Appeal No. 98-006

 

Date of Discontinuance of Proceedings - January 25, 2000

 

IN THE MATTER OF Sections 84, 85, and 87 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 Mr. Charles W. Forster and Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. with respect to Environmental Protection Order No. 98-01 issued on February 17, 1998 by the Director, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection.

Cite as: Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. #3 v. Director, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BACKGROUND 1
DECISION 4

 

BACKGROUND

[1] On February 17, 1998, Mr. Larry Brocke, Director of Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection, issued Environmental Protection Order (EPO) No. 98-01 for contamination of the site located in the SW 1/4 Section 21, Township 57, Range 25 W4M in the Municipal District of Sturgeon. The well located on this site is LWS 3 Legal 3-21-57-25.

[2] On February 24, 1998, the Environmental Appeal Board (Board) received a Notice of Appeal and request for a Stay from Mr. Dennis Thomas of Milner Fenerty, on behalf of Mr. Charles W. Forster and Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. (Appellants) advising that he objected to the issuance of EPO 98-01 and was seeking a Stay of the EPO.

[3] The Board wrote to Mr. Thomas on February 25, 1998, acknowledging receipt of his appeal, and by copy of that letter, requested the Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) provide copies of all related correspondence, documents and materials related to this matter.

[4] According to standard practice, on February 25, 1998, the Board wrote to the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) asking whether this matter had been the subject of a hearing or review under their respective Board's legislation. A reply was received from the NRCB on February 27 and from the AEUB on March 11, 1998, stating that the appeal did not deal with matters that have been the subject of a hearing or review.

[5] In a letter dated March 9, 1998, from the Department to Mr. Thomas, the Department advised that Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. would not be required to seek a formal Stay, however, if circumstances suddenly changed, the Director may require immediate compliance with the EPO.

[6] On March 18, 1998, Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. requested that the Board give notice of any appeal hearing to United Compass Resources Ltd. and provided a copy of the transfer of the well licence. The Board acknowledged this request and provided United Compass Resources Ltd. with a copy of the file on March 24, 1998.

[7] On April 3, 1998, the Department forwarded copies of the documents that were requested and provided a copy to the Appellants.

[8] On April 17, 1998, the Board wrote to the Appellants, the Department and United Compass Resources Ltd. requesting that the parties advise whether they wished to have a mediation meeting under section 11 of the Environmental Appeal Board Regulation(1), if they wished to hold a preliminary meeting and if there were any other persons who may have an interest in the appeal.

[9] Responses were received and on June 10, 1998, the Board wrote to all parties and provided copies of this letter to the landowner, Mr. Brian Cornelis, and the AEUB, informing them that a mediation meeting would be held on July 17, 1998. A Notice of Mediation and Public Hearing was placed in the Morinville Mirror on June 22, 1998, stating that a mediation meeting would be taking place. The Board also provided Mr. Cornelis and the AEUB with copies of the appeal file.

[10] At the July 17, 1998 mediation meeting, the parties agreed to provide status reports by August 17, 1998 and if necessary, a mediation meeting would be held on August 21, 1998 and a hearing on September 8, 1998.

[11] Further to the mediation meeting held on July 17, 1998, the Department provided a letter dated August 14, 1998, to the Board with additional information regarding the contamination and lease size. An advertisement was placed in the July 24, 1998 Edmonton Journal and July 27, 1998 Morinville Mirror advising of the mediation meeting and hearing and requested that representations by individuals, other than the parties, be made by July 24, 1998.

[12] On August 20, 1998, the Board received a letter from the Department advising that "in the absence of Legal's information on the leases, there would be little point in convening the mediation meeting tomorrow." In response, the Board advised the parties in a letter dated August 24, 1998 that the appeal would proceed directly to a hearing on September 8, 1998. On September 1, 1998, Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. requested that the hearing be adjourned and in consultation with all parties, the Board granted the adjournment.

[13] On September 23, 1998, the Board advised all parties that a hearing had been scheduled for October 22, 1998, in the Board's office, and a further advertisement was placed in the Mornville Mirror on September 28, 1998 and the Edmonton Journal on September 29, 1998. On October 16, 1998, the Department requested that the hearing of October 22, 1998 be changed to a mediation meeting as the Department thought it would be valuable and beneficial. The Board consulted all parties and granted the request in its October 19, 1998 letter to the parties.

[14] Following the October 22, 1998 mediation meeting, the Board confirmed in its letter of October 22, 1998, that the parties consented to hold the file in abeyance pending the issuance of a new EPO by the Department. The parties indicated that once the EPO had been issued, a new appeal would be filed and heard based on written submissions.

[15] On April 30, 1999, the Appellants suggested that the Director issue a revised EPO, which would allow a new appeal to be launched; as a result, the existing EPO and appeal could be withdrawn. On May 5, 1999, the Department indicated that merely withdrawing the EPO would be unacceptable, and that the original terms of the October 22, 1998, mediation meeting should be adhered to.

[16] On July 23, August 20, and November 22, 1999, the Appellants advised the Board that since the appeal deals solely with responsibility for offsite contamination, the file should be held in abeyance pending the resolution of EPO 98-04(2), as well as the outcome of the file's Judicial Review(3). On November 23, 199, the Board sought comments from all parties to the Appellants' request.

[17] On December 9, 1999, the Department advised the Board that the Director would issue a new EPO which would address the site in EPO 98-01 and rescind the current Order. On January 13, 2000, the Department advised the Board that a new EPO (No. 2000-01) had been issued to Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. and Mr. Charles W. Forster, and stated that "it is our view that the cancellation of Order 98-01 effectively terminates appeal EAB 98-006."

[18] In Mr. Thomas' letter of January 21, 2000, to the Board, he states "... you [the Board] may treat this letter as a withdrawal of the appeal on EAB #98-006 by Legal and Forster. I trust that is the end of that particular file and matter."

DECISION

[19] Pursuant to section 87(7) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and based on Mr. Thomas' letter of January 21, 2000, the Board hereby discontinues its proceedings in Appeal 98-006 and will be closing its file.

Dated on January 25, 2000, at Edmonton, Alberta.

Dr. William A. Tilleman, Q.C., Chair


FOOTNOTES

1. AR 114/93 (hereinafter "the regulations").

2. Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. v. Director, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection (July 23, 1999) Appeal No. 98-009-R.

3. Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. and Charles W. Forster v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta as represented by the Minister of Environment, Environmental Appeal Board (Alberta) and the Director of Land Reclamation Division, Q.B. Edmonton Action # 0003-01251.

 

home back to decisions