A pearsall market gardener was fined after causing pollution

Covent Fairway residents adjacent to the market garden complained of eye irritations.
Covent Fairway residents adjacent to the market garden complained of eye irritations.

A PEARSALL market gardener was fined $15,000 last week after pleading guilty to causing pollution.

The charges related to an incident in April 2012 when the 42-year-old contaminated the air with metham sodium, a pesticide emitted from his East Road property.

In June 2012, the Times reported nearby residents experienced eye and skin irritations immediately after the contamination.

In one case, Pearsall resident Wendy Wilson was taken to hospital with a bad reaction and could not return home for three days.

Perth Magistrates Court heard the pollution occurred when the market gardener re-entered the area of concern the day after he had applied the fumigant. The standard procedure for using metham sodium is to apply it into the soil and not disturb the area for 48 hours.

Department of Environment Regulation Director-General Jason Banks said gases drifted across to neighbouring properties.

‘Nearby residents reported eye and nose irritations,’ he said.

‘This led to watering eyes and emergency services were required to attend.’

Magistrate Joe Randazzo said improper application and use of chemicals could have serious impact on human health and the environment.

The DoE 24-hour pollution watch hotline is 1300 784 782.