Decision Date: December 18, 1997
Panel: Judith Lee
Keywords: Waste Management Act – ss. 18(5), 21; landfill; solid municipal refuse; solid waste management plans; regional districts; operational certificate; landfill gas; protection of the environment.
This was an appeal against a decision of the Deputy Director of Waste Management upholding the decision of the Regional Waste Manager to issue Operational Certificate 7577 to Wastech and the Village of Cache Creek. The Certificate authorized amendments to the operation of a landfill located within the Village.
In addition to the terms of the original operating permit, the Certificate authorized an increase in the annual allowable waste discharge of 200,000 tonnes, a change in the areas from which wastes were to be received, and construction of a fourth stage for the landfill. The amendments were required primarily to deal with new solid waste management plans for the Greater Vancouver Regional District and Thompson Nicola Regional District.
The Appellant sought an order overturning the decision of the Deputy Director and rescinding the issuance of the Certificate, and submitted that the Deputy Director ignored significant pieces of evidence and erred in failing to address some of the Appellant’s specific concerns. The Panel found that some of the Appellant’s arguments concerned matters which were beyond the Board’s jurisdiction to pursue, and determined that the sole issue before it was whether the terms set out in the Certificate would protect the environment in accordance with the objects and purposes of the Waste Management Act.
The Panel noted the past history of the landfill concerning unexpected gas emissions and problems of off-site gas migration, and found that the anticipated large increase in the discharge of solid waste into the landfill would likely cause an increase in associated landfill gas production. The Panel also found that, with such a large volume of solid waste being discharged, the screening at transfer stations to remove metals, batteries and other problem items could not be comprehensive. The Panel found that it would therefore be prudent to raise the monitoring requirements set out in the Certificate. The Panel confirmed the Operational Certificate, but directed the Regional Manager to take into account the concerns in the Ministry’s technical report about the need to mitigate the impacts from spring snow melt and summer rain storms. The Panel directed that the monitoring requirements in the storm water management plan be upgraded from quarterly sampling to monthly sampling during the June to September storm season for at least three years. The Panel also directed that certain terms used in the Certificate and attached plans be clarified, and that the Regional Manager investigate and determine whether it would be appropriate to amend the Certificate and the attached plans to include several requirements recommended by the Panel to address its concerns about landfill gas. The appeal was dismissed, with recommendations.