Keywords: Waste Management Act – ss. 26, 27, 28; intent and purpose of the Act; beehive burners; medium density fibre board plants
This is an appeal by the Nechako Environmental Coalition (the Appellant) of a decision of the Deputy Director of Waste Management upholding the issuance of a waste management permit to Canadian Forest Products Ltd. The permit authorized air emission discharges from two production lines, phases 1 and 2, of a Medium Density Fibre Board (MDF) plant in Prince George. The Appellant maintained that the permit failed to adequately protect human health and the environment. The Appellant sought to have the permit for both phase 1 and phase 2 of the plant quashed. In the alternative, the Appellant asked that the permit authorizing phase 2 of the plant be quashed.
Based on the evidence presented, the Board accepted the Appellants submission that the air quality in Prince George was already severely compromised by pollution. However, it found that contaminants emitted into the air as a result of the operation of the MDF plant would provide an improvement in air quality as compared with the level of air pollution caused by the beehive burners. The Board therefore upheld the Deputy Directors decision but found that the monitoring and assessment measures taken and/or proposed in support of the permit were inadequate to protect human health and the environment. Accordingly, the Board ordered that the permit be amended to require that additional environmental assessment and monitoring conditions be met and added conditions requiring computer modelling, sampling, review and study, monitoring and technology. In particular, the Board ordered that further conditions be implemented before those sections of the permit authorizing phase 2 of the MDF plant would come into effect. The appeal was dismissed.