Department of Agriculture: Pesticide Management

PESTICIDE DAMAGE COMPLAINT CLAIMS



Who should file a "Pesticide Damage Claim"?

Any person claiming damages from a pesticide application must file a written description of the damage(s) on a form provided by the Department. 3 DEL. C., Chapter 12, Delaware Pesticide Law ("LAW") defines a "Pesticide" as "any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest". Products sold and used as fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fumigants, wood preservatives, algicides, defoliants and nematicides are included in this definition. Delaware Pesticide Law also restricts the use of certain pesticides to "certified" applicators and mandates that all pesticides be applied as prescribed by the product labeling for the pesticide.

When to file a "Pesticide Damage Claim"?

You must file the claim form within 60 days after the date that the damage occurred, except that if a growing crop is alleged to have been damaged, the report must be filed prior to the time that 25% of the damaged crop has been harvested.

How is an investigation of damages conducted?

The Department will assign an inspector to investigate the alleged damages. The claimant of damages must allow the inspector reasonable access to examine damaged property and to collect physical samples, documents relating to pesticide sales or use, and photographs of the damages. Failure of the claimant to allow access to the property for observation of the alleged damages, automatically bars any claims under the LAW. The investigation is conducted and samples are collected according to the Department's Standard Operating Procedures. Sample analysis results and/or the investigator's documentation are reviewed by a Case Review Officer and the pesticide applicator's compliance with 3 DEL. C., Chapter 12, Delaware Pesticide Law is assessed. An investigation of damages will not, of itself, result in the Department taking enforcement action against a pesticide applicator. The basis of the Department's investigation is to determine compliance with the LAW.

Who provides legal assistance?

The Delaware Department of Agriculture cannot act as your legal counsel. If you have questions concerning your legal rights, you should contact an attorney. The filing of a "Pesticide Damage Claim", or failure to file the Claim is not necessary to file a complaint in a court of law, and failure to file the Claim cannot be considered any bar to the maintenance of any criminal or civil action. In any Department initiated civil or criminal enforcement proceedings, the Department of Agriculture asks that claimants make themselves available as witnesses.

For additional information on damage complaints or other pesticide issues contact the pesticide section.

Ready to file a Pesticide Damage Claim?
Download the following documents to mail or fax your complaint:
Form to Download

Download Format

Pesticide Damage Complaint form Instructions

.pdf

Pesticide Damage Complaint form

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David Pyne, Administrator
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Phone (302) 698-4570
Fax: (302) 697-4483

Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 South DuPont Highway
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 698-4500
Toll Free: (800) 282-8685 (In Delaware Only)
DE Relay: (800) 232-5460 (In Delaware Only)
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Last Updated: Friday, 04-Oct-2013 11:12:45 EDT
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