• Houston Forest Products (Trustee) Ltd. v. Deputy Director of Waste Management

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    Decision Date: May 5, 1995

    Panel: J. Lee, C. Martin, R. Radloff

    Houston Forest Products held a waste permit which allowed it to burn wood waste from its mill in Houston, B.C. The Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, responding to growing health concerns, installed a particulate monitoring system and requested that the company contribute to the cost. Later the Ministry amended the permit to require the company to take over half of the financial responsibility for the monitoring system. The company appealed, alleging that the Deputy Director lacked jurisdiction to make such an amendment, and that there was no evidence that the monitoring was needed to protect the environment.

    The Board found that the Regional Manager has a broad legislative responsibility to protect the environment and that this duty is accompanied by the powers to do so. Consequently he was found to have the necessary jurisdiction and to have acted in compliance with the Waste Management Act and its regulations. In addition, the Board found that while there was a growing concern over the health effects of particulate matter, there was not enough data to evaluate the degree and source of the problem. By requiring monitoring the Ministry was obtaining this information, and the Board felt that this was necessary to ensure that the environment was protected. However, the Board felt that it was excessive to require Houston to pay half the cost of the monitoring. The amount was reduced to 1/3 and the appeal was dismissed.