State: Helicopter likely to blame for overspray

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A state investigation has determined that a helicopter hired to spraying herbicides on some commercial timberlands in southwestern Oregon more than likely allowed some to fall over people's homes as it flew by.

But the results released Tuesday by the Oregon Department of Agriculture come to no conclusions about whether the small amounts found on the ground can account for complaints from two dozen people that the spray made them sick.

The investigation was launched after complaints last October from people in the Cedar Valley area north of Gold Beach.

Department Director Katy Coba says that the helicopter company, Pacific Air Research, Inc., of White City, could face state and federal civil penalties as the investigation moves into the enforcement phase.

The company did not immediately answer calls for comment.

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