OverviewThe South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) works cooperatively with the EPA to register and regulate pesticides in the state. Pesticides include herbicides (weed control), insecticides (insect control), fungicides (fungus control), rodenticides (prairie dogs, rate, mice, rodent control), avicides (birds), and predicides (coyotes, predators).
The SDDA licenses applicators and works with SDSU to provide necessary training for applicators in the state. In addition, the SDDA also conducts periodic inspections of applicators and retail facilities to ensure proper use and storage of products and that the appropriate recordkeeping is occurring.
Health ExposuresIt is important to stay out of areas that may have come into contact with pesticides to reduce exposure to yourself or others. In the event you were exposed to pesticides, remove the contaminated clothing as soon as possible. Make sure to wash the exposed area thoroughly with soap and hot water. If you believe that you, a family member, your pet, or livestock has been harmed from pesticide exposure, immediately seek medical or veterinary attention.
SDDA AuthorityThe SDDA has the authority to investigate allegations of violations of pesticide law, including applications by unlicensed applicators, or applications inconsistent with label restrictions approved by the EPA and SDDA. The SDDA is not responsible for any civil action you may have against an applicator. The SDDA will not make determinations of applicator liability or damage assessments to assist in civil cases or insurance settlements.
InvestigationsThe SDDA may collect samples (soil, vegetation, water, etc.), take photos, interview witnesses, collect spray records, and gather any other information necessary for the SDDA to make a determination on a case. The investigation will determine if a violation of pesticide law can be proven. If the SDDA determines a violation of law has taken place, enforcement action will be taken against the applicator. An enforcement action can range from a warning to a maximum civil penalty of $5,000 per offense. The SDDA may also deny, revoke, or suspend a pesticide license.
If you feel you have personally sustained damage as a result of pesticide drift or misuse, we recommend you contact your insurance company or private legal counsel to advise you of your rights. Local law enforcement may also be contacted to report instances of a violation of criminal law.
The individual completing a pesticide incident form will be notified by the SDDA when the case has been closed.
Right to RefuseIf, during the course of an investigation, an individual becomes physically or verbally confrontational or abusive, the inspector will leave the scene and report the incident to the SDDA and the local authorities. The SDDA reserves the right to drop a case or choose not to initiate an investigation under certain conditions.
Confidentiality/RecordsThe SDDA investigative records are not disclosed as open records under South Dakota Codified Law 1-27-1(1.5). The investigative records can only be disclosed through a subpoena, court order, or if the file is used during an administrative hearing pursuant to SDCL 1-26. A copy of the pesticide incident form may be available to certain parties upon request. As a courtesy, lab results from samples collected during the course of the investigation are provided to landowners. If an individual alleges exposure to pesticides and if the individual's medical provider requests information about the incident, the SDDA will share the name of the pesticide with the medical provider making the request.
Things to Remember
- The sole purpose of a pesticide incident investigation is only to determine whether a violation of pesticide law has occurred. Pesticide incident forms may be requested from the SDDA or completed on our website. The SDDA does not accept anonymous complaints.
- The SDDA will not assist you in building a case against an applicator for the purposes of recovering compensation for any pesticide damages. To pursue compensation for damages you must gather your own evidence to make your case against the applicator.
- Information pertaining to a pesticide incident investigation is considered confidential and can only be released through a court order.
- At times during the course of an investigation, there may not be enough evidence to support charging an applicator with a violation of pesticide law. Even if the SDDA cannot prove a violation occurred, the applicator may still be held liable for any damages that may have occurred. You may still pursue civil action against an applicator and receive compensation for damages even though the SDDA did not take an enforcement action.
- Threatening or abusive behavior against SDDA staff will not be tolerated and the investigation may be discontinued as a result of this type of behavior.
By clicking the link below, you acknowledge you have read the guidelines above and understand that the purpose of an SDDA pesticide incident investigation is to determine whether a violation of pesticide law has occurred and not to help you build a civil case against an applicator. You also understand that investigation records are confidential under South Dakota state law and may only be released through a court order.
If you wish to move forward and submit a pesticide indident form to the SDDA, please click on the link below.
Notify the SDDA of a pesticide incident by completing the Pesticide Incident Form.