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West Kelowna group appeals permit allowing aerial spraying over school

Group opposes spray permit

The West Kelowna chapter of Kelowna Citizens Safety Association have filed an appeal of a permit granted to the Ministry of Forests for aerial spraying over an area including Constable Neil Bruce Middle School.

The group is asking the BC Environmental Appeal Board to stay the permit for spraying issued on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Forests plans three applications of Foray 48B between late April and mid-June to eradicate spongy moths. Each treatment will occur seven to 10 days apart and could take up to two days to complete.

Spraying will be done under the direction of the BC Plant Protection Advisory Council's Spongy Moth Technical Advisory Committee.

The province says the spongy moth poses a threat to the ecosystem and the economy.

While it says the insecticide Foray 48B is used in organic farming and affects only moth and butterfly caterpillars after the ingest it, KCSA disagrees.

Lloyd Manchester, president of the association says their appeal highlights the discrepancy between the ministry's promotion of Foray 48B as non-toxic to humans, pets, and the environment, and the label's explicit safety instructions in case of exposure.

The application to halt spraying also states the decision to spray the area was made after the discovery of 11 gypsy/spongy moths in the area by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and without considering on-site meetings to discuss alternate methods.

Manchester is urging residents to voice their concerns to MLA Ben Stewart and representatives of city council, the RDCO and Central Okanagan School District.

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