• Imre Szabo v. Regional Waste Manager

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    Decision Date: October 1, 2002

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords:  Waste Management Act – s. 26.2; Contaminated Sites Regulation – ss. 58, 63; preliminary site investigation order

    Imre Szabo appealed the issuance of a preliminary site investigation order by the Regional Manager on the grounds that the order was not warranted under section 26.2 of the Waste Management Act. The order required Mr. Szabo to undertake a preliminary site investigation to determine whether property that he owns is contaminated. The property had been operated as a gas station for numerous years.

    The issue before the Board was whether the Regional Manager had sufficient information to reasonably suspect that the site owned by the Appellant may be contaminated or contain substances that may harm human health or the environment.

    Mr. Szabo argued that the site was not contaminated because there was no visual evidence or odour of hydrocarbon contamination at the site when underground gas tanks were removed from it in 2001. However, the Board found that the Appellant did not support this claim with any evidence from a person with appropriate expertise in determining hydrocarbon contamination.

    In addition, the Regional Manager provided the Board with copies of numerous letters of complaint that show that the site has been a concern for the Cariboo Regional District and the Interior Health Authority for many years. As well, the Regional Manager provided the Board with copies of reports compiled over the years by the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection regarding potential contamination of the site and adjacent properties. The Board found that based upon this information, it was reasonable for the Regional Manager to order a preliminary site investigation to ascertain the nature and level of risk at this site.

    The appeal was dismissed.