2009-01-10 / News

Agency finds township violated pesticide law

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON - Union Township committed three pesticide violations last July, an Ohio Department of Agriculture investigation has concluded.

Buckeye Lake Village resident Bonnie Mansfield told the trustees that a township employee directly sprayed her pregnant daughter and 22-month old grandson with mosquito pesticide at about 9 p.m. on July 16. Mansfield said she was also sprayed with pesticide as she sat on her porch. She said the spray aggravates her and her daughter's asthma. Mansfield chased after the Union Township truck. When she confronted the applicator, she said he was unable to tell her what he was spraying or provide a label for the pesticide.

Mansfield complained to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which determined the township misused pesticide, operated application equipment negligently, and failed to provide proper direct supervision to a trained service person.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the township allowed a pesticide called MasterLine Kontol 4-4 to contact skin, when its label says to avoid contact with skin. "This is a violation of the Ohio Pesticide Law," the Notice of Warning sent to applicator David Cable stated.

Next, the ODA determined the pesticide applicator was not turned off when approaching pedestrians, as is required. The Notice stated, "…you indicated that you did not turn off your mosquito application equipment when approaching pedestrians on the street, and that you would not turn off your application for future encounters with pedestrians. The ODA consider this to be operating in a negligent manner. This is a violation of the Ohio Pesticide Law."

Finally, the ODA determined the trained service person, Jim Nauer, did not have the pesticide label available for viewing, as is required. That is also a violation.

Union Township Trustee President John Slater said that all the violations have been resolved since July and the ODA informed him that the township is now in compliance with all insecticide regulations. "We're up to speed," he said.

Slater said the warnings were the "minimum penalty" given for the violations, and since they are resolved the ODA will take no further action. He said the spraying schedule was changed to a time when people are not generally outside and the sprayer will be shut off when people are near. Slater said Nauer had the label with him when he spoke to Mansfield, but didn't know it.

"(The ODA) is happy and we're happy," he said. "Hopefully, everyone else is happy."

Maybe not.

"They could've at the very least apologized to my daughter and me," said Mansfield. "Until that happens, it's not resolved."

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