Ever been fined?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Harley-D, May 23, 2007.

  1. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    Just curious. We tell all the young guys and newbie's that they'll have to sell their equipment to pay the fines and the judgements they'll have. I'ld like to hear about what fines people have actually seen issued.

    I know that around here you get a slap on the wrist and like a $150 fine. First offense as far as i know though. I haven't heard any stories about someone getting caught more than once.

    Do people actually get caught? Does it put them out of business?
    Stories?
     
  2. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    As far as I know, the only lawn company around here that has ever been fined is TruGreen. We've had a little overspray once in awhile -- sometimes volitilization from ester herbicides too. Minor injury, and woody ornamentals never died (stayed green). We have killed tomato & pepper plants, but that's about it. We usually buy them new ones. Some of these customers who "plant stuff" in or adjacent to turf, we don't want. They almost need a personal gardener.
     
  3. Grassworks Inc.

    Grassworks Inc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    I worked for a company that got fined about 14 years ago. Big regional company at that time, not naming names. They gave us an ag label chlorpyrifos to use on turf. It didn't have a turf label. One guy had the hose on the high pressure side of his pump blow off and discharged about 50 gallons onto the curb, which went into a storm drain, which went into a ditch, which went into a creek, and killed a bunch of crayfish and minnows next to a school where kids just happened to be collecting aquatic samples for science class that day. Also had Triumph, an old organophoshate grub control, in the tank mix that day too. Highly toxic to fish, etc... (but had a turf label).Got investigated by the Dept of Ag, Wildlife, and others. They followed the white trail up the creek to the ditch to the storm drain to the lawn where our company's flag was proudly displayed on the lawn.
    Biggest lesson to be learned here is communication. Spills happen. Hose clamps break, hoses break, sh*t happens. This was in the days before cell phones were commomplace, but had the driver went to the homeowner or neighbor and asked to use a phone alot of sh*t could have been avoided. We got fined (bout 5 G's), but the biggest problem the gov't agencies had (besides using an unlabeled insecticide) was that the driver just drove away without notifying anyone. Imagine coming back to the branch at the end of the day to find all kinds of gov't officials waiting for the first one to get back in off the road.
     
  4. profigala

    profigala LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    I got a warning in 05' for not having site inspection sheets, i was missing a copy of the merit label, and not wearing long sleeves. I got inspected at 11 in the morning, by 1 it was 93 degrees (lawn had irrigation). It was prob already in the mid 80's when he inspected me all he said was "Sorry i know its hot but the label states.." It was granular grub out of a perma green magnum, im all about following the label but long sleeves good god.
     
  5. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    I have to say-wow! 115 views and 3 replies. Sorry but i thought that with all of the people on here who attack those who don't have a license would be more prone to coming up with reasons. I guess it's more the fact that "we had to pass a hard test so you do to"
    It is the law and i'm not condoning using pesticides without the proper training, but the real issue is that when they get caught, not much happens. We shouldn't be on each other about this but more on the officials who track and inspect.

    Appreciate the stories but i'm looking for more spraying without the license and getting caught. Anyone else?
     
  6. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    I don't have a license yet. I bought the books but it got too busy this spring, I left everything to the last minute. I only have about 15 customers.

    Maybe "not too much happens" if they get caught because anyone can go to home depot and buy pesticide and spray it on their own lawn so it may appear as kind of harmless.
     
  7. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    Cool threads! Okay -- here's two:

    One that happened to us last summer: new guy was asked to spray the next door neighbor's Clematis that was hanging over our customer's 6 foot tall privacy fence. It had grown over the fence and about 5 feet down into her back yard. She actually grabbed my guy and specifically told him to spray it. He did, and it affected the neighbor's Clematis on the other side of the fence, but did not kill it -- just curling of foliage & stems.

    Turned out that the next door neighbor (a woman who does not work) was president of some "garden club". She called the State pesticide division and filed a complaint against us. Inspector came out & interviewed my employee while I was present. (he had already visited the "affected property" and took samples). He also called our customer who admitted that she instructed us to spray the "invasive plant".

    While I never would have sprayed the Clematis, my new guy didn't know better. We never got fined, but the State guy suggested two things: 1) In the future, tell the homeowner just to prune the unwanted vegetation. 2) Do not use a lawn company to be the middleman in a neighborly dispute.

    Seems these two neighbors do not get along.


    Three years ago or so, a next door neighbor called the State pesticide dept filing a complaint aginst us. Said his backyard shrubs had herbicide injury from our spray. We knew this was odd right away, cuz all we did was apply granular fert & spot spray. By the way, this complainer was a former customer of ours. Bottom line: seems that his new lawn company (TruGreen) was the culprit. LOL! We never got fined, and the guy dropped it.

    Everybody keep in mind that we are approaching the "complaint season" now. I expect to see some "goodies" this summer.

    NOTE: When I was originally trained by ChemLawn (no not TruGreen), they warned me about two categories of people: 1) school teachers, 2) retired people. Both have one thing in common >> I think we all can guess what this is.
     
  8. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    This is kinda what i thought. Not much happens when you are actually caught spraying without a license.(Thanks for the stories american, but your licensed and your guys are registered techs) So where's the incentive to get a license?

    I know it's the right thing to do and i have mine but there's no incentive for those who don't. Insurance is a whole other story and what i would say is self explanatory.

    I guess i can't blame those of you who aren't licensed for not coming out with your stories. You'll more than likely get hammered from others.:hammerhead:

    Oh well...thought it would have been an interesting thread to point things more at the authorities than at each other.
     
  9. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    The state chemist around here pass out quite a few fines. You can read descriptions of the fines and the person fined somewhere online.
     
  10. ACutAboveNC

    ACutAboveNC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    I was stopped a few years back but nothing serious came about it because it was when I was doing maintence. I thought it was odd to be stopped when I had a TRIMMER in my hands because you know how the ag dept is so concerned with the possible hazards that a trimmer will do if not properly used.
     

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