Key Words: Waste Management Act – s.48; RJR-MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General); waste water treatment plant; rapid infiltration beds; development/investment freeze; water conservation
Gurmeet Brar, a chemical engineer and resident of Invermere, applied for a stay pending the appeal of a Deputy Directors decision amending a waste permit and upholding the increase in the District of Invermeres effluent discharge. Mr. Brar argued that there was no compelling urgency for the District to expand its sewer facility and that there was preparatory, maintenance and replacement work that could improve the quality and quantity of effluent discharges and could proceed regardless of the granting of a stay. He submitted that a stay was necessary since the Districts ongoing water metering and conservation initiatives could also improve the quality and quantity of the effluent discharges. He claimed that refusing the stay and allowing the increase in discharge would result in irreparable environmental harm. It could also lead to a waste in public funds if the appeal was ultimately successful and the District was denied its expansion.
The Board found that serious issues existed and that irreparable harm to the environment occur if a stay was not granted. On a balance of convenience, the Board determined that a stay should be granted. The Board granted a stay pending the appeal on its merits.