Keywords: Waste Management Act – s.43, s.45(3); purpose of appeal period
The Zorns appealed the decision of the Deputy Director of Waste Management refusing to grant them an extension of time to file an appeal. The Zorns argued that their appeal was against a decision contained in a May 22, 1997 letter, which allowed the City of Cranbrook to burn wood waste at the landfill. They argued that their appeal was within the 21 day time limit to file an appeal, that the proposed burning would violate provisions of the Waste Management Act, that well water was being threatened due to the generation of leachate at the site, that the burning would negatively affect the local air quality, and that the burning could not be safely carried out because the landfill is now “completely full.”
The Board decided that a 1979 permit authorized the City to burn the wood waste. The 1997 letter discussing the burning was not a “decision” as defined in the Act, and it did not authorize the burning. Since the City had been exercising its rights under the permit for 16 years, the Board did not grant an extension of the time to appeal the issuance of the permit. The Board noted that the 21 day time limit to appeal gives those potentially affected sufficient time to challenge the permit, while acknowledging that the permittee should be able to plan its affairs with some certainty. Although the Zorns raised serious issues that ought to be addressed, the Board found that the appeal process was not an appropriate avenue for them. The Board refused to grant an extension of time and dismissed the appeal.