U.S. EPA Fines Pesticide Application Company TriCal $44,275 for Pesticide Misuse
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with pesticide applicator TriCal Inc., based in Gilroy, California, resolving violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The EPA partnered with State and Fresno County authorities on this case. Under the terms of the settlement, TriCal will pay a civil penalty of $44,275.
In November 2016, after receiving multiple complaints from neighbors reporting health effects consistent with pesticidal exposure, inspectors from the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s office investigated TriCal’s commercial application of a fumigant called Tri-Clor at an almond field near Selma, California. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation, in collaboration with Fresno County, referred the case to EPA, which determined that TriCal misused the fumigant by not meeting all its labeling requirements. TriCal did not comply with the label’s soil surface compacting requirement, its site‑specific Fumigation Management Plan was missing numerous required elements, and its Post-Application Summary was inaccurate.
“California has clear guidelines and regulations for how pesticides are applied to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of our environment” said Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner, Melissa Cregan. “I want to thank the U.S. EPA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for their continued partnership in the pesticide regulatory program, and my staff who invested countless hours into this investigation. Together we will continue to serve our community by ensuring that pesticides are applied in accordance with all laws and regulations.”
“The ongoing work and collaboration between U.S. EPA, County Agricultural Commissioners, and California Department of Pesticide Regulation to enforce pesticide laws and regulations is critical for the protection of public health and the environment,” said California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Acting Director, Julie Henderson. “It is imperative that pesticide applicators follow all label instructions, and we will continue to prioritize our enforcement partnership to maintain a safe environment and protect farmworkers, growers, agricultural communities and the public.”
“Reducing pesticide exposure for the agricultural communities and farmworkers is a high priority for EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of Enforcement and Compliance Division Director, Amy Miller. “Applicators must follow all EPA-approved labeling instructions to ensure protection of human health and the environment or face penalties.”
TriCal’s EPA-registered fumigant, Tri-Clor, is a restricted-use pesticide intended to treat and manage soil‑borne disease, including wireworms and nematodes. Tri-Clor’s active ingredient is chloropicrin, an irritant with characteristics of tear gas. Restricted-use pesticides are not available for use by the public because of high toxicity, the potential to injure applicators and bystanders, and the risk of adverse effects on the environment.
FIFRA regulates the distribution, sale, and use of all pesticides in the United States. All pesticides distributed or sold in the United States must be registered by the EPA. Any individual or company that knowingly uses pesticide products in a manner inconsistent with their labeling is subject to criminal sanctions.
For more information on the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-federal-insecticide-fungicide-and-rodenticide-act