The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, N.C., for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Syngenta will pay $766,508 in civil penalties and spend $436,990 to perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP).
“The repackaging, sale and distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides is illegal and puts people and the environment at risk,” said Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator for the Southeast. “Users rely on accurate, up-to-date information about ingredients, directions for use, hazards and safety precautions. This settlement sends a strong message to pesticide companies to maintain compliance with all federal environmental laws.”
A multi-regional investigation was conducted by EPA Regions 4, 5, 7 and 8 resulting in evidence supporting the alleged violations against Syngenta. The investigation started in August of 2012 and concluded in January of 2015. Based on a review of the evidence, EPA determined that Syngenta distributed and/or sold numerous pesticide products to refillers prior to having written repackaging agreements with the refillers. Syngenta failed to maintain records of the repackaging agreements as required by the Pesticide Management and Disposal rule (Pesticide Container Containment Rule).
Syngenta also violated FIFRA by selling and distributing misbranded pesticides. Many of the labels affixed to the pesticide products and/or containers bore labels that were either outdated or not in conformance with the EPA accepted label. Some of these misbranded labels were of pesticides that were classified as restricted use.
Additionally, Syngenta violated FIFRA by failing to maintain records of study data submitted to the EPA for pesticide registration.
As a part of this settlement, Syngenta has agreed to implement an environmental compliance promotion SEP. The SEP will involve a 4-year educational awareness training and campaign to educate the regulated community on FIFRA regulatory compliance requirements pertaining to the Pesticide Container Containment Rule. The training will specifically focus on the requirements relevant to bulk pesticide containers, containment, labels, storage, transportation, delivery, clean-out, repackaging agreements and record keeping.
The settlement, a Consent Agreement and Final Order, was filed on September 15, 2016 at the EPA’s regional office in Atlanta. Syngenta must submit payment of the penalty to the U.S. Department of Treasury within 30 days.