Officials restricted pesticide spraying for the Mediterranean fruit fly after residents complained it was getting into water.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday expanded the no-spray zone around specific bodies of water from 660 feet to nearly 1,000 feet. Tests showed malathion was getting into surface water.
Other federal officials in charge of stopping the crop-destroying pest said the measure is a devastating blow to the eradication program in three Tampa-area counties.
“We can’t achieve our goal with a buffer that size,” said program co-director Terry McGovern of the Department of Agriculture. “We will comply - and we will appeal.”