Province investigates complaints on CN’s use of herbicide next to the Skeena

Province investigates complaints on CN’s use of herbicide next to the Skeena

A line of dead vegetation from Terrace to Prince Rupert along the rail line sparked the inquiry

The province is inspecting CN’s use of herbicide spraying along the rail line between Terrace and Prince Rupert.

Nearly four weeks ago, Luanne Roth was driving on Highway 16 with her husband when they noticed a line of dead vegetation on the CN rail line along the Skeena River.

“Then we started looking at it very closely and we could see it was, what we thought, too close to fish bearing streams and we started taking photos,” Roth said, who is a spokesperson for the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation.

Roth filed a complaint with the Ministry of Environment, and the foundation is working with a herbicide expert who took samples. But Roth said she is still seeking information on what exactly was sprayed.

“Ministry staff are aware of the herbicide spraying along the rail line between Terrace and Prince Rupert and were on site this week conducting an inspection following complaints on significant pesticide over spray,” said David Karn, media relations for the Ministry of Environment.

The use of herbicides on public and private land is controlled by the province’s Integrated Pest Management Act. Under the act, spraying on rail lines for more than 20 hectares a year requires a pest management plan (PMP), which would specifically list the pesticides that can be used.

CN had a Pest Management Plan from May 2012-May 2017, but an updated plan could not be found. In the expired plan, a five-metre buffer is required near a fish bearing body of water, or a one-metre buffer for selective spraying to manage a “noxious weed” or “invasive plant.”

“We’re looking into what the legal requirements are,” Roth said, adding that she observed CN had sprayed herbicides within five metres in numerous places along the Skeena from Prince Rupert to Terrace.

CN turned down the opportunity for an interview, but they provided an emailed statement that they are reviewing the recent vegetation control activities that were performed along CN’s right-of-way between Terrace and Prince Rupert.

“Vegetation control is a vital part of safe railway operations and maintenance. As part of CN’s vegetation control program, we reach out to communities across our network, including in Northern B.C. to share information about herbicide application.”

Our vegetation control program incorporates environmental sensitivities such as restrictions on the use of herbicides near waterways,” Kate Fenske, media relations for CN, said in an email on Oct. 16.



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A line of dead vegetation next to CN’s rail line near the Skeena River prompted Luanne Roth to notify the Ministry of Environment. (Photo submitted by T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation)

A line of dead vegetation next to CN’s rail line near the Skeena River prompted Luanne Roth to notify the Ministry of Environment. (Photo submitted by T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation)

Just Posted

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

A Prince Rupert port expansion project received a $25 million investment from the provincial government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Jan. 14. Seen here is Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal export terminal in Prince Rupert (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)
$25 million government investment in Prince Rupert port expansion project

Prince Rupert port expansion project expected to create more than 2,200 jobs

For the second time in less than a year, Air Canada announced on Jan. 13 it has suspended flights on the Prince Rupert-Vancouver route as of Jan 17. (Photo by: Jerold Leblanc)
Cessation of flights to YPR will affect the municipal economy and global trade, P.R. Mayor said

Chamber of Commerce said it will aggressively pursue the resumption of flights to Prince Rupert

Air Canada has suspended flights to Prince Rupert Regional Airport due to COVID-19 mitigation, the airline announced on Jan. 13. (Photo:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
YPR is not immune to plummeted air travel demands – 25 jobs lost

Prince Rupert Regional Airport flight cancellation will levee significant hardship - Rick Leach

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read