Are you concerned about the recent application of a pesticide on your property or neighboring property?
You have the right to be concerned about the use of pesticides surrounding your home, but your neighbors also have the right to apply pesticides on their property. If you feel like a pesticide has been used improperly, i.e., pesticides have come onto your property without your consent, we encourage you to first talk with your neighbor. If you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbor or the applicator, you may wish to file a complaint to the State. If so, your next step is to educate yourself on the process and collect as much information as possible. [Image care of myhealthyhome.com]
How the State complaint process works:
There are very limited resources for the Colorado Department of Agriculture to investigate a complaint about pesticide use. The investigation may be a lengthy process. We have provided some information so that you will know what to expect from the State and how to prepare the proper information for your complaint.
Priority System for Complaints
There is no designated time frame for response from the investigator after you make a complaint. However, higher priority complaints are dealt with more quickly. The priority rankings from highest to lowest are:
- Human exposure/health
- Animals (livestock, pets, beneficial insects i.e. bees)
- Property damage
- Environmental Harm
- Other possible violations of Pesticide Applicator Act
Your complaint will be placed into one of three categories:
- Not enough information: an investigation cannot be started
- Preliminary Investigation: enough information provided to start an investigation
- Formal Investigation: witnesses have identified where, when, who, how, etc.
Complaints must include the following information in order to be investigated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture:
- Your name
- Location of pesticide application
- Who applied the pesticide and how it was applied
- Injuries to humans, animals or crops/property if any
- If other pesticide activity has occurred in the surrounding area within timeframe of complaint
- Witnesses to the pesticide application
- Description of what happened
- A map showing properties involved in complaint
Submitting your Complaint
Once you have compiled this information you may file your complaint by calling the Colorado State Department of Agriculture Enforcement Specialist at 303-239-4151.
Your complaint will be issued a file number and will be investigated based on the priority list above. You will only be contacted and notified after the complaint has been resolved. Please note that the Department of Agriculture does not discuss where a complaint may be in its investigation process. This is why it is important that your complaint include as much information as possible as detailed above.
If a licensed applicator is found to be in violation of the Pesticide Applicators’ Act, they could lose their license and/or be fined up to $1,000.
For more information about the State's pesticide complaint process, please contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture Enforcement Specialist at 303-239-4151.
For local assistance, please contact Jannette Whitcomb with the City of Aspen at 970-920-5069.