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CN Rail plan allows use of 13 pesticides

CN Rail is planning to use up to 13 different pesticides over the next five years, according to its latest proposed pest management plan.

The plan would allow the rail company to continue spraying land surrounding its track in areas throughout B.C. to control vegetation, including in cities like Richmond, which has a bylaw banning the chemicals.

According to CN, pesticides help maintain visibility at road and pedestrian crossings, reducing the potential for accidents with vehicles and pedestrians.

Richmond banned the use of cosmetic pesticides in 2009, but municipal government bylaws have no authority over railways, which fall under senior government jurisdiction.

CN's plan calls for use of pesticides such as 2,4-D Amine by "authorized and licensed applicators." On its website, CN calls pesticides "cost effective" and says they "greatly extend the duration of vegetation control when combined with mechanical cutting."

CN's Richmond tracks extend from the Fraserport lands to North Richmond to the eastern end of Lulu Island. The company's website says the public "should avoid walking through the treated areas when the contractor is actually applying or immediately after applying" pesticides.

The plan can be found at http://tinyurl.com/CNpestplan. Comments can be made to smcconsulting@shaw.ca or 250-492-6193.

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