DuPont will pay an almost $1.9 million penalty to resolve allegations violations of pesticide reporting and distribution laws, according to an EPA settlement.
The agency says the company failed to submit reports to the EPA about potential adverse effects of an herbicide product called Imprelis, and sold it with labeling that did not ensure its safe use. When customers applied the misbranded Imprelis product, it led to widespread death and damage to trees.
As part of the registration process for a pesticide or herbicide, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires companies to submit to the EPA reports on a product’s potential adverse impacts on plants or animals that it is not intended to control. During the registration process and after registration was approved for Imprelis, an herbicide product intended to control weeds like dandelions, clover, thistle, plantains and ground ivy, DuPont failed to submit 18 reports.
DuPont has submitted over 7,000 reports to EPA of damage or death of trees — primarily Norway spruce and white pine — related to the application of Imprelis. Test data from DuPont confirmed certain coniferous trees, including Norway spruce and balsam fir, as susceptible to being damaged or killed by the application of Imprelis. There is also evidence that non-coniferous trees such as maple, honey locusts, lilacs, sycamores, and alders are susceptible to damage from Imprelis.
Last month DuPont agreed to pay $1.275 million as part of a settlement with the federal government for eight alleged releases of harmful levels of hazardous substances at its Belle, W. Va. facility between May 2006 and January 2010.