Keywords:Waste Management Act – s. 13; Public Notification Regulation – s. 1; significant amendment; minor amendment; Environmental Assessment Reviewable Projects Regulation – ss. 6, 30(3)(b); air pollution
Two appeals were filed against a decision by the Assistant Regional Waste Manager (the “Regional Manager”) to issue MB Paper an amended permit authorizing the discharge of contaminants from a new wood and sludge fired boiler in place of an existing steam plant. The Appellants argued that the amendment was a “significant amendment” and should have undergone public consultation; that the project should have been subject to an environmental assessment; that it involves experimental technology; and that the new boiler would use imported waste, thus requiring a new permit. They further argued that the amendments ran contrary to various Ministry policies, and that the new boiler would increase the amount of dangerous emissions, especially smaller particulates and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).
The Panel found that the amendments were correctly classified as minor and no public notice or consultation was required. The Panel considered the amendments and the provisions of the environmental assessment legislation and concluded that the new boiler was not a reviewable project. It also found that the new boiler does not use experimental technology, and that there was no evidence to support the Appellants’ claim that a new permit should have been obtained. The Panel noted that the Ministry’s policies, while not binding, were followed.
Finally, the Panel found no evidence that the new boiler would increase the amount of “dangerous emissions”, but it directed the Regional Manager to consider the feasibility of monitoring particulates, 2.5 microns in size. The Panel also directed the Regional Manager to better define the monitoring requirements in the permit, particularly in relation to PAHs and benzenes, and to look into the issue of the quality and quantity of residue ash. Thus, the Panel upheld the amended permit, but directed the Regional Manager to consider certain monitoring issues. The appeals were dismissed.