Appeal No. 94-009


January 20, 1995


IN THE MATTER OF Sections 84, 86, 87, 91 and 92 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, (S.A. 1992, ch. E-13.3 as amended);

-and-

IN THE MATTER OF
an appeal filed by the Friends of the Peace with respect to the approval issued by or on behalf of the Director, Air and Water Approvals Division, Alberta Environmental Protection to Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. to vent non-condensible gases to test the gas collection system.

Cite as: Friends of the Peace v. Director, Air and Water Approvals Division, Alberta Environmental Protection.

PRE-HEARING MEETING BEFORE:
Alastair R. Lucas, Board-appointed mediator

APPEARANCES:
Appellant - Friends of the Peace, represented by Mitch Bronaugh, John Sheehan and Buff Smith

Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., represented by Tom Tarpey and Rob Vesak

Director, Air and Water Approvals Division, represented by Neil Shelly and Raymond Bodnarek, Esq.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On August 29, 1994, Mr. John Sheehan on behalf of Friends of the Peace (the Appellant) filed a notice of objection with the Board regarding the decision of the Director of the Air and Water Approvals Division, Alberta Environmental Protection (the Director) to issue Amending Approval No. 93-AL-110B(94) (the Approval) to Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. (DMI) in response to Application No. RS0494. This Approval authorized DMI to vent high volume, low concentration (HVLC) and other non-condensible gases to the atmosphere, under conditions specified in the Approval, for the purpose of testing the gas collection system. The Director issued the Approval to DMI on July 26, 1994, and notice of his decision was advertised on August 3, 1994 in a local newspaper.

The Appellant expressed concerns regarding air pollution and the health of area residents. In addition, the Appellant questioned why the amendment extended to the end of the original approval when DMI only applied for an amendment for a duration of four to six weeks.

The Director and DMI were notified that the appeal was filed, and the Director was requested to provide a copy of the Application and the Approval. Following receipt of those documents, the Board wrote to all parties asking several questions including: (1) how the Appellant was directly affected by the issuance of the Approval, (2) whether the parties were aware of any similar tests conducted elsewhere, (3) whether the proposed venting would be expected to cause odour complaints, and (4) why the amendment was extended to the end of the original approval, April 30, 1998. All parties provided their responses to the Board as requested.

The Board subsequently reviewed the replies received from the parties and on November 4, 1994 decided to proceed with a pre-hearing meeting.

THE PRE-HEARING MEETING

The pre-hearing meeting, which was held on November 25, 1994 in Peace River, was called by the Board for the purpose of attempting to facilitate the resolution of this appeal or, failing that, to make arrangements for the oral hearing by determining all matters set out in s. 13 of the Environmental Appeal Board Regulation. The Board invited three representatives from each party to participate in this pre-hearing meeting, and the attendance at this meeting was as follows:

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Alastair R. Lucas, a Board-appointed mediator. Following a brief introduction and a description of procedural matters, all parties present were asked to make presentations.

The representatives of the Director and DMI explained the purpose for the application for the Approval, the reasons why the application was treated as a routine matter, the restrictions that were placed on DMI in carrying out the venting trials, and the duration of the amendment to the existing approval.

The Appellant's representatives expressed their concerns about the effects of the gas emissions on human health and the environment, the fact that people who could be affected by the venting trials were not consulted in advance, and the blanket nature of the Approval that was granted to DMI.

After the parties obtained a better understanding of each others' previous actions, points-of-view and concerns, a discussion ensued as to the possible involvement of the Public Advisory Committee Regarding Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. - Peace River Operations (the Public Advisory Committee) in dealing with public concerns about the venting trials. It was agreed that this would be an appropriate way to respond to the Appellant's concerns, but there was consensus that the Public Advisory Committee should be allowed to make its own decision whether or not to accept the role envisioned for it.

The draft resolution of this appeal was presented to the Public Advisory Committee at its meeting on December 14, 1994. The Committee assented to the role set out for it in the draft resolution. It was agreed that the parties and the Public Advisory Committee should sign the Resolution of this appeal on January 18, 1995 during a meeting of the Committee.

RESOLUTION OF APPEAL NO. 94-009

REGARDING AMENDING APPROVAL NO. 93-AL-110 B(94)

All parties to the appeal have agreed to the following terms and conditions:

1. THAT DMI makes a commitment to place all subsequent proposals for venting trials under clause 2.9(t) of the Approval, along with the Director's draft letter of authorization, on the agenda of the Public Advisory Committee for review and comment;

2. a) THAT DMI will recommend to the Public Advisory Committee that the Committee retain the discretionary power to advertise the proposals for the venting trials under clause 2.9(t) of the Approval in an appropriate manner to solicit additional public comments with respect to the proposals;

b) THAT Friends of the Peace will recommend to the Public Advisory Committee that it advertise in each case the proposals for venting trials in an appropriate manner to solicit additional public comments with respect to the proposals;

3. THAT the Director will receive and consider comments from the Public Advisory Committee and from members of the public in relation to all venting trial proposals under section 2.9(t) of the Approval;

4. THAT the Director will not issue a letter of authorization under clause 2.9(t) of the Approval until 20 days after the meeting of the Public Advisory Committee at which the relevent venting trial proposal has been addressed; and

5. THAT the Appellant, Friends of the Peace, will withdraw its Notice of Objection.

RESOLUTION AGREED TO BY:

Date: January 17, 1995
Friends of the Peace,
represented by Buff Smith


Date: January 17, 1995
Director of Air and Water Approvals,
David Spink


Date: January 17, 1995
Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd.,
represented by Tom Tarpey


Date: January 17, 1995
Accepted by the Public Advisory Committee
Regarding Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd.
Peace River Operations, represented by
Richard Keiller, Chairman

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Board recommends that the Minister of Environmental Protection confirm the decision of the Director of Air and Water Approvals in Amending Approval No. 93-AL-110B(94), subject to the Resolution contained herein.

Further, with respect to section 92(2) of the Act, the Board recommends that copies of this Report and Recommendations and of any decision by the Minister be sent to the following parties:

Mr. Mitch Bronaugh;

Mr. John Sheehan;

Ms. Buff Smith;

the Director, Air and Water Approvals Division,

Alberta Environmental Protection;

Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd.; and

the Public Advisory Committee
Regarding Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd.
Peace River Operations.

Signed and Dated January 20, 1995, at Calgary, Alberta.

Alastair R. Lucas,
Board-appointed mediator

Accepted by the panel Chair,
David H. Marko,
on behalf of the Board



ORDER

I, Ty Lund, Minister of Environmental Protection, confirm the decision of the Director of Air and Water Approvals subject to the Resolutions listed above and the Report and Recommendations of the Environmental Appeal Board. If any further order is needed, it is either set out below or attached.

Dated at Edmonton this 30th day of January 1995.

Signed, Honourable Ty Lund

Minister of Environmental Protection

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