70.104.030  <<  70.104.040 >>   70.104.050

Pesticide emergencies—Authority of department of agriculture not infringed upon.

(1) In any case where an emergency relating to pesticides occurs that represents a hazard to the public due to toxicity of the material, the quantities involved or the environment in which the incident takes place, such emergencies including but not limited to fires, spillage, and accidental contamination, the person or agent of such person having actual or constructive control of the pesticides involved shall immediately notify the department of health by telephone or the fastest available method.
(2) Upon notification or discovery of any pesticide emergency the department of health shall:
(a) Make such orders and take such actions as are appropriate to assume control of the property and to dispose of hazardous substances, prevent further contamination, and restore any property involved to a nonhazardous condition. In the event of failure of any individual to obey and carry out orders pursuant to this section, the department shall have all power and authority to accomplish those things necessary to carry out such order. Any expenses incurred by the department as a result of intentional failure of any individual to obey its lawful orders shall be charged as a debt against such individual.
(3) In any case where the department of health has assumed control of property pursuant to this chapter, such property shall not be reoccupied or used until such time as written notification of its release for use is received from the secretary of the department or his or her designee. Such action shall take into consideration the economic hardship, if any, caused by having the department assume control of property, and release shall be accomplished as expeditiously as possible. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a farmer from continuing to process his or her crops and/or animals provided that the processing does not endanger the public health.
(4) The department shall recognize the pesticide industry's responsibility and active role in minimizing the effect of pesticide emergencies and shall provide for maximum utilization of these services.
(5) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed in any way to infringe upon or negate the authority and responsibility of the department of agriculture in its application and enforcement of the Washington Pesticide Control Act, chapter 15.58 RCW and the Washington Pesticide Application Act, chapter 17.21 RCW. The department of health shall work closely with the department of agriculture in the enforcement of this chapter and shall keep it appropriately advised.
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