The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality slapped a $3,000 settlement fine against Zhen Corp. dba Free Town Market for illegally importing misbranded and unregistered pesticides into the Commonwealth. Zhen Corp. has paid the settlement fine as well as admitted to illegally importing unregistered pesticides for farming use.
In addition, Zhen Corp. has made immediate arrangements with a professional environmental company to have the illegal pesticides exported out of the CNMI to a disposal facility in the U.S. mainland at their expense as one of the imposed conditions.
Frank M. Rabauliman, BECQ administrator said, “The importation, sale, and use of illegal pesticides puts the health and safety of our communities at risk. It is this uncompromising risk that I have made it an agency policy to treat all intercepted, misbranded pesticides as hazardous materials and heavily enforce immediate action of its removal and exportation at the expense of the importer.”
“I commend the diligence and persistence of the officers at Customs and Quarantine in continuing to assist the BECQ with the interception of illegal, misbranded pesticides,” added Rabauliman.
Rabauliman strongly advises distributors and retailers to ensure that imported pesticide products have the required EPA labels. Non-compliance will result in hefty violation fines and exportation costs at the expense of the responsible importer, as evident with Zhen Corp.
He further reminds retailers and wholesalers that all pesticide products to be imported, sold, or used in the Commonwealth must have and conform to U.S. EPA requirements for labeling or packaging. BECQ is actively conducting site visits to crack down on the sale of illegal pesticides and violators will be cited. Under CNMI Pesticide regulation, it is also unlawful for any person within the CNMI to offer to deliver to another person any pesticide that is unregistered, misbranded, banned, or cancelled.
For more information about the CNMI Pesticide Regulations, contact the Pesticide Program at 664-8500 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . You are also encouraged to visit www.deq.gov.mp for general information about pesticides or to download the pesticide regulations. (BECQ)