Amazon to pay nearly $5 million in settlement

Amazon reaches an agreement with the state in a case alleging illegal sales of pesticides in California.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced it reached $4.97 million legal agreement with online retail giant Services, LLC. (Amazon) for the illegal sale of pesticides in California.

According to the release, under the terms of the agreement, Amazon will pay DPR $3.69 million in unpaid pesticide sales assessment fees and related late penalties, and $1.28 million in civil penalties associated with retail sales of unregistered pesticides into California. It adds that Amazon also agreed to register as a pesticide broker, and report and pay the mill assessment associated with all future retail sales of registered pesticides into California.

“It is critical that those selling pesticides in California, especially companies with Amazon’s resources, reach and influence, comply with pesticide laws that protect the health of all Californians and our environment,” said DPR Director Julie Henderson. “DPR’s action should send a message to all pesticide sellers, including online sellers, that California will take action to protect the health and safety of its people and environment.”

According to Macrotrends, Amazon’s annual revenue in 2021 was $469.822 billion and had a net income of $33.364 billion.

Amazon quietly built a 130,000 square-foot delivery hub in Hollister and had its grand opening on September 2021. Construction of a similar project but on a higher scale is occurring now near the airport. This project is a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center. The tenant of the building has not yet been announced and Hollister officials say they do not who it is despite the project being approved Jan. 13.

According to the Department of Pesticide Regulation, which states it protects human health and the environment by fostering safer and sustainable pest management practices, its review of the company uncovered multiple violations including that Amazon sold unregistered pesticides in California, failed to report and pay required mill assessment fees associated with the sale of registered pesticides in California and failed to hold a valid pesticide broker’s license.

“Under California law, pesticides must be registered by the state before they are sold,” the news release said. “DPR evaluates a product’s potential human health and environmental risks and efficacy prior to registration, and as needed, sets state-specific rules limiting use. Sales of unregistered pesticides are illegal and can present human health and environmental risks.”

It added that the mill assessment is charged at the first point of sale of a pesticide in California.

“Mill revenues help fund DPR programs including worker safety training, environmental monitoring and enforcement,” the release said. “The assessment also allows DPR to track pesticides sold into the state. These programs are integral to DPR’s mission to protect human health and the environment for all Californians.”


BenitoLink Staff