Keywords: Waste Management Act – s.13, 43(d); 44(1), 47; Wood Residue Burner and Incinerator Regulation – s.2; beehive burner; air pollution; standing; person aggrieved; jurisdiction
This was an application by Houston Forest Products to dismiss the appeals of Dr. Elizabeth Bastian, Dave Stevens, and Laurie Mutschke, on behalf of herself and the infant, Emily Dodd (collectively, the “Appellants”), on the grounds that the Appellants did not have standing to appeal, and that the Board did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeals. The appeals were against a decision of the Assistant Regional Waste Manager to amend Houston’s waste permit which authorized Houston to discharge emissions into the air from its beehive burner.
The Panel found that, because air pollutants can affect air quality at large distances, there is no defined distance beyond which persons are necessarily precluded from having standing to appeal. Further, under the “person aggrieved” test, a person is only required to disclose enough evidence for one to conclude, on reasonable grounds, that the person’s interests will be prejudicially affected beyond that of the general public. The Panel found that the Appellants had adduced such evidence in this case and, therefore, had standing to appeal.
With respect to jurisdiction, the Panel found that it did not have jurisdiction to quash or prevent Houston from operating its beehive burner completely as the Wood Residue Burner and Incinerator Regulation authorized Houston to use it until December 31, 2000. However, the Panel found that it had jurisdiction over the alternate remedies requested by the Appellants, namely, to issue an order amending the permit to reduce emissions from the burner, or to remit the permit back to the Director to be amended in accordance with the instructions of the Board. Houston’s application to dismiss the appeals was denied.