Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Any person who uses or supervises the use of any pesticide or device in the state of Colorado is subject to regulation of the Pesticide Applicators' Act.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture assumed the authority to regulate Private Applicators (these include farmers, greenhouses, nurseries, and home owners) January 1st, 2007; along with the continued regulation of Commercial Applicators, Registered Public Applicators and Registered Limited Commercial Applicators.

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Anyone who believes that a violation of the Pesticide Applicators Act has occurred may file a complaint. The Department may also initiate a complaint upon receipt of information such as advertisements or referrals from other government and non government agencies, or from anonymous sources as long as all pertinent information is complete.


To file a complaint call (303) 869-9058 or (303) 869-9059.

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After a complaint is received by the Department, it is given a file number and assigned to an investigator. The investigator's job is to collect as much information as possible, which includes interviewing the complainant(s), applicator(s), and witnesses, collecting samples and taking photos or videos.

The Department's intent is to determine if a misapplication or other violation of the Pesticide Applicators Act has occurred.

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Upon completion of the investigation, the case file is reviewed to determine if violations have occurred and if there is evidence to support the allegations.

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A decision is then made as to how to proceed. The complaint may be dismissed if the available evidence does not support a conclusion that a misapplication or other violation has occurred; more investigation might be necessary; or it may be referred to the Attorney General's office.


If it is determined that a misapplication or violation of the Pesticide Applicators' Act has occurred, further decisions must be made to resolve the complaint. Resolutions can range from written reminders or reprimands to legal stipulations that may require additional training, revision of company policies, suspensions, civil penalties, or in extreme cases revocation of a license.


You will be notified in writing as to the outcome of your complaint.

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Pesticide investigations take first priority with the Department, but there is no set time frame, since each case is unique. The Department authority to investigate is by law and all licensees and registrants are entitled to due process under the law.


Investigations, reviews, and resolutions of a complaint involve many legal procedures. Consequently, resolutions can be a time consuming process and may take anywhere from a few weeks to, in some rare cases, a few years.


The Department is limited to disciplinary actions against an individual's or a business' license or registration and cannot require restitution for damages. If it is decided that possible criminal activities are involved, the case will be referred to the appropriate authority.

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Samples are submitted to our lab for analysis. For an article of clothing to be a good sample for analysis, it must have been clean on the day of the incident, and not washed after the incident occurs. If the clothing is dirty or has been worn more than once conflicting data will be revealed in the analysis process rendering the sample useless. Samples can not be returned due to the analytic process and disposal procedures.

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The Department will not release information related to the investigation , with the exception of your statement and sample analysis results, until a final resolution has been made. After that time, investigatory information which is not confidential may be obtained by written request.