Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's lawn care company fined for illegal pesticide use in 2016

A former owner of a St. John's lawn care company has been fined for illegal pesticide use.

GreenLawn assets sold last year; new owner uses name, branding, but is not associated with charges

GreenLawn Lawn Care Inc. — which is now known as 57513 Newfoundland and Labrador Ltd. — committed the offences in 2016, according to an agreed statement of facts filed at provincial court. (CBC)

A former owner of a St. John's lawn care company has been fined for illegal pesticide use.

GreenLawn Lawn Care Inc. — which is now known as 57513 Newfoundland and Labrador Ltd. — has been ordered to pay $8,450 in fines for breaking laws regarding storage, use and advertising of banned pesticides.

The company was also convicted for using pesticides without a valid licence.

The GreenLawn assets and brand were sold last year, according to the new owner's lawyer.

The new owner is not associated with the offences, which date back to 2016. Charges were filed in 2017. The asset sale occurred in 2018, the lawyer for the new owner said.

Initially 25 charges in all

The company was originally facing 25 charges, but in a statement of facts submitted in court, Crown and defence lawyers agreed to guilty pleas on just four charges.

Defence lawyer Colm Seviour asked for lower fines than were ordered by the judge.

Lawyer Colm Seviour represented GreenLawn Lawn Care Inc., which is now known as 57513 Newfoundland and Labrador Ltd. (CBC)

But Judge Lori Marshall said the fines must reflect the serious risk the company posed to the public and the environment.

Marshall said the company now complies fully with the Environmental Protection Act.

Residential ban enacted in 2012

In 2012, the provincial government banned the sale and use of a specific list of chemicals that were used as cosmetic pesticides for residential lawns.

In a statement to CBC News in 2017, Environment Minister Perry Trimper confirmed that his department was investigating the application and storage of pesticides, as well as the company's use of pesticides without a licence.

Health Canada also received complaints about the company's use of pesticides, according to court documents.

Three separate complaints to Health Canada between June 2014 and June 2015 alleged the company was using non-registered pest control products during that time frame.

Former GreenLawn owner Donald Barry has not returned messages from CBC News seeking comment.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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