CAMDEN — The town of Camden has sent a notice of violation to the owners of property on Metcalf Road for using herbicide to kill a neighbor’s trees right next to Laite Beach.

Arthur Bond III and Amelia Bond face up to $5,000 per day in fines for the use of the herbicide tebuthiuron, which is not widely known in Maine and is defined by the manufacturer’s label as “Not for Residential Use,” according to documents and information from the Camden Town Office.

The notice was sent out Nov. 28 to the Bonds’ address in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Bonds own the house at 1 Metcalf Road, just above the property affected, owned by Lisa Gorman at 3 Metcalf Road. Arthur Bond is the nephew of U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Missouri. Lisa Gorman is the wife of the late Leon A. Gorman, who was the president and CEO of L.L. Bean.

“…On or about October 24, 2022 it came to the attention of the Camden Code and Planning Office that an herbicide was used by you or an agent of yours to defoliate and kill numerous woody trees and plants on land not owned by you at 3 Metcalf Road,” the notice to the Bonds states. The notice also states that several hemlocks in the area were “topped” or cut by the neighbors as well. “The Town of Camden is alarmed at such blatant disregard for the environment and for an abutter’s property, and in such close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.”

The couple is being ordered by the town to provide information about what person or companies applied the chemicals and the specifics of the herbicide used. The town has consulted the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the use of this chemical may prompt action from the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, according to town officials.

The notice outlines the specific town ordinances the action violates.

“In this instance more than 40% of the volume of trees 4” or more at diameter at breast height will need to be removed due to your egregious application of herbicide,” the notice states.

Gorman’s attorney Daniel Nuzzi of Brann & Isaacson brought the issue to the town’s attention. Gorman had brought in consultants and experts to find out what was causing the problems with her trees and discovered the issue.

The corrective action required will be to hire a licensed arborist or landscape architect to develop a plan for replanting and revegetating the area affected, due within 30 days of the notice. The remediation work may also involve removing contaminated soil.

There are two specific violations at a fine of $2,500 per day per violation.