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EPA Penalizes Quail Plantations for Illegal Use of Pesticides
(Beyond Pesticides, November 24, 2003) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the settlement of cases involving the misuse of pesticides at eight plantations used for hunting quail in southern Georgia. A multi-agency investigation discovered the illegal practice of injecting chicken eggs with the carbamate pesticide product Furadan, which contains the active ingredient carbofuran, in order to poison the predators of quail and quail eggs. Under the terms of the settlements, the plantations certified that any use of Furadan for predator control on their properties had ceased, and they will pay a combined civil penalty of $359,750.

"These cases served to stop a practice that presented a public health risk," said J.P. Suarez, EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "We hope they will serve to deter other operations from misusing pesticides. This is part of a national effort to promote the responsible use of such substances."

The violations were initially detected in 1998 and 1999 by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) and investigated by the U.S. EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, GDNR, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA). The State and the U.S. Attorney's Office previously assessed fines and penalties against some of the plantations. Today's settlement resolves cases filed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

"The combined federal and state enforcement efforts have stemmed the illegal use of pesticides that kill wildlife and pose a serious health risk to anyone coming in contact with them," said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta. Lonice Barrett, Commissioner of GDNR, has stated, "This practice has stopped, and if employed in the future, GDNR will transmit such reports to the appropriate state and federal officials and cooperate to the fullest extent possible to assist in the prosecution of those involved."

The eight plantations involved in the settlements are: Kolomoki L.L.C. and John Ray Stout; Albermarle Plantation and Richard Roger Thomas; Nochaway Plantation and John L. Simms; Pinebloom Plantation; Ecila Plantation and Wiley Jordan; J.W. Willis Property; Pineland Plantation; and Nonami Plantation.