• Alpha Manufacturing Inc.; Utzig Holdings; Burns Industrial Park Ltd.; Fauna Landfill Ltd.; Burns Development Ltd.; Burns Development (1993) Ltd. v. Deputy Director of Waste Management

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    BC Gas Utility Ltd., Third Party


    Decision Date: December 12, 1997

    Panel: Toby Vigod, Christie Mayall, William MacFarlane

    Keywords: Waste Management Act – ss. 1, 33(2), 33(5); Pollution Prevention Order; landfill; peat bog; definition of pollution; soil movement; meaning of “release”; indicators of toxicity of leachate; B.C. v. Alpha Manufacturing Inc. et al. (1996), (BCSC).

    Alpha Manufacturing Inc. and the other Appellant companies appealed a Pollution Prevention Order issued by the Deputy Director of Waste Management in relation to a property situated in a peat bog in North Delta, B.C. The Appellants were issued a permit to landfill the site with the intention of developing an industrial park once landfilling was completed. The Ministry cancelled their permit and subsequently issued the Order which required the Appellants to monitor the site and prepare a Site Closure Plan and a Site Development Plan, if they intended to develop the site, taking into account certain concerns and requirements. Alpha appealed on the grounds that the Deputy Director had acted without jurisdiction in issuing the Order and that some of the terms of the Order such as the deadlines were unreasonable.

    The Panel found that the Deputy Director acted within his jurisdiction because there were reasonable grounds to find that an “activity” had been performed by a person, in a manner likely to “release” a substance, that would, if released, cause pollution of the environment. The Panel found that, if the landfill were left in its present condition, toxic leachate would likely be released into the environment and that the possibility of soil movement in the landfill created a risk that two BC Gas pipelines traversing the property would rupture. Further, the Panel found that there was a risk of fire at the site and if one occurred there would likely be a release of contaminants to the air which would not have been merely insignificant or transitory. The Panel found that the terms of the Order were reasonable but should be amended to reflect the fact that the original deadlines for compliance with the Order had passed. The Panel therefore varied certain parts of the Order accordingly and dismissed the appeal.