The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) penalized Nutrien Ag Solutions Inc. for allegedly applying pesticides that were cancelled by the federal government and applying them in a manner inconsistent with the products’ labeling.
The Colorado-based company, which sells, distributes, and applies pesticides mainly for farming operations, will pay $668,100.
“It’s critical that pesticide applicators follow labeling requirements to prevent off-site movement of pesticides that can damage non-target crops,” said Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu. “This enforcement action demonstrates the Agency’s commitment to ensuring the safe use and distribution of pesticide products.”
In 2020, EPA cancelled the use of certain pesticides containing the active ingredient dicamba, in response to a Ninth Circuit Court order vacating the registration of those pesticides. The Court cited, among other things, evidence that dicamba could drift onto neighboring crops and damage them during high winds. In its cancellation order, EPA said that farmers could use their existing stocks of three pesticides containing dicamba until July 31, 2020, but that applicators must adhere to all product labeling requirements.
According to EPA, Nutrien Ag Solutions violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act when it allegedly used two dicamba products in a manner inconsistent with the approved label on at least 27 occasions, in violation of the Agency’s cancellation order. Further, EPA alleged that the company violated the law on 33 occasions when it applied other dicamba products on multiple Kansas farms during periods of high wind speeds in violation of pesticide label requirements.
Nutrien Ag Solutions has taken steps to address the alleged violations, including conducting trainings on pesticide applications, working with pesticide applicators to comply with label and other requirements, and improving its recordkeeping practices.
For more information about the EPA and pesticides, visit: www.epa.gov/pesticides.