Boise’s J.R. Simplot Co., one of the largest agribusiness companies in the nation, has been fined by the Environmental Protection Agency for improperly storing and labeling pesticides at five California sites where it repackages pesticides for agricultural use.
Simplot has agreed to pay $98,960 in fines and has committed to correcting the violations, according to the EPA.
“Pesticide facilities must be managed to prevent releases that could harm workers and the environment,” Alexis Strauss, EPA’s acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said in a news release this week.
The Simplot sites in Stockton, Traver, Five Points, Terra Bella and Colusa were cited for a combined 23 violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, according to the EPA. The act regulates the distribution, sale and use of pesticides.
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At its Stockton location, for example, the EPA said Simplot failed to properly anchor or elevate bulk-pesticide storage tanks, a requirement to prevent the tanks from floating in the event of an earthquake or flood.
The company also failed to put labels with net contents on bulk-pesticide storage containers, which the EPA said is required to account for amounts of pesticide in the event of an emergency.
In addition, officials found a label with the incorrect EPA establishment registration number on a pesticide storage container. This number is used to identify where the product was produced and is crucial in maintaining product integrity, the EPA said.
A spokesman from J.R. Simplot did not return calls seeking comment.
For more information on pesticides, go to epa.gov/pesticides.
For more information on the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, go to epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-federal-insecticide-fungicide-and-rodenticide-act.
The Idaho Statesman contributed.