• Shell Canada Products Ltd. v. Deputy Director, Waste Management

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    Sage Brush Services Ltd., Third Party


    Decision Date: April 14, 1994

    Panel: Mrs. L. Michaluk – Chair, Mr. H. Hunter and Ms. H. Mayall

    An appeal against a pollution abatement order. Leaking underground storage tanks at a gas station resulted in soil contamination. After discussions with the site’s owners, Sage Brush Services Ltd., the Waste Management Branch issued a pollution abatement order against Sage Brush and Shell Canada Products Ltd. Shell had been one of several companies which had operated the gas station between 1961 and 1992. The Deputy Director ordered Sagebrush and Shell to investigate the contamination and perform a cleanup.

    Shell Canada Ltd. objected that it was not responsible for the site. However, the Board disagreed, pointing out that Shell had “possession, charge or control of the substance (fuel) at the time it escaped…” It dismissed complaints that the Waste Management Branch should have met with Shell before issuing a Pollution Abatement Order. Discussions were not necessary, and in any case Shell had declined an offer of a meeting. Finally, even though the Deputy Director had only limited evidence about the pollution, the order was reasonable since it demanded an investigation to determine what, if any, action was necessary. It was only after Shell and Sage Brush determined what needed to be done that they would be required to do it.