Decision Date: June 5, 2017
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Administrative Tribunals Act – s. 16(1); permit amendment; air emissions; odour; consent order
West Coast Reduction Ltd. (“West Coast”) filed two appeals against permit amendments issued by the District Director (the “District Director”), Greater Vancouver Regional District, under the Environmental Management Act and Air Quality Management Bylaw no. 1082, 2008. West Coast operates a rendering facility that processes parts from dead animals and waste oil from restaurants, and produces finished products such as refined animal fats, protein meals, and biofuel. The facility is located in an industrial area near downtown Vancouver. The facility has operated since the 1960s, and held an air emissions permit since 1992. In recent years, people residing near the facility have complained about odours and other air emissions from the facility.
In February 2016, West Coast applied to renew, and make minor amendments to, its air emissions permit. In August and September 2016, the District Director issued permit amendments that imposed a number of procedures or requirements on West Coast, on his own initiative, which West Coast had not requested. Among other things, those additional procedures or requirements addressed sampling, measuring, reporting, and dispersion modelling of specific “odorous air contaminants”, and the height, diameter and exit temperature of several stacks at the facility. West Coast filed an appeal against those amendments on the grounds that the additional procedures or requirements were arbitrary, unreasonable, and exceeded the District Director’s jurisdiction.
In March 2017, the District Director issued a further amendment to the air emissions permit which made adjustments to some of the reporting requirements, including due dates. West Coast also appealed that amendment.
Before the appeals were heard by the Board, West Coast and the District Director initiated a mediation, which led to an agreement to settle the appeals by making certain amendments to the air emissions permit. The parties then requested that the board issued consent order reflecting the terms of their settlement agreement.
Accordingly, the Board granted the request for a consent order, and ordered that the air emissions permit was amended in accordance with the parties’ settlement agreement. The appeals were allowed.