Date of Decision - November 14, 2000
IN THE MATTER OF sections 84, 85, 85.1, and 87 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act,
IN THE MATTER OF an appeal filed on September 19, 2000 by Mrs. Daphne Fisher on behalf of Mr. Darren and Mrs. Daphne Fisher with respect to Approval No. 00081681-00-00 issued under the Water Act, S.A. 1996, c.W-3.5 to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation by the Director, Parkland Region, Natural Resource Service, Alberta Environment.
Cite as: Fisher v. Director, Parkland Region, Natural Resource Service, Alberta Environment re: Taiwan Sugar Corporation.
1. The Environmental Appeal Board (the "Board") received a Notice of Appeal from Mrs. Daphne Fisher on September 19, 2000. The Notice of Appeal was filed by Mrs. Fisher on behalf of herself and her husband Mr. Darren Fisher (the "Appellants"). The Notice of Appeal was with respect to Approval No. 00081681-00-00 (the "Approval") issued under the Water Act, S.A. 1996, c.W-3.5 to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation (the "Approval Holder") for the purposes of exploring for ground water near Hardesty, Alberta. The ground water is intended to be use to supply a large hog operation proposed by the Approval Holder. The Approval was issued by Mr. Ken Looten, Director, Parkland Region, Natural Resource Service, Alberta Environment (the "Director") on June 16, 2000.
2. The Notice of Appeal filed by the Appellants' is one of fourteen Notices of Appeal that the Board has received in relation to the Approval. The other 13 appeals were received between July 6 and July 31, 2000.
3. On September 27, 2000 the Board acknowledged receipt of the Notice of Appeal. The Board advised that:
"Please note that it is the Board's decision whether to accept or reject your appeal. In the event that the Board may decide to deny your appeal, you may be able to request intervenor status as stated in section 87(6) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. Further correspondence will advise you of the status of your appeal once the Board has reviewed your Notice of Appeal. If you wish to provide a statement indicating why the Board did not receive your Notice of Appeal within the timelines specified in the Act, please forward this information to our office by October 6, 2000. The Board will use this information in reviewing your Notice of Appeal and advising whether your appeal will be accepted at this time."
4. On October 5, 2000 the Board received a letter from Ms. Karen Munro of Sharek Reay, Barristers and Solicitors. Ms. Munro had filed one of the other Notices of Appeal in this matter on behalf of a client. Ms. Munro's letter indicated that she represented the "Family Farm Promotion Society" (the "Society"). The Society includes all the parties that have filed appeals, including the Appellants. Ms. Munro indicated that four people, including Mrs. Daphne Fisher would be representing the Society in this matter.
5. At this time, Ms. Munro also asked that the appeal be put into abeyance pending the outcome of a Development Appeal Board hearing in to this matter, which she anticipated would be completed in mid to late November.
6. On October 5, 2000 the Board also received a letter (dated October 3, 2000) from Appellants. The letter advised:
"Our sincere apologies for our lateness in filing an appeal. We had completed a Notice of Appeal previously and had made arrangements for it to be faxed to your office. Somehow this transmission did not occur. We leave the decision in the Board's hands as noted. We submit that we do have an interest in this matter and will simply await further correspondence advising of our status. Thank you."
7. On October 6, 2000 the Board acknowledged receipt of this letter and provided a copy to the Director and the Approval Holder.
8. The date of the Approval was June 16, 2000. By law, your appeal must be filed no later than seven days after the date that you received notice of this June decision. Section 116 of the Water Act provides in part:
"(1) A notice of appeal must be submitted to the Environmental Appeal Board (a) not later than 7 days after … (ii) in the case of an approval, receipt of notice of the decision that is appealed from or the last provision of notice of the decision that is appealed from ….
(2) The Environmental Appeal Board may, on application made before or after the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (1), extend that period, if the Board is of the opinion that there are sufficient grounds to do so. …"
9. Further, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, S.A. 1992, c.E-13.3 provides at section 87(5)(a)(i.2) that:
"The Board (a) may dismisses a notice of appeal if … (i.2) for any other reason the Board considers that the notice of appeal is not properly before it …."
10. The Board noted that from your October 3, 2000 letter that someone else was supposed to fax the appeal to the Board, but this reason is insufficient in the Board's mind to extend the filing deadline.
11. The Board notes, as stated in its letter of September 27, 2000 letter that the Appellants may be able to request intervenor status if the appeal proceeds to a hearing.
12. For the reasons provided above, the Board dismisses the Notice of Appeal.
Dated on November 14, 2000 at Edmonton, Alberta.
Dr. William A. Tilleman