• Robert Todd Lang v. Administrator, Integrated Pest Management Act

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    Decision Date: May 25, 2021

    Panel: David Bird

    Keywords: Integrated Pest Management Act – s. 3(1)(a); Administrative Tribunals Act – s. 16; administrative penalty; consent order

    Robert Todd Lang (the “Appellant”) appealed a determination and penalty issued by the Administrator, Integrated Pest Management Act (the “Administrator”), Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (the “Ministry”).

    The Appellant has been a certified applicator under the Integrated Pest Management Act (the “IPMA”) since 2015, and has held a pesticide user service licence since 2016 which authorizes him to use pesticides. The Appellant was hired to apply pesticides to control invasive weeds on a private property near Kamloops, British Columbia, on May 10 and 20, 2019.

    On May 29, 2019, the Ministry received a complaint from a neighboring winery alleging that their vineyard had been destroyed by herbicide drift from the adjacent property. On June 3, 2019, the Ministry received a second complaint concerning damage to trees located at another adjacent property.

    On June 7, 2019, inspectors from the Ministry, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, and the Pesticide Compliance Program from Health Canada attended the site. The inspectors reviewed meteorological data, pesticide use records, and pesticide mix rates. The inspectors determined that the temperature of 32 degrees Celsius, combined with the pesticide mix rate, contributed to a vapour drift from the subject property to the two adjacent properties, causing damage to the vineyard and trees.

    The Administrator determined that the Appellant had contravened sections 3(1)(a) and (c) of the IPMA. Section 3(1)(a) prohibits a person from using a pesticide in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, an unreasonable adverse effect. Section 3(1)(c) prohibits a person from using a pesticide in a manner that does not accord with the label on the pesticide container or the manufacturer’s instructions. The Administrator levied a penalty of $3,500 against the Appellant for the contraventions.

    The Appellants appealed the Administrator’s determination and penalty. The Appellant submitted that he had complied with the requirements on the pesticide label in May 2019.

    Before the appeal was heard by the Board, the parties negotiated an agreement to resolve the appeal. By consent of the parties, the Appellant admitted that he had contravened section 3(1)(a) of the IMPA on May 10, 2019, and the Board ordered the Appellant to pay a reduced penalty of $3,200.

    Accordingly, the appeal was allowed, in part.