• Raincoast Research Society v. Deputy Administrator Pesticide Control Act

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    International Forest Products Ltd., Permit Holder Tsawataineuk Band Council, Third Party


    Decision Date: May 2, 2001

    Panel: Jane Luke, Dick Cannings, Jackie Hamilton

    Keywords: Pesticide Control Act—ss. 6, 12(2); ground spraying; inadequate First Nations consultation; Vision; Release.

    Raincoast Research Society (“Raincoast”) appealed a decision by the Deputy Administrator under the Pesticide Control Act to issue a pesticide use permit to International Forest Products (“Interfor”). The permit authorized the use of glyphosate (Vision) for brush control on selected cutblocks in and around Kingcome Inlet. Raincoast sought an order that the permit be canceled.

    Raincoast appealed on the grounds that the permit made inadequate provision for the protection of the environment, including the protection of fish, wildlife, and riparian areas. They also claimed that the method of herbicide application authorized by the Permit was not allowed for Vision under the federally approved label for Vision.

    The Board found that the herbicide Vision is generally safe and will not create an unreasonable adverse effect provided that it is used in accordance with its label and is applied safely. The Board found that although Vision may be harmful to fish, there was insufficient evidence to show that the buffer zones set out in the permit will not provide sufficient protection against an adverse impact on fish. The Board also found that the application methods authorized by the permit were consistent with the label, and that the characteristics of the spray sites did not prevent safe herbicide application.

    The Board found that there were several instances of improper stream classification on the maps provided in Interfor’s permit application, and that these errors presented some unreasonable risk to the environment. However, the Board also found that while the permit requirements rectified it by requiring Interfor to provide revised maps before applying any herbicide. Thus there was no need to deny or amend the permit.

    As a third party to the issue, the Tsawataineuk Band Council argued that the permit should not have been issued because they had not been adequately consulted about the spraying on their territory before the permit was issued. The Board found that there was insufficient evidence to determine what constituted adequate consultation. However, the Board recommended that better communication with affected First Nations should take place in the future.

    The Board found that the Appellant did not establish that the application of Vision would cause an unreasonable adverse effect. The appeal was dismissed.