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Fines Looming In Herbicide Spraying

A Lexington, S.C. company that accidentally sprayed a group of toddlers with weed-killing chemicals will be facing increased fines, because of previous spraying incidents.

A NaturChem tanker truck hired by Norfolk Southern to spray herbicide on weeds along railroad tracks in Virginia accidentally sprayed several toddlers playing outside at a day care center in July.

Sixteen children were in the play area near the tracks, and four of them were beside the fence nearest the tracks when the chemical was sprayed.

The label on the chemical NaturChem was using bans it from being sprayed in a way that causes it to land on other property or people, according to Jim Hartlage, a pesticide investigator for the Virginia Department of Agriculture.

"(The company's) fine will be more because this would be a second violation," Hartlage said.

In 2004, NaturChem reached a settlement with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture after being fined $194,200 for 809 violations.

NaturChem, based in Lexington, is financially responsible for the cleanup costs at the day care and for children's medical bills resulting from the accident.


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May 19, 2019, 8:26 am PDT

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