The Arkansas State Plant Board is seeking nearly $600,000 in fines for alleged dicamba related violations, according to a May 24th article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The fines issued in settlement decrees were recently sent from the agency to farmers. The largest proposed settlement totaled $175,000.
Farmers can challenge the settlement offer by requesting an informal hearing before the Plant Board staff or a formal hearing before the members of the State Plant Board. The State Plant Board must also decide whether to implement the settlements as issued by staff or consider alternative fines for the alleged violations.
The Arkansas General Assembly granted the State Plant Board authority to issue fines of greater than $1,000 and up to $25,000 for violations related to dicamba and other auxin herbicides, provided the violations were deemed to be "egregious." Violations may be considered 'egregious' if the application was determined to have been made intentionally in violation of federal labeling requirements or state laws or rules governing the application of the herbicide. Fines collected through these 'egregious' civil penalties are to be used for the Arkansas State Plant Board Scholarship program and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
The Plant Board will hold its next quarterly meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd, at 9:30am (information below). At the meeting, the Plant Board is expected to consider a petition for rulemaking related to dicamba use in 2020.
Plant Board Quarterly Meeting
Tuesday, June 2nd
Zoom: https://zoom.us/s/98950904112?pwd=M3VyYjFkTzluQjgyYUV5MGZjSWJudz09 Password: 338601