EPA and Mt. Hood Chemical Corporation reach settlement for federal pesticide rules violations
Mt. Hood Chemical Corporation (Mt. Hood), located in Portland, Oregon, has agreed to pay a penalty of $90,000 in order to settle claims for 31 alleged violations of the federal pesticide law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act or FIFRA). Mt. Hood has also agreed to conduct a full environmental audit of their Portland, Oregon facility, including non-pesticide related areas and processes, and to provide specialized FIFRA training for employees involved in any aspect of pesticide production, sales, and distribution. The settlement was reached following an investigation by inspectors with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and announced from the Agency’s regional headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
EPA’s inspection of the company’s Portland facility was prompted by its review of a report from a March 22, 2005 inspection conducted by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). Labels from 11 Mt. Hood disinfectant products collected during the ODA inspection did not contain proper caution or warning statements. It also appeared that Mt. Hood was producing and selling a disinfectant product that was not registered with EPA. EPA investigated and issued orders demanding that Mt. Hood stop selling the 11 improperly labeled products and the unregistered disinfectant. Disinfectants for use on non-living surfaces are considered pesticides under FIFRA because they kill or destroy bacteria, which is considered a “pest.”
Subsequent to the ODA inspection, EPA also learned that Mt. Hood was selling five gallon pails of its unregistered Crown Bleach product with a competitor’s registered bleach label glued to the container.
“Selling or distributing unregistered and improperly labeled disinfectant products is illegal,” said Chris Gebhardt, a FIFRA Enforcement Officer in EPA’s Seattle Regional Office. “Disinfectant products that lack updated information about first aid, disposal and environmental hazards can potentially harm people and the environment.”
In response to EPA’s investigation and stop sale order, Mt. Hood worked cooperatively with EPA and its business partners to promptly correct the labeling problems and satisfy conditions allowing them to resume sales of the above products.
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