Decision Date: August 6, 1999
Panel: Carol Quin
Keywords: Waste Management Act ss. 3, 31; pollution abatement order; demolition material; refuse; waste.
This was an appeal against the issuance of a pollution abatement order (“the Order”) issued by the Waste Manager. The Order required the removal of demolition waste dumped in an unauthorized site.
The appellant owned and operated a trucking business in Salmon Arm, B.C. and in March 1999 was hired to remove the remains of a building which had been destroyed by fire. In April 1999 the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (“MELP”) issued two Approvals to use two sites for burning and disposing of the demolition material.
MELP staff visited the burn site after receiving a smoke complaint and observed a large pile of hot ash and burned demolition material consisting of woodwaste and a varied assortment of other non-wood material. The Approval issued to the appellant was for the burning of woodwaste only. The appellant was subsequently issued a ticket for failing to comply with the terms of the Approval.
The appellant subsequently deposited seven truckloads of the burnt demolition waste on Crown land (the Stoney Creek gravel pit) held by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways (“MOTH”). He contended that he received permission from a MOTH official to dump at Stoney Creek and that he chose the site because it was already being used for dumping waste left from the demolition of houses damaged in a forest fire.
Material was being stored at the Stoney Creek gravel pit, but only on a temporary basis for sorting the materials. Disposal and cleanup of the site had already begun. After identifying the waste that had been dumped by the appellant, MELP staff issued him a ticket for illegally discharging business waste without authorization. At the same time, the Waste Manager issued the Order requiring that the appellant stop discharging waste at the Stoney Creek gravel pit and that he remove all the material he had deposited by May 17, 1999.
In the appeal, the Panel found that the material fit the definition of “waste” under the Waste Management Act, and that the appellant did not hold a valid permit or approval to dump waste at the Stoney Creek gravel pit. The Panel also found and that the partially burned demolition waste could cause pollution. The Panel held that the issuance of the Order was both reasonable and correct, and concluded that the appellant should remove all of the subject waste material to an approved site by August 20, 1999. The appeal was dismissed and the Order amended to reflect the new removal date.