WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced that Terminix International Company LP (TERMINIX LP) and its U.S. Virgin Islands operation Terminix International USVI LLC (TERMINIX, USVI) have been charged with violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
According to the charges, the defendants illegally applied fumigants containing the substance methyl bromide in residential locations across the Virgin Islands. Because of these alleged actions, a family of four fell seriously ill in a St. John resort complex.
“When misused, highly toxic pesticides can have catastrophic consequences, and that’s why those who are certified to apply them must do so responsibly and lawfully,” said assistant attorney general John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
The defendant agreed to pay $10 million in fines, community service and restitution payments. TERMINIX LP will pay $3 million and fund a $1 million community service project. TERMINIX, USVI will pay $5 million in fines along with $1 million in restitution. Additionally, TERMINIX LP will stop using any pesticide that may contain methyl bromide.
“This prosecution demonstrates the importance of complying with environmental laws and regulations,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe of the District of the Virgin Islands. “Tragically, the defendants' failure to do so resulted in catastrophic injuries to the victims and exposed many others to similar harm.”