EPA Protects Children from Pesticide Exposure at Pueblo of Acoma School
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
DALLAS – (Oct. 17, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined a New Mexico company for improperly applying pesticides at the Sky City School in the Pueblo of Acoma. B&Y Pest Control had been contracted to address a prairie dog infestation at the school in June 2015. An EPA inspector found the company failed to use tamper-resistant bait stations to minimize exposure to children, pets and non-target pests, and used a restricted-use pesticide on tribal lands without a federal license, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
“Protecting the health of children is one of EPA’s top priorities, especially preventing their exposure to potentially harmful materials,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Companies must follow the law to ensure our schools are safe environments for learning and growing.”
B&Y agreed to a consent agreement and final order to settle the case and paid a civil penalty of $14,000. The company has since come into compliance with FIFRA by acquiring the proper federal licenses, which any person or company applying restricted-use pesticides on tribal lands must have.
FIFRA governs the registration, distribution, sale and use of pesticides in the U.S. The law requires companies and individuals to apply and use pesticides only according to instructions on a product’s EPA-approved label. While pesticides can safely be used in schools, EPA also encourages schools and day cares to use integrated pest management (IPM) tools and techniques. IPM focuses on pest prevention and using pesticides only as needed for a more effective, environmentally sensitive approach. IPM techniques emphasize removing conditions that attract pests, such as potential sources of food, water and shelter.
More about FIFRA: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-federal-insecticide-fungicide-and-rodenticide-act
More about integrated pest management: https://www.epa.gov/managing-pests-schools