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Release Date: 10/5/1999
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1589

     SAN FRANCISCO--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with three Nevada companies for allegedly selling restricted-use pesticides to individuals not authorized to purchase them, a violation of the federal pesticide law.  The firms have agreed to pay a combined total of $12,800 to settle these cases. The EPA is seeking $37,500 from Helena Chemical Co. for multiple similar violations.

     "These restricted-use pesticides are in a class by themselves because they can be highly toxic to humans and the environment if not used properly," said Pamela Cooper, chief of the Pesticides Program at EPA's western regional office. "Companies that sell these chemicals have a responsibility to make sure that the applicators are trained and certified to use them."

     The Helena Chemical Co. violations occurred at the firm's Las Vegas and Carson City branches.  The other three companies and the locations where the violations occurred are: Intermountain Farmers Association and Van Waters and Rogers, Las Vegas; and Western Exterminator Company, aka Target Specialty Products, a mail-order retailer in Phoenix, Ariz., which sold to a purchaser in Reno. The four actions were based on inspections by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

    To reduce risks from certain pesticides that have a greater potential for human health or environmental hazards, federal law requires that only knowledgeable, trained and certified applicators may apply restricted-use pesticides. Pesticide dealers cannot sell these pesticides unless they check the applicator's certification to confirm that the applicator is trained in the use of these chemicals and authorized to properly apply the specific pesticide.