2015 ORS 634.116¹
Pesticide operator license
  • authorized activities
  • fees
  • pesticide applicator license
  • liability insurance
  • limitation on damages
  • rules
  • exemptions

(1) A pesticide operator’s license, or supplements thereto, shall authorize the licensee to engage in one or more of the classes of pest control or pesticide application business prescribed by the State Department of Agriculture under ORS 634.306 (General duties and powers of department) (2). The department may not issue a pesticide operator license to the United States, the State of Oregon or federal, state or local agencies, instrumentalities, political subdivisions, counties, cities, towns, municipal corporations, irrigation, drainage or other districts or other federal, state or local governmental bodies.

(2) During a license period, and after a person has been issued a license to engage in certain classes of pest control or pesticide application business during a license period, the department upon receiving an additional application and applicable fees, may authorize the licensee to engage in additional classes of pest control or pesticide application business for the remainder of the license period as prescribed in ORS 634.306 (General duties and powers of department) (2).

(3)(a) The department shall establish a pesticide operator license fee not to exceed $90 for the first class of pest control or pesticide application business as prescribed in ORS 634.306 (General duties and powers of department) (2) and not to exceed $15 for each additional class.

(b) After a person makes first application for a specific license period, if later during the same license period the person desires to engage in additional classes of pest control or pesticide application businesses, such person shall pay the fee for each additional class established by the department not to exceed $20.

(4) At least one owner or part owner of the pest control or pesticide application business shall also obtain and maintain a pesticide applicator’s license if the pesticide operator is a sole proprietorship or a partnership. At least one officer or employee shall obtain and maintain a pesticide applicator’s license if the pesticide operator is a corporation. If a pesticide operator is found to be in violation of this subsection, the pesticide operator’s license, notwithstanding ORS chapter 183, is automatically suspended until the pesticide operator is in compliance. If the business is owned by one individual, the department shall make no charge for the pesticide applicator license issued to the individual under ORS 634.122 (Applicator license).

(5) The department shall not issue or renew a pesticide operator’s license until the applicant or licensee has furnished evidence to the department, in the form of a public liability policy issued by an insurance company qualified to do business in Oregon, protecting the applicant or licensee against liability for injury or death to persons and loss of or damage to property resulting from the application of pesticides, or in lieu of a policy, has furnished a deposit of cash, surety bond or other evidence of financial responsibility acceptable to the department that may be applied by the department to the payment of damages resulting from operator liability. However:

(a) Except as required under paragraph (b) of this subsection, the financial responsibility required by this section shall not apply to damages or injury to crops, real or personal property being worked upon by the applicant.

(b) If the applicant or licensee is to be engaged in the business of controlling or eradicating structural pests, or pests within a public or private place, or pests within private or public places where food is served, prepared or processed or where persons are regularly housed, the financial responsibility required by this section shall apply to damages or injury to real or personal property being worked upon, as well as all the other real and personal property set forth in this section.

(6) The financial responsibility required by subsection (5) of this section must be not less than $25,000 for bodily injury to one or more persons and not less than $25,000 for property damage.

(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS chapter 183, if the licensed pesticide operator fails to maintain the financial responsibility required by subsections (5) and (6) of this section, the license is automatically suspended until the department again verifies the pesticide operator is in compliance with subsections (5) and (6) of this section. The liability insurance company shall notify the department in writing at least 30 days prior to any cancellation of an insurance policy required by this section.

(8) Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 105.810 (Treble damages for injury to or removal of produce, trees or shrubs) and 105.815 (When double damages are awarded for trespass) or other laws to the contrary, the amount of damages for which a pesticide operator or pesticide applicator is liable as a result of use of pesticides, or financial responsibility for the same is limited to actual damages only.

(9) The department shall return the deposit required by subsection (5) of this section to the pesticide operator if the pesticide operator at any time establishes exemption from the financial responsibility requirements under this chapter. After the expiration of two years from the date of an injury, death, loss or damage, the department shall return any deposit remaining to the pesticide operator or to the personal representative of the pesticide operator except that the department shall not make a return if the department has received notice that an action for damages arising out of the provisions of this section has been filed against the pesticide operator for whom the deposit was made, and the department has determined that the action is pending or that any judgment resulting from the action remains unpaid.

(10) If the pesticide operator is or employs a pesticide applicator to spray or otherwise apply pesticides by aircraft, in addition to other provisions of this section relating to financial responsibility, the department may by rule allow the pesticide operator to reduce, suspend or terminate the liability insurance, applicable to spraying or otherwise applying pesticides by aircraft, and required by subsections (5) and (6) of this section during certain periods of the year.

(11) The department may by rule allow liability insurance policies required by subsections (5) and (6) of this section to include deductible clauses of amounts to be determined by the department.

(12)(a) The United States, the State of Oregon or federal, state or local agencies, instrumentalities, political subdivisions, counties, cities, towns, municipal corporations, irrigation, drainage or other districts or other federal, state or local governmental bodies are not required to obtain a license as a pesticide operator or to furnish evidence of financial responsibility to the department when:

(A) Applying pesticides to property under their ownership, possession, control or jurisdiction;

(B) Applying pesticides pursuant to an order issued by the department for purposes of controlling or eradicating noxious weeds or pests; or

(C) Applying pesticides to property under the ownership, possession, control or jurisdiction of another federal, state or local agency, instrumentality, political subdivision, county, city, town, municipal corporation, irrigation, drainage or other district or other federal, state or local governmental body or of a homeowners association as defined under ORS 94.550 (Definitions for ORS 94.550 to 94.783) if:

(i) The land is in a jurisdiction adjacent to property under their ownership, possession, control or jurisdiction;

(ii) The application is done in conjunction with, or as an extension of, an application of pesticides to property under their ownership, possession, control or jurisdiction; and

(iii) The pesticide application is done on a cost recovery, cooperative trade of services or no cost basis, and not as a source for profit.

(b) A public utility or telecommunications utility is not required to obtain a license as a pesticide operator or to furnish evidence of financial responsibility to the department when applying pesticides to property under the ownership, possession or control of the utility.

(c) In addition to any application allowed under paragraph (a) of this subsection, a vector control district is not required to obtain a license as a pesticide operator or to furnish evidence of financial responsibility to the department when applying pesticides for the prevention, control or eradication of a public health vector as defined in ORS 452.010 (Definitions for ORS 452.010 and 452.020 to 452.300) to property under the ownership, possession, control or jurisdiction of another federal, state or local agency, instrumentality, political subdivision, county, city, town, municipal corporation, irrigation, drainage or other district or other federal, state or local governmental body or of a homeowners association as defined under ORS 94.550 (Definitions for ORS 94.550 to 94.783) if the pesticide application is done on a cost recovery, cooperative trade of services or no cost basis, and not as a source of profit.

(13) Subject to subsection (15) of this section, the employees of the agencies, instrumentalities, subdivisions, counties, cities, towns, municipal corporations, districts, governmental bodies or utilities described in subsection (12) of this section who perform or carry out the work, duties or responsibilities of a pesticide applicator are subject to the provisions of this chapter, except they shall be issued "public applicator" licenses or, if they carry out the work, duties or responsibilities of a pesticide trainee, shall be issued "public trainee" certificates, if they otherwise comply or qualify with the provisions of this chapter relating thereto.

(14) The public applicator license or public trainee certificate shall be:

(a) Issued by the department upon payment of the fee for the pesticide applicator license or pesticide trainee certificate.

(b) Valid and used by the licensee or certificate holder only when applying pesticides as described in subsection (12) of this section.

(c) Renewed, suspended or revoked each year in the same manner, under the same provisions and at the same time as other pesticide applicator licenses and trainee certificates are renewed, suspended or revoked.

(15) The provisions of subsection (13) of this section apply only to:

(a) The application of restricted-use pesticides;

(b) The application of any pesticide by using a machine-powered device; or

(c) The application of any pesticide at the campus of a school, as defined in ORS 634.700 (Definitions for ORS 634.700 to 634.750), by an employee of the school.

(16) Prior to applying pesticides to land described in subsection (12)(a)(C) of this section, a public applicator shall inform the person requesting pesticide application of the possible availability of alternative sources of assistance, including sources in the private sector that are registered with the department or with industry trade or professional organizations.

(17) A federal, state or local agency, instrumentality, political subdivision, county, city, town, municipal corporation, irrigation, drainage or other district or other federal, state or local governmental body may not solicit or advertise for pesticide application business in areas outside its jurisdiction. [1973 c.341 §15; 1975 c.304 §11; 1987 c.317 §1; 1987 c.447 §135; 1993 c.599 §1; 2001 c.307 §2; 2005 c.96 §1; 2007 c.258 §9; 2009 c.501 §10; 2015 c.833 §5]

Notes of Decisions

Exemp­tion under this sec­tion of coverage for prop­erty "being worked upon" did not include prop­erty of contracting farmer sprayed with herb­i­cide by mis­take. American States Ins. v. Super Spray Service, 77 Or App 497, 713 P2d 682 (1986)

Chapter 634

See also annota­tions under ORS chapter 573 in permanent edi­tion.

Atty. Gen. Opinions

County ac­tion to regulate pest­i­cides, (1980) Vol 41, p 21


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 634—Pesticide Control, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors634.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 634, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano634.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.