• Paddy Goggins v. Assistant Regional Waste Manager

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    MacMillan Bloedel Paper Limited, Third Party


    Decision Date: December 4, 1997

    Panel: Toby Vigod

    Keywords: Waste Management Act – s. 48; wood residue boiler; air pollution

    This decision has been varied by Cabinet in OIC 1370. In the OIC cabinet orders that: “the stay decision of the Environmental Appeal Board in Appeal No. 97-WAS-10(b), dated December 4, 1997, is varied to permit operation of boiler 19 pending the hearing of the appeal on its merits.”

    Mr. Goggins filed an appeal against an Amended Permit authorizing the discharge of certain contaminants to the air from a new wood residue boiler stack at MacMillan Bloedel’s pulp and paper mill in Powell River, B.C. The grounds for the appeal were that the new equipment would result in a significant increase in the amount of waste imported into the community and that there had been no proper characterization of the wastes, which increased the potential for an additional release of pollution. He also asked that an interim stay of the Amended Permit be granted pending the outcome of the appeal in order to protect the environment and the health of himself, his family, and the general community.

    The Panel found that the issues raised by the Appellant were neither frivolous nor vexatious because the Permit allowed more woodwaste to be burned at the site and used a different process for handling the materials prior to discharge, and that these issues merited further consideration. The Panel also found that it would err on the side of caution in assessing “irreparable harm” and that if the boiler became operational before the appeal was completed it could cause irreparable harm to the environment. Finally, the Board weighed the potential for irreparable harm to the environment if the stay were not granted against the financial burden to MacMillan Bloedel if the stay were granted, and found that any financial loss or prejudice to MB from staying the operation of the Amended Permit would be relatively minor. The Board therefore found that, on a balance of convenience, the factors weighed in favour of staying the operation of the new boiler pending the outcome of the appeal. The stay application was granted.