Sep 28, 2020
California settles with pest control company for work performed in seven counties

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has reached a settlement agreement with Pestmaster Services, Inc., over multiple alleged violations of pesticide laws and regulations, including the failure to obtain proper registrations and failure to submit pesticide use reports in seven counties.

According to a Sept. 24 news release, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR’s) investigation found that on more than 180 occasions, Pestmaster performed pest control work often under federal contract on federal land, but repeatedly failed to register as a pest control business in the counties where work was performed, and failed to submit required pesticide use reports.

“This legal action should serve as a warning that California takes pesticide violations seriously. This also should be a reminder to applicators that they are not exempt from complying with California’s pesticide laws and regulations when doing work at federal government facilities,” said DPR Director Val Dolcini.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pestmaster and owner Jeffrey M. Van Diepen’s qualified applicator license will be on probation for three years, during which it must submit quarterly reports to DPR regarding its pest control work in California. This is in addition to complying with California’s laws and regulations related to pest control services. If the company or owner violate any of the terms of the probation, DPR could pursue a formal license revocation.

The department initiated the statewide investigation into the company based on information received from the county agricultural commissioners in Sacramento and Tulare counties. The investigation found that Pestmaster performed the work between June 2003 and April 2020 in the following seven counties: Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Lassen, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara and Tulare.

The requirements to register and report pesticide use in each county in which a company performs pest control work is necessary to ensure, among other things, that the agricultural commissioner knows who is performing pest control work in their county, where they are operating, and what types of licensed pesticide applications are occurring.

DPR is one of the six departments of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Its mission is to protect people and the environment by regulating pesticide sales and use, and by promoting reduced-risk pest management practices.

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