News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA Requires Ag Chemical Firm to Safely Manage Pesticides
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Southern Valley Chemical Company over improperly stored, and incorrectly labeled agricultural pesticides at its facility in Arvin, Calif. The firm, a pesticide re-packager and distributor, has agreed to pay $34,900 in civil penalties, and has corrected all identified compliance issues.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation inspected the Arvin facility in 2013. Based on those inspection findings, EPA asserted that Southern Valley Chemical Company had eleven violations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which regulates the safe distribution, sale and use of pesticides in the U.S.
“Failing to properly manage pesticides puts workers and the environment at risk,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Pesticide companies have a responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with all federal environmental laws.”
The company failed to protect pesticide dispensing equipment against damage from moving equipment, failed to seal cracks in its secondary containment structures, was improperly using external sight gauges to visually monitor levels of liquid pesticide in its tanks, and failed to adequately secure pesticide containers. Each of these violations increases the risk of a pesticide release. Southern Valley Chemical Company was also cited for inadequate recordkeeping, and distributing and selling pesticides from misbranded bulk containers.
California accounts for a quarter of all agricultural pesticides used each year in the U.S., and more than half of that amount is applied in the San Joaquin Valley alone. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act authorizes EPA to review and register pesticides for specified uses, to regulate safe storage and disposal of pesticides, and to conduct inspections and enforce pesticide requirements.
FIFRA regulations help safeguard the public by ensuring that pesticides are used, stored, and disposed of safely, and that pesticide containers are adequately cleaned. Pesticide registrants and refillers (i.e., those that repackage pesticides into refillable containers) must comply with the regulations, while consumers are required to follow the label instructions for proper use and disposal.
For more information on FIFRA, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/pesticide-containment-structures
For more information on FIFRA and its enforcement, please visit:
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