Dept. of Agriculture finds violations in Cleburne County herbicide spraying investigation

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

CLEBURNE COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries says an investigation confirmed IVM Solutions violated the law when the company sprayed herbicides in parts of Cleburne County over the summer.

Video evidence shows an IVM Solutions truck spraying herbicides near a child, on mailboxes and close to waterways, which is not prohibited by law.

CBS 42 first reported neighbors’ concerns over IVM Solution spraying herbicides in Cleburne County back in July. Shortly after we started asking questions, the State Department of Agriculture and Industries confirmed an investigation was underway.

The Department of Agriculture and Industries told CBS 42 back in August in an email:

“Based on case review, violations have been identified. A “Show Cause” letter has just been issued to the company. They have 10 days to contact our Pesticide Management division to set a date for an informal hearing.  The purpose of the hearing is to reach an agreement (Consent Agreement) as to the final enforcement actions (punishments) that will be taken for the proven violation(s). The final action/agreement will include a monetary fine, a probationary period, and additional training requirements. At this time, a date for the informal hearing has not been set. “

Since then, we followed up with the Department of Agriculture and Industries. A spokesperson confirms the order was issued and IVM paid a monetary fine. Amy Belcher, the Communications Director for Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, said in an email, “There were additional penalties issued but until the official order is complete with all signatures we are not able to disclose the details in the order.”

County Commissioner Laura Cobb said she wasn’t aware of the violations until we reached out to her about it.

“I’m highly disturbed about that because I feel like they made that mistake once, we’re taking the chance of it happening again,” said Cobb. “There is still a resolution that says no spraying around waterways and only spray in high-risk areas.”

She told CBS 42 that IVM’s contract was renewed by the Cleburne County Commission. Now that she is aware of the violations, she told CBS 42 she hopes to bring the contract back up for discussion before spraying would begin again in the spring.

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