The Department of Regulatory Agencies is scrutinizing the Pesticide Applications Law and will make recommendations to the state legislature about any possible changes--if it deems changes necessary. A review committee will take into consideration complaints and suggestions from the Volz family and Kivett, among others, says Linda Coulter, chief of the agriculture department's pesticide section.
Kivett says she would like the law to require that chemically sensitive people be notified whenever anyone is spraying within 300 feet of their property. The Volzes want the state to require that warning flags remain on properties for a minimum of 72 hours. And Scot Kersgaard and his wife, Lois Witte, who live near Washington Park, would like the notification registry to include the names of anyone who wants advance notice of pesticide application.
The Washington Park couple's concerns were raised dramatically last month when a local tree company landed at the wrong address and mistakenly sprayed their yard. Miffed because they are organic gardeners, Kersgaard and Witte say they were most upset about the fact that the tree company sprayed pesticides directly over their children's toys and playground equipment.
"We called the Department of Agriculture," Witte says, "and they sent someone to the house to take soil samples. But when it comes right down to it, there are no safeguards. They came to the wrong house. It was just plain stupid.