Keywords: Waste Management Act – s.22, s.22.2, s.27(3), Part 5; Environmental Appeal Board Procedure Regulation – s.4(2); Public Notification Regulation – s.4(3), Schedule A; Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulation – s.4(1); expired approvals; extension of time to appeal
Nick Kootnikoff, on behalf of Krestova Residents for Pure Water (the Appellants) appealed a decision of the Deputy Director of Waste Management (the Deputy Director) refusing to grant an extension of time to file an appeal of an approval authorizing the discharge of treated pulp mill sludge to Mr. Hatlens property. The Appellants appealed on the grounds that the Deputy Director erred in refusing to grant the extension; the Approval Holders did not give Mr. Hatlens neighbours adequate notice of the approval; the sludge is polluting or will pollute the environment and should be removed from the site; and the deposit was contrary to a federal regulation prohibiting release of any effluent that contains unacceptable levels of certain chemicals.
On the evidence presented, the Board found that the Appellants were not given notice of the approval, and once they were aware of the approval and the sludge deposit, they appealed promptly. The Board was satisfied that the Appellants established an adequate reason for their delay in filing an appeal. However, the Board held that the fact the approval has been fully exercised was an important consideration. As the approval had expired, there was nothing for the Deputy Director or the Board to confirm, vary or rescind. Further, the Board found that on the evidence presented, the environmental impact of a single application of deposited sludge was minimal and its removal may cause a greater environmental impact than leaving it in place. The Board varied the Deputy Directors decision by requiring monitoring results from areas where the sludge was deposited to be given to Mr. Hatlen and his neighbours within 30 days of such tests. The appeal was dismissed.