§ 23-25-18. Unlawful acts and/or grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of a license, permit, or certification.
(a) The director may suspend pending inquiry for not longer than ten (10) days, and after opportunity for a hearing, deny, further suspend, revoke, or modify any provision on any license, permit, or certificate issued under this chapter if he or she finds that the applicant or holder of a license, permit, or certificate has committed any of the following acts, each of which except subdivision (15) of this subsection, is declared to be a violation of this chapter; provided, that this person shall also be subject to the penalties provided by § 23-25-28:
(1) Made false or fraudulent claims through any medium misrepresenting the effect of pesticides or methods to be utilized;
(2) Made a pesticide recommendation or use inconsistent with the labeling (except as allowed by rulings, interpretations, regulations, or guidelines published by EPA or, in the case of a pesticide registered under § 23-25-6(h) by the director), with the EPA or state registration for that pesticide, or in violation of the EPA or state restrictions on the use of that pesticide;
(3) Applied known ineffective or improper pesticides;
(4) Operated faulty or unsafe equipment;
(5) Operated in a faulty, careless, or negligent manner;
(6) Neglected or, after notice, refused to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the rules and regulations adopted under this chapter, or of any lawful order of the director;
(7) Refused or neglected to keep and maintain the records required by this chapter or to make reports when and as required;
(8) Made false or fraudulent records, invoices, or reports;
(9) Used or supervised the use of a pesticide which is restricted to use by certified applicators without having qualified as a certified applicator or without having been under the direct supervision of a certified applicator;
(10) Used fraud or misrepresentation in making an application for or renewal of, a license, permit, or certification;
(11) Refused or neglected to comply with any limitations or restrictions on or in a duly issued license, permit, or certification;
(12) Aided or abetted a licensed or certified or an unlicensed or non-certified, person to evade the provisions of this chapter, conspired with that person to evade the provisions of this chapter, or allowed one's license, permit, or certification to be used by another person;
(13) Made false or misleading statements during or after an inspection concerning any infestation or infection of pests found on land;
(14) Impersonated any federal, state, county, or city inspector or official; or
(15) Has been subject to the final imposition of civil or criminal penalties under § 14(a) or (b) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136l(a) or (b).
(b) It is unlawful for any person to distribute in the state any of the following:
(1) Any pesticide which is not registered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;
(2) Any pesticide if any of the claims made for it or any of the directions for its use or other labeling differs from the representations made in connection with its registration, or if the composition of a pesticide differs from its composition as represented in connection with its registration; provided, that a change in the labeling or formulation of a pesticide may be made within a registration period without requiring reregistration of the product if the registration is amended to reflect the change and if that change will not violate any provision of FIFRA or this chapter;
(3) Any pesticide unless it is in the registrant's or the manufacturer's unbroken immediate container and there is affixed to that container and to the outside container or wrapper of the retail package if there is one through which the required information on the immediate container cannot be clearly read a label bearing the information required in this chapter and the regulations adopted under this chapter;
(4) Any pesticide which has not been colored or discolored pursuant to the provisions of § 23-25-9(b)(7) or of § 25(c)(5) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136w(c)(5);
(5) Any pesticide which is adulterated or misbranded or any device which is misbranded;
(6) Any pesticide in containers which are unsafe due to damage.
(c) It shall be unlawful:
(1) To distribute any pesticide labeled for "restricted use" by EPA or for "state limited use" by the director to any person who is required by this chapter or regulations promulgated under this chapter to be certified to acquire, purchase, possess, or use this pesticide unless the person has a valid permit or is certified to acquire, purchase, possess, or use the kind and quantity of this pesticide or unless distribution is made to his or her agent; provided, that subject to conditions established by the director, the permit may be obtained immediately prior to distribution from any agent designated by the director;
(2) For any person to detach, alter, deface, or destroy, wholly or in part, any label or labeling provided for in this chapter or regulations adopted under this chapter, or to add any substance to, or take any substance from, a pesticide in a manner that may defeat the purpose of this chapter or the regulations adopted under this chapter;
(3) For any person to use for his or her own advantage or to reveal, other than to the director or properly designated state or federal officials, or employees of the state or federal executive agencies, or to the courts of the state or of the United States in response to a subpoena, or to physicians, or in emergencies to pharmacists and other qualified persons for use in the preparation of antidotes, any information relative to formulas of products acquired by authority of § 23-25-6 or any information judged by the director as containing or relating to trade secrets or commercial or financial information obtained by authority of this chapter and marked as privileged or confidential by the registrant;
(4) For any person to handle, transport, store, display, or distribute pesticides in such a manner as to endanger humans and the environment or to endanger food, feed, or any other products that may be transported, stored, displayed, or distributed with those pesticides;
(5) For any person to dispose of, discard, or store any pesticide or pesticide containers in such manner as to cause injury to humans, vegetation, crops, livestock, wildlife, beneficial insects or to pollute any water supply, waterway, or water body;
(6) For any person to refuse or otherwise fail to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the regulations adopted under this chapter, or of any lawful order of the director.
(d) The penalties provided for violations of subdivisions (1) to (5) of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to:
(1) Any carrier while lawfully engaged in transporting a pesticide within the state if the carrier shall, upon request, permit the director to copy all records showing the transactions in and movement of the pesticides or devices;
(2) Employees of the state or the federal government while engaged in the performance of their official duties in administering Rhode Island or federal pesticide laws or regulations;
(3) The manufacturer, shipper, or other distributor of a pesticide for experimental use only; provided, that the person holds or is covered by a valid experimental use permit as provided for by § 23-25-7 or issued by EPA; provided further, that the permit covers the conduct in question.
(4) Any person who ships a substance or mixture of substances being put through tests in which the purpose is only to determine its value for pesticide purposes or to determine its toxicity or other properties and from which the user does not expect to receive any benefit in pest control from its use.
(e) No pesticide or device shall be deemed in violation of this chapter when intended solely for export to a foreign country and when prepared or packed according to the specifications or directions of the purchaser. If not exported, all provisions of this chapter shall apply.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 191, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 23-41.1-18; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1.)