Blog: Pesticide Applicators Failed 70% of Inspections in 2001

(Originally published in Intervenor, the CELA newsletter until 2004.)

Intervenor: vol. 27, no. 1 – 2, January – June 2002

By Linda Pim, Kathleen Cooper and Karyn Keenan

The following table is excerpted from the web site of Ontario MoE Environmental SWAT Team. The information was downloaded June 6, 2002 and the page was last updated in January of 2002. Hence these results would reflect the 2001 spraying season. Overall, there are 66 violations arising from 71 inspections. However, we confirmed that for any one incidence of non-compliance, the same company could receive both a Provincial Officer Order and a ticket or court summons. As a result, the table should not be interpreted to mean that out of 71 inspections, there were 66 separate violations. We called the Ministry to clarify the rate of non-compliance across all inspections. The answer: across the six regions where the 71 inspections occurred, the non-compliance rate was 70%. The MoE SWAT Team web page notes that its inspection results are updated regularly.

Source: and Rod Adams, Supervisor, SWAT Team, personal communication, June, 2002.

MoE SWAT Team Inspection results for the pesticide applicator sector

* Number of Provincial Officer Orders (P.O. Orders). P.O. Orders list the corrective action the companies/ individuals must take in order to comply with Ontario’s environmental laws. While the P.O. Orders do not carry a monetary fine they do often require both time and money for the companies to comply. Also, a breach of a P.O. Order is a chargeable offence of some significance. Note: orders may outnumber inspections due to multiple orders to single operators.

** Number of tickets/summons/notices issued under the Provincial Offences Act (POA). They carry a fine of up to $500 and are issued when companies/individuals have violated Ontario’s environmental laws; for example, improper signage on vehicles.

Potentially serious cases are referred to the MoE’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch for further review, which could lead to laying charges. A company convicted of its first major offence could be fined up to $6 million per day. Individuals could be fined $4 million per day and face jail terms of 5 years less a day.