• Valleyview Enterprises Ltd. v. Regional Waste Manager

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    Decision date: August 3, 1999

    Panel: Toby Vigod

    Keywords: Waste Management Act ss.10, 13; landfill; permit amendment; notice

    This was an appeal against a decision of the Regional Manager to amend a waste management permit (the “Permit”) issued to Valleyview, the owner and operator of a landfill for municipal solid waste in Kamloops, B.C. The company was required to discharge waste into the landfill according to the conditions set out in the Permit. One of these conditions was that it submit an annual report.

    In 1997, 1998, and 1999, Valleyview provided annual reports which estimated the volume of landfill waste according to it’s measurement of the area and the judgment of its operator as to the approximate thickness of the deposited refuse and cover material.

    On February 10, 1999 the Regional Manager notified Valleyview that the annual report requirement in the Permit had been amended to include a more detailed accounting of the annual volume of discharge to the landfill. The amendment required Valleyview to conduct an annual elevation survey. The amendment was made because the rough measurements and estimates on which Valleyview’s past annual reports had been based were not consistent with the type of reports required from other landfill owners/operators within the Region.

    Valleyview appealed the Regional Manager’s decision to amend the Permit to the Board, arguing that it was not given adequate notice of the amendment and therefore did not have an adequate opportunity to make submissions.

    The Panel found that Valleyview had received adequate notice of the proposed amendment. However, the Panel also found that the Regional Manager erred by not providing adequate reasons for the amendment in his decision. The Panel found that since the appeal before it constituted a new hearing, the appeal corrected the Regional Manager’s error. Further, the Panel found that the question of site capacity was an environmental protection issue, as accurate monitoring and measurement of the landfill is essential to ensure the protection of the surrounding environment. The Panel found that as the landfill neared capacity, surveys would be required to ensure that the ultimate contours of the site would promote stability and direct runoff away from the landfill.

    The Panel confirmed the Amendment, except for the annual surveying requirement, and ordered the Regional Manager to amend the amendment to require Valleyview to conduct an initial elevation survey by March 31, 2000. The Panel also referred the additional surveys back to the Regional Manager with the recommendation that he consider requiring additional surveys every two to three years, until such time as he determined that closure of the site was imminent and annual elevation surveys were necessary. The appeal was allowed in part.