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Enforcement

Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order issued to Earth Science Laboratories, Inc.

On December 4, 2015, EPA issued an order to Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. directing the company to immediately stop the sale, use, or removal of EarthTec (EPA Reg. No. 64962-1), PristineBlue (EPA Reg. No. 64962-1), and Cleanwater Blue (EPA. Reg. No. 64962-1-82043). These are registered pesticide products marketed as algicides and bactericides for lakes, ponds, reservoirs, canals, lagoons, pools, spas, hot tubs, and other water systems.

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Overview of Company

Earth Science Laboratories, Inc., is a corporation based in Arkansas that produces, distributes, sells, and is the registrant of the pesticide EarthTec. EarthTec is an algicide and bactericide for lakes, ponds, reservoirs, canals, lagoons, pools, spas, hot tubs, and other water systems. EarthTec is also sold under a number of alternative brand names. Two of these alternative brand name products, PristineBlue and Cleanwater Blue, a supplemental distributor product, are also subject to the December 4 order. PristineBlue and Cleanwater Blue are marketed primarily for use as an algicide and bactericide for pools, spas, and hot tubs.  These pesticide products are manufactured by Earth Science Laboratories, Inc., at a single establishment in Holdrege, Nebraska.

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Basis for the Order

Based on an October 14, 2015 inspection by federally-credentialed inspectors of the Holdredge, Nebraska facility, the EPA has reason to believe that EarthTec, PristineBlue, and Cleanwater Blue are misbranded pesticides -- as that term is defined by sections 2(q)(1)(E) and (G) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 136(q)(1)(E) and (G) -- that are being distributed or sold in violation of section 12(a)(1)(E) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136j(a)(1)(E). The EPA found that the product labels and labeling associated with these pesticides, including statements found on product websites detailing recommendations for pesticide use and application rates, did not conform to what was authorized under the approved FIFRA master label. 

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Summary of the Order

Section 13(a) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136k(a), authorizes the EPA to issue a “stop sale, use, or removal” order to persons with a pesticide in their ownership, custody, or control whenever there is reason to believe that such pesticide is in violation of any provision of FIFRA, or that such pesticide has been, or is intended to be, distributed or sold in violation of any provision of FIFRA.

Pursuant to this authority, EPA ordered Earth Science Laboratories, Inc., to immediately stop the sale, use, or removal of EarthTec, PristineBlue, and CleanWater Blue under its ownership, control or custody, wherever such products are located. The order also prohibits Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. from using, selling, offering for sale, holding for sale, shipping, delivering for shipment, moving or removing for disposal from any facility or establishment, the subject products for any reason, unless approved by EPA in writing.

The stop sale, use, or removal order shall remain in effect unless and until revoked, terminated, suspended or modified in writing by EPA.

More information on the use of stop sale, use, or removal orders.

Modifications to the Order

In response to actions taken by Earth Science Laboratories, the EPA modified the December 4, 2015 SSURO to authorize the movement, distribution, and sale of EarthTec and PristineBlue bearing specific printed labels. Copies of EPA’s letters modifying the SSURO can be accessed below.

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For more information, contact:

Tom Charlton
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
(202) 564-6960
charlton.tom@epa.gov

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