• Merrill & Ring Timber and Land Management v. Deputy Administrator, Pesticide Control Act

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    Decision Date: February 11, 1998

    Panel: Toby Vigod, Cindy Derkaz, Jane Luke

    Keywords: Pesticide Control Act – s. 6(3); Pesticide Control Act Regulation – s. 17(1); herbicide spraying; glyphosate; “Vision”; triclopyr; “Release”; backpack sprayer foliate; stem injection; basal bark treatments; Forest Practices Code

    This was an appeal of four conditions in a Pesticide Use Permit for several small cutblocks at Menzies Bay, just north of Campbell River. The conditions prohibited the application of herbicides within prescribed distances from water intakes, wells, neighbouring houses, and a trail, and removed one proposed treatment block adjacent to a community water intake. The Appellant sought an order decreasing the size of the no-treatment zones specified in two of the conditions and rescinding the conditions removing the block and applying standards from the Code and its Regulations to forest management operations on the Appellant’s private lands.

    Although the Code does not apply to private lands, the Board found that it was not unreasonable to apply Code standards for pesticide use in community watersheds. The Board found that the public should be entitled to the same level of protection of its water sources regardless of whether the application of herbicides is to take place on private land or Crown land. Therefore, the Board upheld the condition requiring a 100 metre setback to water intakes, domestic wells and from community water intakes, noting that ease of access in the area made brush control reasonable where herbicides were not permitted. The requirement for a 15 metre no-treatment zone along a trail through the Appellant’s land was also upheld because the public had historically been allowed to use the trail, and posting was found to be an inadequate safety measure as young children used the trail. Finally, the removal of the one block from the permit was also found to be reasonable in light of the exceptionally small size of the community watershed, community concerns, the availability of mechanical control, and the importance of protecting the purity of the water supply. The appeal was denied.