EPA Fines Pesticide Distributers After Del. Family Gets Sick - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

EPA Fines Pesticide Distributers After Del. Family Gets Sick

Posted: Updated:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP/WBOC) - The U.S. government announced Thursday that it imposed a $210,000 fine on two pesticide distributors in Puerto Rico as part of a widespread probe into a toxic pesticide that nearly killed a family from Wilmington, Del.

Steve Esmond, his wife, Dr. Theresa Devine, and their two teenage sons were vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands and staying at the Sirenusa Condominium Resort in Cruz Bay, St. John, in March 2015 when they were poisoned. 

Authorities determined Terminix used methyl bromide at a vacation unit below the one the family had rented. The two teenagers were hospitalized in critical condition and have permanent neurological damage, while their parents had to undergo therapy.
    
The distributors, identified as Superior-Angran LLC and Superior Angran Caribbean Inc., have now been fined and ordered to train pesticide applicators as part of a deal that settles alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.
    
The EPA said Superior-Angran bought two pesticides containing methyl bromide and then sold them to applicators in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands without certifying they would be used only in quarantine and pre-shipment applications as required by law.
    
The EPA said it found that Puerto Rico-based applicators then illegally used the pesticide, adding they would not have been able to buy it had Superior-Angran required a certification.
    
"Companies selling pesticides must follow all laws to help protect people from becoming seriously injured," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.
    
Ada Torres, a Superior-Angran spokeswoman, said by phone that the clerical errors were an unintentional mistake and that the companies have been unfairly tied to the U.S. Virgin Islands incident when they played no role in it.
    
Torres also said Superior-Angran is considering taking legal action against the EPA, which launched a widespread federal investigation into the use of methyl bromide in the region after the family fell ill.
    
Methyl bromide is still used in the U.S. mainland for agricultural purposes, but the EPA banned the chemical for residential use in 1984 and is phasing out its overall use.
    
Exposure to high levels of methyl bromide can cause headaches, dizziness, fainting and even paralysis and death.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Dagsboro Family Facilitating Letters to Santa

    Dagsboro Family Facilitating Letters to Santa

    Saturday, November 17 2018 10:47 PM EST2018-11-18 03:47:39 GMT
    Saturday, November 17 2018 10:47 PM EST2018-11-18 03:47:39 GMT
    DAGSBORO, Del.- Children in Sussex County have a very special mailbox to write Santa Claus and receive a guaranteed response. The Malone family set up the North Pole post bin after husband Sean worked in the post office and saw letters to Santa going unanMore
    DAGSBORO, Del.- Children in Sussex County have a very special mailbox to write Santa Claus and receive a guaranteed response. The Malone family set up the North Pole post bin after husband Sean worked in the post office and saw letters to Santa going unanMore
  • People at NASA's Visitors Center React to Rocket Launch

    People at NASA's Visitors Center React to Rocket Launch

    Saturday, November 17 2018 6:40 PM EST2018-11-17 23:40:04 GMT
    Saturday, November 17 2018 6:40 PM EST2018-11-17 23:40:19 GMT
    Rocket Launch Wallops Island (Photo WBOC)Rocket Launch Wallops Island (Photo WBOC)
    Rocket Launch Wallops Island (Photo WBOC)Rocket Launch Wallops Island (Photo WBOC)
    WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - Did you get up early and watch the launch this morning? Just after 4 am, the Antares Rockets Blasted off from Wallops Island.More
    WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - Did you get up early and watch the launch this morning? Just after 4 am, the Antares Rockets Blasted off from Wallops Island. More
  • Man Arrested for DUI After Three Car Crash in Centreville

    Man Arrested for DUI After Three Car Crash in Centreville

    Saturday, November 17 2018 5:37 PM EST2018-11-17 22:37:46 GMT
    Saturday, November 17 2018 5:39 PM EST2018-11-17 22:39:58 GMT
    CENTREVILLE, Md.- Maryland State Police say a 28-year-old Centerville man is facing charges after allegedly driving under the influence and causing a car accident late Friday night. Police say around 11:48 p.m. on Friday, troopers were dispatched to RouteMore
    CENTREVILLE, Md.- Maryland State Police say a 28-year-old Centerville man is facing charges after allegedly driving under the influence and causing a car accident late Friday night. Police say around 11:48 p.m. on Friday, troopers were dispatched to RouteMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New Toll Road to Open on U.S. Route 301 at Delaware State Line

    New Toll Road to Open on U.S. Route 301 at Delaware State Line

    Friday, November 16 2018 6:19 PM EST2018-11-16 23:19:54 GMT
    Friday, November 16 2018 6:19 PM EST2018-11-16 23:19:54 GMT
    MIDDLETOWN, Del. --- The U.S. Route 301 Mainline Project is beginning to wrap up work and lead to the state's first cashless toll road opening in December. The new U.S. Route 301 bypass will take drivers around Middletown and connect them directly to DelaMore
    MIDDLETOWN, Del. --- The U.S. Route 301 Mainline Project is beginning to wrap up work and lead to the state's first cashless toll road opening in December. The new U.S. Route 301 bypass will take drivers around Middletown and connect them directly to DelaMore
  • UPDATE: Millsboro Man Found Shot to Death

    UPDATE: Millsboro Man Found Shot to Death

    Thursday, November 17 2016 12:11 PM EST2016-11-17 17:11:44 GMT
    Thursday, November 17 2016 11:52 PM EST2016-11-18 04:52:10 GMT

    Police are conducting a death investigation in Millsboro after a man was found dead on a road.

    More

    Police are conducting a death investigation in Millsboro after a man was found dead on a road.

    More
  • Successful Antares Launch from Wallops Island

    Successful Antares Launch from Wallops Island

    Saturday, November 17 2018 4:20 AM EST2018-11-17 09:20:25 GMT
    Saturday, November 17 2018 4:20 AM EST2018-11-17 09:20:25 GMT
    An unmanned cargo rocket successfully blasted off from NASA Wallops Flight Facility to the International Space Station Saturday morning after being postponed twice due to a poor weather forecast.More
    An unmanned cargo rocket successfully blasted off from NASA Wallops Flight Facility to the International Space Station Saturday morning after being postponed twice due to a poor weather forecast. More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices