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Release Date: 06/11/1999
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week proposed penalties of $5,500 against each of three New England pesticide producers that failed to submit annual pesticide production reports as required by federal law.

The penalties were proposed against: Kensington Corp. of Madison, Conn.; Lawes Agricultural Services Inc. of Brandon, Vt., and Roberts Chemical Co. Inc. of East Providence, RI. All three companies are charged with failing to submit these reports, which cover pesticide production during the 1998 calendar year, to EPA by March 1, 1999, as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The three companies are among 167 pesticide producing establishments in New England. All but nine met the March 1 deadline. Of those that missed the deadline, all except these three companies provided a report immediately after being notified of the violation by EPA in April.

One of the reasons that the reports are mandated by FIFRA is to allow EPA to keep track of the amounts of pesticide produced and distributed nationally and for export.

"Companies are required to report their production of pesticides so that we can keep track of how these chemicals are distributed both inside and outside of this country," said Ira Leighton, director of EPA's Office of Environmental Stewardship. "The failure of these companies to submit their reports, even after repeated requests from EPA, is irresponsible."

In addition to the fines, EPA has notified the companies that if they do not respond within 20 days of receiving the administrative order and penalty, their establishment registrations, which allow them to produce pesticides for sale or distribution, will be terminated until the delinquent production reports are received by EPA. All pesticide producing establishments must be registered with the EPA before producing pesticides for sale or distribution.

Lawes Agricultural Services sells and distributes farm supplies as well as adhesives and other specialty chemicals, including pesticides. The company repackages and markets three EPA registered pesticides.

Roberts Chemical Co. specializes in chemical preparation, including the mixing, repackaging and re-labeling of pesticide products.

Kensington Corp. markets specialty chemicals such as pesticides and other related products. Roberts and Kensington both repackage and sell chlorinated pesticides. These products are commonly used to kill swimming pool algae or as active ingredients in standard disinfectant/sanitizing agents.

EPA has offered to reduce the fine by 25 percent if the companies respond quickly.