CN Rail has entered a guilty plea and been sentenced to a penalty of $100,000 in connection with failing to obtain the required authorization to apply pesticide to its train tracks in northwestern B.C., according to a BC Conservation Service Facebook post.
The company pleaded guilty in Prince Rupert court on Thursday to using a pesticide without a required Pest Management Plan in place, which is a violation of the Integrated Pest Management Act.
In August 2017, a contractor for CN Rail engaged in a pesticide spraying program over approximately 150 kilometres of track between Terrace and Prince Rupert, in the Skeena region. This area runs along the Skeena River flood plain, and the spraying damaged nearby vegetation.
The majority of the fine, $95,000, will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for fish, wildlife and habitat restoration in the Skeena region.
A joint investigation between the Conservation Officer Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada was launched after ECCC officers travelling along Highway 16 noticed a spray truck on the CN Rail tracks discharging a mist from the front and rear spray booms of the vehicle.
CN Rail is mandated to comply with the IPMA, including the requirement to have a Pesticide Use Notice Confirmation and the associated Pest Management Plan, which requires public consultation and First Nations engagement. Pesticide applications conducted by any party in B.C. may be inspected for compliance.