• Society Promoting Environmental Conservation v. Deputy Administrator, Pesticide Control Act

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    Canadian National Railway, Third Party


    Decision Date: June 12, 2003

    Panel: Lorraine Shore, Dr. Robert Cameron, Fred Henton

    Keywords: Pesticide Control Act– ss. 1 definition of “adverse effect”, 6, 12; Pesticide Control Act Regulation– ss. 2(1); Environmental Appeal Board Procedure Regulation– s.6; pesticide use permit; insufficient evidence; oral decision.

    The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (“SPEC”) appealed the decision of the Deputy Administrator to approve Pesticide Use Permit No. 107-123-02/03 (the “Permit”) to the Canadian National Railway (“CNR”).  The Permit authorizes CNR to use multiple types of herbicides for total vegetation control on the railway ballast, within two metres of signal facilities and within rail yards.  SPEC wanted an amendment so that further rules and restrictions would be added to the Permit.

    The Panel found that SPEC failed to demonstrate that the use of herbicides as authorized by the Permit would create an adverse effect on humans or the environment.  SPEC provided only general evidence of the potential risk of the herbicides to the environment and wildlife, and did not provide evidence that addressed the specific Permit or the specific areas where pesticides may be used. Consequently, the Board did not undertake a risk-benefit analysis to ascertain the unreasonableness of any adverse effect, and it ended the inquiry.

    The appeal was dismissed.