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).
Two agricultural chemical companies, Genesis Agri-Products Inc. and Kleenco Products Inc., have agreed to pay $4,800 and $800 penalties, respectively, to settle claims that they had submitted late annual pesticide production reports required under FIFRA more than once in a three year period. Two separate Genesis Agri-Products facilities located in the greater Yakima area and the Kleenco Products facility, located at 6408 South 196th Street in Kent, Washington failed to submit their annual pesticides production reports to EPA for the past two years in a timely manner.
Buckman Laboratories Inc. (manufacturer) of Memphis and CH2O Inc. (distributor) of Olympia, Wash. agreed to pay $35,100 and $11,700 (respectively) for producing and selling a misbranded pesticide. EPA found that product labels were missing critical updates to the first aid statement, directions for use, and the directions for proper disposal. Documents associated with the case allege that under an agreement between the companies, CH2O was allowed to produce and distribute the Buckman product MECT-5-T under the CH2O brand name PACT-5. EPA determined that both the registrant (Buckman) and the distributor (CH20) were liable for this violation.
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.