Appeal No. 98-007

Date of Discontinuance of Proceedings - April 14, 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. 98-02 issued on February 17, 1998 by the Director, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection.

Cite as: Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. #4 v. Director, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BACKGROUND 1
DECISION 4

 

BACKGROUND

[1] On February 17, 1998, the Director of Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection, issued Environmental Protection Order (EPO) No. 98-02 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 21 Legal 6-21-57-25.

[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 Fraser Milner, on behalf of Mr. Charles W. Forster and Legal Oil and Gas Ltd. (Appellants) advising that they objected to the issuance of EPO 98-02 and were seeking a Stay of the EPO.

[3] The Board wrote to Mr. Thomas on February 25, 1998, acknowledging receipt of the 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. Replies were received from the NRCB and the AEUB, 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.

[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 and the Department and requested 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 with a copy of the appeal file, as well as provided copies to the AEUB and Union Pacific Resources as potentially involved parties.

[10] At the July 17, 1998, mediation meeting, the parties agreed to hold the appeal in abeyance for 90 days. A status report would then be required from the parties by October 16, 1998. Dependent upon the results of the status reports, a mediation meeting would be scheduled for October 23, 1998, and a hearing on November 6, 1998.

[11] Further to the mediation meeting held on July 17, 1998, the Department provided a letter dated July 30, 1998, to the Board with additional information. An advertisement was placed in the July 24, 1998, Edmonton Journal and July 27, 1998, Morinville Mirror advising of a mediation meeting on October 23, 1998, and a hearing on November 6, 1998; as well, requested representations by individuals, other than the parties, be made by July 24, 1998. Further information was provided by the Department on October 19, 1998.

[12] Further to the mediation meeting of October 22, 1998, the parties agreed to develop a remediation plan and provide the Board with a status report by December 1, 1998. The hearing of November 6, 1998, was adjourned. The Board received a letter of October 30, 1998, from the Department advising that the parties were meeting to review a remediation plan with a potential for resolution of the EPO. A further meeting occurred and additional discussions and work were required, as stated in the Department's letter of November 9, 1998. As well, the Department advised they would provide a status report on December 15, 1998. Additional discussions occurred from December 15, 1998, to March 15, 1999, wherein the Board requested written status reports on the progress, and requested the parties provide their available dates for a hearing of the appeal. On March 12, 1999, the Appellants suggested that the matter be returned to the Board's mediator with concurrence from the Department.

[13] On March 22, 1999, the Board, in consultation with the parties, scheduled a mediation meeting for April 26, 1999. As a result of the mediation meeting, the parties agreed to hold the file in abeyance for one month and provide the Board with a status report on May 26, 1999. A course of action was laid out in the Department's letter of May 5, 1999, to all the parties. The parties continued to work to a resolution of the appeal and on October 18, 1999, the Board requested the parties provide available dates for a hearing.

[14] The Board, in consultation with the parties, advised on October 28, 1999, a mediation would be held on December 14, 1999 and a hearing on April 17 and 18, 2000. Advertisements were placed in the Morinville Mirror on March 28, 2000, and the Edmonton Journal on March 24, 2000.

[15] On March 30, 2000, the Department provided a list of further documents ensuring the parties had access to the same documents for the upcoming hearing.

[16] On April 4, 2000, the Board received notice from Bennett Jones advising that they were representing Union Pacific Resources at the hearing of April 17 and 18, 2000, and stated they are awaiting a report prior to the filing of their submission and may request an extension to the filing of their submission or possibly an adjournment of the hearing. On April 10, 2000, Union Pacific Resources advised that they wished to have an extension on the filing of their written submission and confirmed their position of proceeding to a hearing as scheduled. The Board sought comments from the parties on April 10, 2000, regarding Union Pacific Resources' request for an extension on the filing of their submissions and consequently no objections were received. Submissions were received from the Department on April 10, 2000, and from Union Pacific Resources on April 13, 2000.

[17] The Board received a letter from the Appellants on April 11, 2000, advising that they were not in a position to file their written submissions, however, were working toward a resolution of the appeal. The Board requested on April 12, 2000, that the other parties to this appeal provide comments to the Appellants' letter of April 11, 2000. On April 13, 2000, the Board received a letter from Union Pacific Resources providing comments to the Appellants' April 11, 2000 letter.

[18] In Mr. Thomas' letter of April 14, 2000, to the Board, he states:

"Accordingly, as solicitors and agents for Legal and Forster, the appeal referred to in EAB File No. 98-007 is withdrawn".

 

DECISION

[19] Pursuant to section 87(7) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and based on Mr. Thomas' letter of April 14, 2000, the Board hereby discontinues its proceedings in Appeal 98-007 and will be closing its file.

Dated on April 14, 2000, at Edmonton, Alberta.

Dr. William A. Tilleman, Q.C.


FOOTNOTES

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

 

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