December 13, 2019

Country club fined for pesticide use> Control board cites lack of license for applicator at St. Croix golf course

CALAIS — The Board of Pesticides Control has fined the St. Croix Country Club for using pesticides on its greens without a license.

The administrative consent decree will not go into effect until it is ratified by the board today.

According to the consent agreement, the staff of the city’s only country club applied a fungicide to the greens on two occasions without the supervision of a licensed pesticide applicator. Under the terms of the agreement, the country club agreed to pay a $200 fine and have staff members take the state commercial master applicator examination before June 1.

Club president Tom Lynch said Thursday that the whole incident was an unfortunate mistake. “It wasn’t a very toxic material. It was something used on golf courses for years and years and the person who applied it thought he was covered by another person’s license and … he found out he wasn’t,” he said. The president said the club informed the state that it would comply with the terms of the consent agreement and would rectify the problem.

Paul Gregory, Board of Pesticides Control public information officer, said that in most instances the board attempts to enter into a consent agreement with commercial entities that violate the state’s pesticides laws rather than go to court. He said the board regularly conducts random inspections, and that was when the violations at the Calais country club were discovered.

“We corresponded with the golf course 10 years ago, and they knew licenses were required,” he said. “A license is required whenever any pesticide is applied in a public place.”

The standards under which pesticides can be used in a commercial environment, Gregory said, have been set by the Legislature. “It is to establish a standard of conduct whenever pesticides are used so the public can be assured that when they are hiring a service or going to a public place that deals with pesticides it [pesticide use] is done with the best knowledge available,” he said.

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