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SLO County District Attorney wins civil case involving pesticide violations, unfair business practices

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced Tuesday that his office, along with 16 other District Attorney's Offices in California, won a civil case involving pesticide violations and unfair business practices.

Dow said the case was against Jeffrey M. Van Diepen and Pestmaster Services LP, formerly known as Pestmaster Services Inc.

As a result of the settlement, the defendants are ordered to pay $575,000 in penalties and costs. They are also ordered to contract out training for their employees, give prior notice to county officials when applying pesticide, hire an outside compliance manager and other requirements meant to ensure their compliance with the law.

Van Diepen was also required to surrender his California pest control licenses and is barred from ever performing this work in the future.

The complaint in the civil case alleged, and Van Diepen and Pestmaster admitted to the following:

  • Their Proposal to the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015 made misleading statements indicating that Pestmaster’s policies and procedures complied with all EPA, OSHA, federal, state, and local regulatory guidance.   
  • Performing pesticide applications for hire without registering with the county Agricultural Commissioner. 
  • Performing pesticide applications without submitting monthly pesticide use reports. 
  • Performing structural pest control work between November 21, 2017, and January 3, 2018, and again between October 15, 2020, and January 27, 2021, without a valid license.    
  • Failing to ensure their employees were trained as required by law and that they used all required personal protective equipment.
  • Van Diepen made recommendations for the use of pesticides without having a Pest Control Advisor license and without registering with the County Agricultural Commissioner. 
  • Allowed unlicensed individuals to contract for structural pest control work or perform structural pest control work without being properly licensed. 
  • Failing to leave at the property the required notice where a pesticide application was made.

Pestmaster is a nationally franchised company headquartered in Reno, Nevada. It holds many government contracts for pesticide work in the western United States.

This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Jorgensen who is assigned to the District Attorney's Consumer & Environmental Protection Unit of the Special Prosecutions Division.

For more information about consumer protection laws or to report suspected violations, you can contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Assistance Line toll-free at 800-952-5210 or visit their website at

To report a consumer complaint directly to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, you may submit a complaint form in English or in Spanish.

Environment / San Luis Obispo County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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