Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

PESTICIDES MISUSED IN HOUSING UNITS

rbha-021114-500x375-7316486The Red Bank Housing Authority office at Evergreen Terrace. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection slapped a Neptune pest control business with more than $500,000 in fines and costs last week over its use of dangerous chemicals in homes and restaurants, including public housing apartments in Red Bank.

Zapp Termite and Pest Control was fined $495,000 and had its pesticide applicator licensed yanked for what the DEP said was repeated misuse of chemicals near food; for applying pesticides intended for outdoor use only indoors; and for failing to alert tenants of the presence of the pesticides.

“While we have not received any reports that anyone was directly harmed, the manner in which Zapp misapplied these pesticides had the potential to expose people to harmful levels of these products,” John Giordano, the DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement, said in a prepared statement dated last Friday. “To make matters worse, the firm repeatedly failed to provide consumers with required safety information that is designed to ensure their safety when these products are used.”

The DEP said it sent inspectors last March to locations treated by the firm after a complaint by an unidentified resident. The agency found that Zapp “failed to provide required written information that provides consumers with the dates of application; the chemical and brand names of the pesticides to be used; label safety instructions; information about the name and location of the applicator business; and the telephone numbers for the National Pesticide Information Center, the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System and the New Jersey Pesticide Control Program.”

More:

Inspectors determined that the firm failed to keep a list of the chemicals it stores on-site and that employees transported pesticides in vehicles that lacked required safety equipment in the event of an accident, including equipment to contain spills and extinguish fires. Inspectors also observed employees of the firm using improperly marked containers of pesticides.

The DEP’s 33-page administrative order contains details on what the DEP inspectors did and found in three West Side apartments owned by the autonomous Red Bank Housing Authority.

Though the treated units are identified – numbers 6, 32 and 138 – the order does no specify at which of two sites those apartments are located. The authority runs the Evergreen Terrace Apartments on Leighton Avenue and the Montgomery Terrace Apartments on Tilton Avenue.

According to the DEP order, the apartments were treated with an insecticide containing Fipronil a slow-acting poison. Contrary to requirements, “there were no decals posted anywhere in the unit” to alert residents and visitors about the presence of the chemical, the DEP found.

The DEP also found the firm’s recordkeeping deficient regarding treatments at “several units” at the housing authority in from November, 2011 to November, 2012. The company’s records failed to identify the name brand of the pesticides applied, the active ingredient, the locations and the concentration levels, the DEP said.

A redbankgreen call to the housing authority office seeking information about the habitability of the units Tuesday morning was not immediately returned.

Mayor Pasquale Menna said he is scheduled to meet with housing authority officials Tuesday, upon a request they made to him late Monday. He said he did not know the specific subject matter of the meeting, and had been unaware of the DEP matter until called by redbankgreen.

Zapp’s business conduct was also deficient at dozens of restaurants and office spaces in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, including a handful of McDonald’s restaurants, the DEP found.

The fines, plus more than $12,000 in testing fees, applied to both Zapp and its owner, Vincent Taylor, who also lost  his commercial pesticide applicator license in the action.

Here’s the DEP’s order: DEP v Zapp Termite 020614

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.
PEAK COLOR ON BROAD
RED BANK: A year after they were installed, downtown mini gardens have added to "transformational" improvements, says business owner.
RED BANK: FAIRIES MOVE IN ON WHITE STREET
Red Bank: Girl scouts turns tiny parking lot plot of dirt into a "magical girls sparkle garden."
TRAINING UNDER FIRE
RED BANK: Volunteer firefighters train to cut into pitched roofs under active fire conditions.
“SUPERMOM” WANTS YOUR VOTE
Business owner. Dyed in the wool, lifelong Red Banker. Mother of six. Yup, seems like Anita Pierce does it all. In other words, she’s ...
SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
RED BANK: Town prepares for Saturday's Pride in the Park celebration with another lawn art design by public works supervisor and Fire Chief ...
MOVIES VIA LIBRARY
RED BANK: Public Library now offers members access to streaming movies via Kanopy, with some 30,000 titles and tons of content for kids.
NEW RAINBOW CROSSWALK ON BROWN PLACE
Kicking off pride month, some Brown Place and Spring Street residents, ages 5 to 11, constructed a rainbow crosswalk with chalk over the wee ...
WHAT TO WEAR?
RED BANK: Dressmakers' mannequins appeared to mull what to wear as they looked down on Monmouth Street last week.
SYMPHONY RETURNS JUNE 29
RED BANK: An annual crowd pleaser returns June 29 with a free concert in Marine Park by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, RiverCenter said ...
Heard on the Green
Heard on the Green
DUCK RESCUE EFFORT
Duckling rescue attempt underway in sewer at East Front and Broad, 10:29 a.m.
HOUSING CRUNCH
Demolition begins for new apartments at Globe Court and Mechanic Street.
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...