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Is anyone regulating

lawn care companies?

Issue:A city resident asked about licensure and other regulations of the many lawn care companies seen working throughout the city. He wondered about the chemicals they are using and the danger of any toxic chemicals spreading beyond the lawns being treated.

'Who regulates (the companies)?' he asked. 'State? Municipality? I can't believe I'm the only one concerned. Sign me Allergic.'

Status:It is the state and not the municipality that regulates the companies.

Donna Gilson, a communications representative for the regulating agency, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said there is state licensure required in the case of for-hire pesticide and fertilizer applications.

Gilson said prospective pesticide applicators must pass a rigorous exam to attain a five-year certification. Compliance with that certification requires a number of measures, including proper application and record-keeping. The state investigates repeated complaints regarding misapplications or other violations.

Those concerned about their own safety can participate in the state's Lawn Care Pesticide Registry, which will provide information including which companies are applying which services to their neighbors.

More information from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, (608) 224-5012 or www.datcp.wi.gov.

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