Idaho lawmakers approve second payment in pesticide cleanup

State budget writers have approved allocating $526,900 to help research dispose contaminated fields in eastern Idaho.

The request, made up of both state and federal funds, is part of an ongoing effort to treat the negative impacts of a pesticide known as methyl bromide, applied on potatoes in Bingham and Bonneville counties in 2006.

According to officials with the Department of Agriculture, the pesticide seeped into the soil after state and federal agencies used it to eradicate a potato pest called pale cyst nematode. Government officials were allowed to use the pesticide, but they weren’t expecting it to contaminate over 2,000 acres of crops.

The contamination wasn’t noticed until a ranching family reported deformities and sickness in their herds in 2014.

The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee unanimously agreed making the second payment to the cleanup project on Friday.