Compliance and Investigation
The Investigation and Compliance Section performs investigations related to the feed, fertilizer and pesticide programs. These cases could involve product distribution, storage, use, disposal or environmental contamination.
The Compliance Section has 14 Environmental Enforcement Specialists (EES), an Investigation Program Manager, a Supervisor, and a Section Chief, who conduct and oversee inspections and investigations for the ACM Bureau. In 2013 there were a number of staff changes within the compliance section including, recruitment of the Section Chief, hiring of the Investigation Program Manager and the hiring of an Environmental Enforcement Specialist.
In 2013, the section conducted a total of 151 investigations. The 151 investigations included the following types of cases: 123 pesticide (ATCP 29), 8 feed, 5 remediation, 1 containment, 11 license enforcement, 1 groundwater, 1 fertilizer/soil and plant additive, and 1 toxic response.
Violations may result in actions ranging from verbal warnings to court action invoking civil or criminal penalties depending on the statutory authorities in the program area. All civil or criminal cases conducted by the section are prosecuted by the district attorney in the county where the violation occurred. A majority of the formal enforcement actions are conducted by the section through stipulated settlements, with court documents being prepared by the section. Table 1 shows the number and type of enforcement actions taken during 2013. In 2013, 29 cases delivered to the county district attorney for prosecution were filed and closed by the county. These cases may include investigations from previous years. Numerous 2013 enforcement cases are in process, so these numbers do not reflect the total enforcement actions that will result from the 2013 investigations.
The department assigns the highest response priority to complaints involving human exposure to pesticides. In 2013, staff investigated seven cases involving potential human exposure to pesticides. These seven investigations include one agricultural ground application, two aerial agricultural applications, two turf and landscape applications, one home garden vandalism an done at a railroad yard. DATCP document violations in five of the seven investigations.
In 2013, the section investigated 42 complaints involving alleged pesticide drift with 26 of the complaints involving agricultural applications.
Pesticide Violations 2009-2013
Type of Case
Number of cases (percent with violations)
|Aerial – Airplane||2||2||3||3||7|
|Aerial – Helicopter||4||2||0||2||3|
|Greenhouse – Nursery||3||0||0||0||0|
|Poor Operating Practices||3||5||0||6||5|
|Turf & Ornamental||38||38||30||41||40|
2013 Compliance Actions
A Wisconsin commercial aquatic and mosquito treatment company paid a civil forfeiture of $4,061.50, which included court costs for violations related to the commercial use of pesticides. DATCP investigated and documented that the firm directed employees that were not individually licensed or certified as commercial pesticide applicators to make commercial pesticide applications. The firm also failed to maintain the required pesticide application records and provide complete post-application information to its customers.
A Wisconsin commercial pesticide business paid a civil forfeiture of $6,629.50 for violations DATCP discovered during a routine inspection. DATCP observed several mini-bulk pesticide containers stored outside of containment, precipitation in secondary containment not recovered by the end of the business day, and dry fertilizer discharges that had not been recovered by the end of the business day.
During a routine records inspection at a Wisconsin restricted-use pesticide dealer, DATCP discovered restricted-use pesticides had been sold to two uncertified individuals. The restricted-use pesticide dealer paid a forfeiture of more than $1,500 for the violations. Each uncertified individual who purchased and used the restricted-use pesticides also paid a civil forfeiture.
An unlicensed, uncertified commercial pesticide applicator paid a civil forfeiture of $2,705.50, including court costs, for violations related to the commercial use of pesticides. DATCP determined the applicator made a commercial pesticide application without obtaining individual certification and licensing, and obstructed a department employee in the course of duties. The company also paid a civil forfeiture related to the investigation.
Direction for the Coming Year
We are continuing with the development and implementation of updated policies and procedures for compliance and other programs areas. In addition, the section will continue to experience staffing changes in 2014. Training and providing necessary tools (such as revised inspection forms and updated policies and procedures) for new staff as well as seasoned staff will be a priority.
For more information about any of the bureau programs you may email the department.
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