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Lawn care technician fined $2,000 for violating Ontario’s Pesticides Act

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November 22, 2023
By Talent Canada

A lawn care technician has been fined $2,000 for violating Ontario’s Pesticides Act.

Enrique Collantes is a technician employed by a registered lawn care company located in Wellesley, Ont. Par III is an herbicide which is prohibited for cosmetic use under the Pesticides Act.

The lawn care company permitted its employees to use the pesticides that it had in stock for personal use at their own residences. However, the company relied on its employees’ understanding that the use of Par III for cosmetic purposes was prohibited by law.

On July 22, 2021, Collantes accessed the Par III in the lawn care company’s shop with the intent of applying it to his personal lawn as well as his parents’ gravesite. Collantes was aware that the use of Par III for cosmetic purposes was prohibited by the Pesticides Act.

Collantes put the Par III into a container that was normally used to store a different type of pesticide called “Fiesta.” Fiesta is authorized for cosmetic purposes. Collantes then put the container of Par III into a company vehicle.

Later that day, another employee used the container of Par III to top up the sprayer backpack of herbicide that was to be applied to a customer’s residential lawn. The employee intended to top up the backpack with Fiesta. As a result, the employee mistakenly applied the prohibited Par III herbicide to the customer’s lawn.

The event was discovered by ministry staff, who were alerted by a complaint from a neighbour of the property where Par III had been applied. The neighbouring family smelled an intense chemical odour and experienced nausea, dizziness and headache, causing them to temporarily leave their residence.

The ministry’s Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges which resulted in one conviction.

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