Decision Date: April 25, 2002
Panel: Alan Andison, Carol Quin, Bob Radloff
Keywords: Waste Management Act – ss. 1, definition of “air contaminant”, “environment”, 10(1); 46(2); ambient monitoring; visual hazard; electronic reporting; particulate matter; nitrogen oxide; hearing de novo
The Appellants appealed the decision of the Assistant Regional Waste Manager (the “Regional Manager”) to issue a permit to Island Cogeneration Limited Partnership (“Island Cogeneration”). The permit authorized Island Cogeneration to discharge air contaminants from the Island Cogeneration Project (“ICP”) power facility located in Campbell River.
The Board first considered whether it was bound to show deference to the Regional Manager, and concluded that it was not, since the appeal proceeded as a hearing de novo. The Board then considered the merits of the appeals. The Board found that the Regional Manager did not issue the permit based on inadequate or flawed data and assumptions. Rather, he reasonably considered the ambient air quality conditions at the time he issued the permit. Moreover, the evidence indicated that the emission model results that he considered were reliable. The Board next considered whether the Regional Manager failed to consider the Best Available Control Technology regarding air pollution control devices for the plant, and found that the ICP plant was operating in an efficient manner without the need for a permit amendment to require lower nitrogen oxide emission levels.
The Board then considered whether the Regional Manager erred by including in the permit the discretion for the Regional Manager to authorize Island Cogeneration to burn oil as an alternate fuel for more than 10 days per year. The Board found that the permit should be amended to allow for burning of oil in excess of ten days only in the case of an emergency. The Board next found that emissions from the cooling tower were creating neither an environmental nor visual hazard and, accordingly, the Board was not prepared to amend the permit to require the monitoring of additives to the water used in the cooling tower. The Board also found that the Regional Manager did not err in failing to regulate the sulphur content of the main fuel source, because that matter is beyond the control of both the Regional Manager and Island Cogeneration.
The Board next examined whether the Regional Manager erred by failing to require Island Cogeneration to obtain his approval to operate the turbine generator in commissioning or testing circumstances at less than 40% of its nominal firing rate. The Board found that the permit should be amended to account for low load circumstances such as commissioning and testing. The Board also considered whether the permit should be amended to require Island Cogeneration to carry out ambient monitoring for PM2.5 emissions, and found that there was insufficient evidence to support such an amendment. However, the Board ordered that the permit be amended to require monitoring of PM2.5 emissions from the ICP plant stack. Lastly, the Board concluded that it was not prepared to amend the permit to order real time and electronic reporting of ambient air monitoring data.
Accordingly, the permit was upheld, subject to the amendments ordered by the Board. The appeals were dismissed. The Board also dismissed Island Cogeneration’s application for costs.