Target paid a fine of $43,850 on Sept. 12, after a 2011 department investigation found that numerous stores in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and in Brooklyn and Queens, had stocked Bayer Advanced 2 in 1 Systemic Rose & Flower Care and Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer.
The state has specifically prohibited using, selling or distributing these and certain other pesticides here to protect the underground aquifers that supply the region with water.
"If a pesticide can permeate soils easily and has more of a chance to get into our aquifer, that's really the criteria we look for to potentially ban that pesticide from this area," Aphrodite Montalvo, a department spokeswoman, said Tuesday. "Since Long Island does have permeable soil and a sole-source aquifer, we're a little bit more conservative in allowing pesticides on this area."
When the agency alerted Target, the company immediately removed the items from stores where the pesticides are illegal, Montalvo said. The state's investigation, which began in September of last year, revealed that 1,754 units of the pesticides had been sold while on the shelves.
"Target is committed to following all local, state and federal regulations, and we regret the oversight," Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, said in an email. "We are committed to working closely with our vendors and partners to ensure we're offering products that are permitted and approved for the communities we operate in."
The company was found to be in violation of the state's Environmental Conservation Law requiring registration every two years of pesticides used, distributed or sold in the state, the department said.