Since January 1993, ch. ATCP 29, Wis. Adm. Code, has required professional lawn and landscape companies to notify neighboring residents (who have requested this information) prior to applying pesticide treatments and to post landscapes that have been treated with pesticides. This information provides the public the information they need to be aware of pesticide applications so they may take steps to avoid possible exposure from pesticides to themselves, their children, or their pets.
The names and telephone numbers of persons wishing to be notified of neighboring landscape applications are maintained by the program on an annual registry and provided to all licensed landscape businesses, which are required to provide the notice. No fee is required to be on the registry. Persons may list any property for which they want advance notification on their block of residence or any immediately adjoining blocks.
Nine hundred and fifty people applied to be on the landscape registry in 2011. They listed 13,722 addresses for which they requested advance notification of pesticide applications in their neighborhoods, down slightly from 2010.
The department received 40 complaints related to non-notification, and sent 25 warning letters, and one letter of concern. Three complaints became pesticide misuse investigations after other violations were identified during the investigation of the non-notification complaint. Enforcement actions, including probably civil forfeitures, are pending on two of the investigations, and the third investigation found no additional violations and was issued a warning notice.
In general, the landscape companies continue to be cooperative in working with the department to make this program successful.
Direction for the Future
During the last half of 2011, the ACM Bureau decided to develop an on-line registration process as a means to streamline this program and reduce the cost to implement the registration. Most participants now register on-line, and the department is no longer printing registry books for the lawn and landscape companies. Businesses can now use a searchable, on-line database to retrieve the registry information they need. They can also print the entire registry, if preferred. The on-line registration process began December 1, 2011 and the Bureau is expected to save $35,000 in printing and mailing costs alone as a result of on-line registration.
For more information about any of the bureau programs you may email the department.
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