• District of Sparwood v. Deputy Director of Waste Management

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    Decision Date: March 15, 1995

    Panel: J. Lee, H. Higgins, Ms. C. Mayall

    The District of Sparwood operated a wastewater treatment plant for which it held a Waste Permit. The Regional Manager, acting on a provincial policy, amended the permit requiring all plant operators to be certified as Class I operators by the B.C. Wastewater Operators Certification Program Society (BCWWOCPS) and one operator to be certified as Class II and designated as the Chief Operator with “Directly Responsible Charge” (DRC). The District appealed the amendment to the Deputy Director who felt that he would be in a conflict of interest, since his Branch developed the policy. The appeal was referred to the Board.

    The power to impose operator standards is granted to the Regional Manager by necessary implication from the Waste Management Act. Identifying BCWWOCPS as the source of those standards did not amount to unlawful sub-delegation of the Regional Manager’s authority.

    However, the Board acknowledged difficulties with the certification in this case. Because of the work schedule of the employees, it would be difficult for employees to reach the pre-requisite for the Class I certification ­ one year of experience. Furthermore, the Board felt that the phrase “Directly Responsible Charge” was ambiguous. The Board amended the permit to allow for a “grandfathering” clause which would exempt employees who had been with the District for 10 years from the certification requirements and deleted a clause requiring that operators in training be certified within 15 months.