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Oregon crop duster fined, loses license

By Eric Mortenson

Capital Press

A helicopter spray company and its commercial applicator are each fined and lose their licenses for spraying residential areas.

An Oregon helicopter spraying company has been fined $10,000 and had its license revoked for a year for an October 2013 incident in which 2,4-D and triclopyr were sprayed on residential areas in Curry County

Steven Owen, commercial applicator for Pacific Air Research, also was fined $10,000 and lost his license for a year for what the Oregon Department of Agriculture called “gross negligence and willful misconduct.” The company provided “multiple” false records and misled the department about products used in the spraying, according to a news release.

The fines and license revocations are the maximum penalties allowed under Oregon’s Pesticide Control Law.

The investigation began when people living in the Cedar Valley area of Curry County complained they’d been exposed to herbicides sprayed by a helicopter that was supposed to be spraying timberland. Agriculture department staff collected plant samples at seven sites in the area and tested them each for five ingredients. Three of the 35 samples tested positive for 2,4-D and triclopyr.

Pacific Air Research and Steven Owen can request an administrative hearing to contest the penalties.



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