Maryland laws set certain parameters and the Pesticide Division of the Dept. of Agriculture lays out the rules and regulations. Sometimes reality creates gaps and the rules and regulations need to be clarified. When that happens, your association works to resolve those gaps before your business is penalized.
Problems with the MD-1 form and termite treatment cropped up. One of our members received a written warning from the Md. Department of Agriculture regarding the placement of liability limitation and arbitration clauses on the rear of the MD-1 form. The format that the company had opted to use made the additional clauses appear as if they were part of the pre-printed MD-1 form. The company was advised that the format chosen caused the form to be “altered from its (form MD-1) original format. Therefore, this is not an approved Form (MD-1).” In addition, the letter of warning also stated “your firm cannot make any additions or alterations to the (MD-1) form.” The letter was forwarded to MSPCA for comment and follow-up. Mr. Dennis Howard, Program Director, Pesticide Regulation Section was contacted by Bruce Morgan, Chairman of MSPCA’s Wood-destroying Insect Committee for clarification. Mr. Howard indicated that the problem with the formatting of the company’s report was the fact that it made the clauses appear as if they were part of the pre-printed / required MD-1 form. He also stated that the Department does not endorse the use of, and in fact prefers that companies not insert, liability limitation and arbitration clauses into the MD-1 form. While not a violation of the regulations, the insertion of the clauses could be done as an attachment or in the comment section (“V”) of the report, otherwise it may be considered an alteration of the report to place the clauses in other locations on the form. Mr. Howard also indicated that it is OK to attach other documents that may be pertinent to the inspection such as diagrams, contracts, warranties, quotations, photos, etc.
In a separate issue, Mr. Howard was asked to comment on a recent written notation a member received during a routine inspection by a MDA field inspector. The notation indicated “need to list depth of footer on termite application records.” Since such a measurement is not specifically listed in the regulations under section 15.05.01.12, the recording of this data is not required. However, applicators are advised that depth of treatment is part of liquid termiticide labels when calculating volume to be applied. The Maryland pest control industry is appreciative of its working relationship and accessibility to the Department of Agriculture, and to Mr. Howard, regarding issues such as those discussed above.