August 30, 2004

Pesticide Act violations lead to $11K fine for sod farm operation

LONDON, ONT-Strathroy Turf Farms, a sod farm operation near London, was found guilty of two charges under Ontario's Pesticides Act and fined a total of $11,250, plus victim fine surcharges. In May 2002, a company officer applied a weed killer not registered for use on crops to the company's sod field. Using a boom sprayer, the company officer made several passes across the field. After approximately three hours, the application was stopped due to strong winds. A few days afterward, a neighbouring property owner found signs of leaf damage on a number of his trees and ornamental shrubs were. The resident reported the suspected pesticide damage to the Ministry of Environment (MOE), whose staff went to the site and collected samples of the damaged vegetation. Analysis of the samples confirmed the presence of the pesticide used by Strathroy Turf Farms. Further investigation by the MOE revealed that in applying the pesticide to the sod, the company did not follow the application directions on the product label. The company was charged with using a pesticide contrary to directions contained on the label and with discharging a pesticide causing greater damage to vegetation than that which would have resulted from the proper use of the pesticide. Both violations breached section 42(1) of the act. Strathroy Turf Farms was fined $3,250 for the improper usage and $8,000 for the improper discharge of the pesticide.
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