This was an appeal of a waste permit issued by the Regional Waste Manager to Pacific Regeneration Technologies authorizing the discharge of effluent from a tree seedling nursery, using a spray irrigation system, to irrigate a hybrid poplar plantation. The permit also authorized emergency overflow from a collection pond to be discharged into an “unnamed creek”. The Appellants sought to have the permit revoked or amended.
The Appellants argued that the published notice of the permit application was for a substantially different waste disposal system than that which was authorized by the permit and, therefore, the notice was a nullity. The Board found that, while the initial posting and eventual permit were quite different, the Appellants were not prejudiced by the differences. Further, the appeal was conducted as a hearing de novo and the Appellants had the opportunity to fully present their case to the Board.
The Appellants argued that the permit caused or contributed to flooding on lands of Poorah Development Ltd. The Board found that the overflow from the collection pond did not flow into an unnamed creek, and was not the sole cause of flooding, but may contribute to seasonal flooding because it flowed into a trench on Poorah’s land. The Board found that Pacific Regeneration Technologies should be required to design a system to ensure that effluent is not discharged off its property.
The Appellants also argued that the works authorized by the permit would cause contamination of the groundwater. The Board found that the Appellants did not show, on the balance of probabilities, that the permit created an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. However, the Board found that the permit should be modified in respect to the provisions for monitoring, reporting and discharge.
The Board referred the permit back to the Regional Waste Manager with directions.