• 7437 Holdings Ltd. v. Assistant Regional Waste Manager

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    Corporation of Delta; Greater Vancouver Regional District, Third Parties


    Decision Date: October 15, 1999

    Panel: Toby Vigod, Cindy Derkaz, Carol Quin

    Keywords: Waste Management Act – s. 16; permit abandonment; exercise of rights under a permit; requirements for permit abandonment; authority to impose requirements

    This was an appeal of a decision of the Assistant Regional Waste Manager (“the Manager”) to impose certain requirements for permit abandonment by 7437 Holdings Ltd. (“7437”) in respect of Waste Management Permit PR-10603. 7437 sought an order reversing the Manager’s decision to impose requirements for permit abandonment.

    The Panel found that the issue before it turned on the interpretation of section 16 of the Waste Management Act. Specifically, the issue in this case was whether the Manager had jurisdiction to impose requirements for permit abandonment under section 16(5)(b) of the Act, when the Notice of Abandonment of the Permit submitted by 7437 stated that it was given under subsection 16(1) of the Act.

    7437 submitted that abandonment under subsection 16(1) gave it immunity from the imposition of any requirements for abandonment that the Manager could have imposed if the abandonment been submitted under subsection 16(3). Subsection 16(3) provides for abandonment of a permit where the permit holder has exercised a right under the permit to discharge waste. 7437 acknowledged that it had in fact exercised its rights under the permit to discharge waste. However, 7437 argued that even if the Notice was erroneously given under section 16(1), it was not rejected by the Manager, and must therefore have been accepted. 7437 argued that this acceptance was irrevocable and that the Manager’s authority to impose requirements was restricted by the acceptance of the Notice.

    The Panel found that the correct interpretation of section 16 is that, while a permit holder may elect to abandon a permit, it is not up to the permit holder to decide whether the abandonment is pursuant to subsection 16(1) or 16(3). The Panel found that it was a question of fact as to whether 7437 had exercised any rights to discharge waste under the permit, and that if any rights have been exercised, subsection 16(3) applied and the Manager had jurisdiction to impose requirements for the abandonment of the permit. The Panel found further that the Manager did not make a decision and was not required to make any decision in respect of the correctness of the Notice, and that the principle of irrevocability did not apply. The Panel confirmed the requirements for the abandonment of the permit except for the deadline for submission of a site closure plan, which it ordered the Manager to extend by nine months. In all other respects, the appeal was dismissed.