Panel: Christie Mayall, Harry Higgins, Elizabeth Keay
Keywords: Vision; Release; Pesticide Control Act-ss. 6, 2(a); stream classification; Class S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7 streams; ground spraying; inadequate public review
Raincoast and the Mainland Enhancement of Salmonid Species Society (“MESSS”) each appealed the issuance of a Pesticide Use Permit authorizing the use of glyphosate (Vision) for conifer release on selected clearcuts in the Thompson Sound area. The two appeals were heard together.
Raincoast and MESSS appealed on the grounds that the Permit would result in an unreasonable adverse effect on the environment and that the Deputy Administrator had insufficient site specific information before him to properly assess whether the issuance of the Permit would have an unreasonable adverse effect on the environment. The main concern of the Appellants related to the identification and classification of fish-bearing streams within the blocks.
The Board found that Vision can be harmful to fish and noted that the label for Vision stated that it should not be used where an adverse impact on aquatic species is likely. The Board found the Deputy Administrator did not have the most complete and accurate maps showing the location of streams within the blocks when he considered the application. Further, the Permit was more lenient regarding pesticide application and pesticide free zones than the Vegetation Management Plan that laid out the framework for the application. Applying a cautious approach to the classification of streams using the default provisions in the Forest Practices Code, the Board also found that the streams within certain cutblocks were improperly classified as non-fish-bearing. Consequently, the Board was not convinced that all the streams were properly identified and could be properly marked in the field prior to spraying. It concluded that the application of glyphosate to certain blocks presented some unreasonable risk to the environment.
The Board found that five of the cutblocks were properly approved for spraying but that the appeal should be allowed for two of the cutblocks. The appeal was allowed, in part.