM uses and the restricted-entry intervals for the nine phosmet time-limited uses. By August 3, 2006, EPA will determine whether to approve or deny the AZM registrants July 2004 applications to retain the remaining ten AZM uses and will determine whether the existing REIs for the nine time-limited phosmet uses should continue on products.

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January 26, 2006

EPA Stops the Import and Sale of Three Illegal RepelleX Pesticide Products
EPA announced more than 100 Stop Sale Orders nationwide to importers and distributors of unregistered pesticides manufactured by RepelleX Lawn and Garden Products, a Canadian company. EPA has determined that three RepelleX products claiming to contain "quarternary ammonium salts" (correct spelling: quaternary) are pesticides and subject to registration requirements under Section 3 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The products are: RepelleX 14-2-2 ML2 Fertilizer Tablets, RepelleX Deer Repellent Concentrate, and Bulb Saver Concentrate. Under FIFRA, EPA reviews and registers all pesticide products sold and distributed in the U.S. to ensure that, when used according to approved label instructions, they do not pose an unreasonable risk to people’s health or the environment. "Despite repeated warnings, RepelleX has continued to sell and distribute this product illegally," said Scott Downey, EPA's Pesticide and Toxics Manager in Seattle. "Consumers and business owners need to be aware that most pesticides must be registered with EPA. Unregistered pesticides have not been thoroughly tested and can contain unknown ingredients which may be a risk to the public or the environment." The Stop Sale, Use or Removal Orders are being sent to all known importers and distributors that have purchased or sold RepelleX products in the last year. The Stop Sale Orders warn that any future imports, sales, or distribution of illegal RepelleX products may result in civil penalties of up to $6,500 per act. Importers and distributors are also instructed to remove the products from store shelves, record inventories, and dispose of the products in accordance with state and local laws. These Stop Sale Use and Removal orders were issued after EPA attempted to work cooperatively with RepelleX for more than two years to help the company understand and comply with the U.S. laws and regulations.

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January 17, 2006

EPA Settles with Baleco on Pesticide Violations
EPA has filed a consent agreement and final order with Baleco International, North Bend, Ohio, on alleged violations of federal rules on the distribution and sale of pesticides. A $15,000 penalty has been assessed against the company as part of the settlement. According to EPA, Baleco sold and distributed unregistered, adulterated, and misbranded pesticides. The products are 30% Algaecide-1999, 30% Algaecide-2001, 3" Tablets-2001, 1" Tablets-2001 and Chlorinating Granules-2001. Ohio Department of Agriculture inspectors cooperated with EPA in the investigation. EPA registers all pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. For more information on pesticides, go to www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/ptb/pest.

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