Officials seek funding in pesticide cleanup

Posted at 12:58 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 14:59:44-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho agriculture officials are asking state budget writers for $250,000 to help research and dispose 2,000 acres of contaminated fields in eastern Idaho.

Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould made the request Monday in front of the Joint Finance Appropriations panel. She says the agency will likely request additional funds in upcoming years as part of an ongoing effort to treat the negative impacts of a pesticide used on potatoes in 2006.

According to Gould, the pesticide known as Methyl Bromide seeped into the soil and subsequently contaminated others crops that included hay, alfalfa, wheat, barley and potatoes.

The contamination wasn't noticed until a ranching family reported deformities and sickness in their herds. State and federal officials began testing in 2014.

Agency officials say this first payment will pay for the research and the disposal of 2,000 tons of infested hay.