Enforcement

Harrell’s, LLC Pesticide Settlement

(WASHINGTON, DC - December 20, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Harrell’s LLC, a pesticide producer based in Lakeland, Fla., has agreed to pay $1,736,560 in civil penalties for allegedly distributing and selling misbranded pesticides and other violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Overview of Company

Harrell’s is a limited liability corporation that incorporated in 2007 under Florida law.  The corporate headquarters are in Lakeland, Florida.  Harrell’s produces and distributes various mixes of fertilizer with pesticides, either herbicides or insecticides.  These pesticide products are used on golf courses and for landscaping, horticulture, and turf applications.  Some are highly toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. 

Harrell’s produces pesticides at facilities in Sylacauga, Ala. and Lakeland, Fla. and operates distribution centers in Danbury, Conn.; Auburn, Mass.; Lombard, Ill.; New Hudson, Mich.; Homestead, Fla.; Whitestown, Ind.; and in the cities of Butler and York, Pa. 

Harrell’s has registered several of its products with the EPA as pesticides but also acts as a “supplemental” distributor by producing and selling pesticides registered to other companies (the “primary registrants”) under the Harrell’s name.  Harrell’s sells a large majority of its pesticide products to golf courses with a smaller percentage sold to the horticulture-nursery, turf, and landscape sectors.  Harrell’s does not sell pesticide products to individual consumers or to retail stores (e.g., The Home Depot).

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Investigation

Beginning in March 2012, Harrell’s was the focus of multiple inspections by EPA and several state partners. These inspections revealed a large number of FIFRA violations.  Based on the results of the inspections and subsequent investigation by EPA Region 1, the EPA identified substantial noncompliance with FIFRA. On April 18, 2012, EPA Region 1 issued a stop sale, use or removal order (SSURO) to Harrell’s. After additional inspections by the EPA and its state partners uncovered additional violations, Region 1 issued a second SSURO to Harrell’s on September 24, 2012.

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Violations

Harrells actions resulted in the following violations of FIFRA:

  • Over 350 illegal sales and distributions of misbranded pesticides (without labels or with illegible or inaccurate labels).
  • Production of pesticides from an unregistered establishment.
  • Distribution or sale of a pesticide in violation of a EPA issued SSURO.

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FIFRA Background

The purpose of FIFRA is to ensure that no pesticides are produced, imported, distributed, sold, or used in a manner that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. Accurate product labels are essential for safe and effective pesticide product us.

Without proper facility registration and reporting, EPA cannot determine where and in what manner pesticides and devices are being produced, sold, and distributed. For more information on EPA regulation of pesticides.

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Settlement Terms

Harrell’s must pay a civil penalty of $1,736,560, which is one of the largest ever for an enforcement case under FIFRA, and ensure that its production and distribution centers are operating in compliance with all FIFRA requirements. The company has corrected all of the violations.  

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For more information, contact

Hugh W. Martinez, Senior Enforcement Counsel
OES Regulatory Legal Office
U.S. EPA - Region 1 (New England)
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (OES 04-3)
Boston, MA 02109-3912
617-918-1867
Hugh W. Martinez (martinez.hugh@epa.gov)

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