Keywords: Waste Management Act, 1996 – ss. 33, 34(8), 47; RJR-MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General)
Alpha Manufacturing Inc. (Alpha) requested a stay of a Pollution Prevention Order issued by the Deputy Director of Waste Management, pending its appeal. Alpha had operated a land reclamation site in the Burns Bog area of Delta under a waste permit from 1987 until early 1996 when the permit was cancelled. The Order required Alpha to monitor the site to prevent possible pollution, to prepare and submit a Site Closure plan by March 31, 1997, and, if Alpha intended to develop the site, to prepare a Site Development Plan by July 31, 1997.
The Board found that there was a serious issue to be tried but that Alpha did not show that it would suffer irreparable harm if the stay was refused. The Board noted that the terms of the Order were only a continuation and expansion of the monitoring and Site Closure requirements contained in Alphas cancelled permit and that these costs would have to be incurred at some point in any event. The threat of prosecution for non-compliance with the Order does not constitute irreparable harm. The Board also found that the threat of toxic leachate and of slope failure, which could result in damage to two natural gas pipelines which cross the site, created a significant risk to the environment. The Board held that the risk to the environment if a stay was granted far outweighed the harm to Alpha if one was denied. The application was dismissed.