Keywords:Pesticide Control Act – s. 6; gypsy moth; BTK; Foray 48B; pesticide use permit; aerial spraying
The Ecological Health Alliance, Gordon Watson and Nonna Weaver (the “Appellants”) appealed the issuance of a pesticide use permit by the Deputy Administrator, Pesticide Control Act. The permit authorized the use of Foray 48B, with the active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner ssp Kurstaki (“BTK”), in a spray program designed to eradicate localized populations of the North American gypsy moth in Saanich and Delta, British Columbia. The Appellants sought an order to cancel the permit, or, in the alternative, an order varying the permit so that it does not allow aerial pesticide or other pesticide applications on people and their homes.
The issues in this appeal were whether aerial spraying Foray 48B, as authorized by the permit, would cause an adverse effect on human health or the environment, and, if so, whether the adverse effect(s) would be unreasonable.
The Board found that the use of Foray 48B, as authorized by the permit, would have an adverse effect on the environment as it would kill non-target moths and butterflies, and may pose a risk of an adverse effect on the health of some people residing within the spray zones.
The Board found that the adverse effects of the proposed spray program were not unreasonable in the circumstances of the permit. The Board found that the adverse effects did not outweigh the potential economic harm to the provincial economy if a gypsy moth population became established and resulted in the imposition of trade sanctions on products exported from British Columbia. In addition, the Board found that, based on the evidence, the harm to the environment would be limited to non-target butterflies and moths, and would be temporary, while the risks to human health, should a person be directly exposed to the pesticide, would be temporary and relatively minor.