Brookswood Fernridge Community Association; IronGait Ventures Inc.; Inge and Carl Thielemann; Nicomekl Enhancement Society; Little Campbell Watershed Society; Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club; Sonja Kroecher; Gabriel Farms Ltd. v. District Director, Environmental Management Act
Ebco Metal Finishing L.P.
Decision Date: January 27, 2022
Panel: Darrell Le Houillier, Maureen Baird, Q.C., Howard M. Saunders
Keywords: Environmental Management Act – s. 14; Administrative Tribunals Act – s. 31(1); preliminary decision; permit; air emissions; application to strike grounds of appeal; jurisdiction
The District Director for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (the “District Director” and “Metro Vancouver”, respectively) and Ebco Metal Finishing L.P. (“Ebco”) applied to strike certain grounds of appeal in the Appellants’ notices of appeal. The appeals were against a decision to amend a permit held by Ebco.
The permit was originally issued in 2018 (the “Original Permit”). It authorized Ebco to discharge contaminants to the air from a zinc galvanizing facility located in Surrey, BC. The Board received several appeals against the Original Permit.
In February 2019, the District Director amended the permit the (“February 2019 Permit”) by changing the due dates for certain reports. The Board received one appeal against the February 2019 Permit.
In March 2019, the District Director amended the permit again (the “March 2019 Permit”). The March 2019 Permit required Ebco to submit additional reports to the District Director. The Board received one appeal against the March 2019 Permit.
In April 2019, the Board began a joint hearing of the appeals against the Original Permit, the February 2019 Permit, and the March 2019 Permit. The hearing reconvened in February and August 2020 but was not completed.
Meanwhile, in July 2020, the District Director amended the permit again (the “2020 Permit”). The 2020 Permit made several substantive changes including authorizing a new emission source, adding new reporting requirements, and requiring a fugitive emission management plan. After the August 2020 hearing dates concluded, the Board received eight appeals of the 2020 Permit.
The District Director and Ebco applied to strike several grounds of appeal regarding the 2020 Permit. In general, they submitted that only the amendments made in July 2020 could be the subject of new appeals. In the appeals of the 2020 Permit, the Appellants should not be able to raise issues about the Original Permit or the earlier amendments. Allowing the Appellants to use the new appeals to supplement their arguments and evidence on the earlier appeals would be duplicative, inefficient, and potentially unfair to the other parties.
The Board found that some of the grounds of appeal should be struck, either in part or in their entirety, because they attempted to re-argue matters that were or could have been part of the earlier appeals or were outside of the District Director’s and the Board’s jurisdiction.
Accordingly, the applications were granted, in part.