Appeal No. 99-168

 

Date of Decision - February 11, 2000

 

IN THE MATTER OF Sections 84, 86, 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. Murray and Ms. Joyce Salsauler with respect to the August 20, 1999 decision of the Director, Prairie Region, Alberta Environment to issue Approval 16453-00-01 to The Owners Condominium Corporation 9311680.

Cite as: Salsauler v. Director, Prairie Region, Alberta Environment, re: The Owners Condominium Corporation 9311680.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BACKGROUND 1
DECISION 3

 

BACKGROUND

[1] This appeal arises from a request from The Owners of Condominium Corporation 9311680 (The Owners Condominium) to Alberta Environment (Department) to modify certain reporting conditions in respect of the wastewater facilities at the Little Bow Lake Resort. In brief, the Director, Prairie Region, Alberta Environment (Director), allowed the request and issued Approval 16453-00-01 on August 20, 1999. A notice to that effect was subsequently published in the Vulcan Advocate, a local newspaper. (The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act(1) (Act) allows the Director to provide notice to affected parties by such an advertisement.) The Appellants, Mr. Murray and Ms. Joyce Salsauler, say that this advertisement did not come to their attention as they were away. Apparently, they only learned of the change to the Approval once they returned to their home in October and found that their sewer had backed up due to a malfunction in the wastewater treatment facility. Only on December 16, 1999 did the Board receive the Salsaulers' appeal.

[2] The Director's position is that the appeal is out of time because it was not filed within 30 days of notice being given of the Approval. The Director relies on section 84(4) of the Act. (2) Section 84(5) of the Act gives the Board the power to extend the 30 day appeal period "...where the Board is of the opinion that there are sufficient grounds to do so." The Board has reviewed the submissions of the parties on this point and is not persuaded that there are sufficient grounds for extending the appeal period in this case.

[3] The Board recognizes that Mr. and Ms. Salsauler suffered substantial loss as a result of the sewer backup that occurred in October, including the more long term problem of losing their insurance coverage. However, one of the major points raised in their documentation is whether the application to the Director to reduce the monitoring over the winter was properly made on behalf of the Condominium Corporation of which they are members. They indicate an intention to raise these questions at their Condominium Corporation's Annual General Meeting. This appears to the Board to be an appropriate route to follow.

[4] While the Director is responsible for giving the Approval to operate the wastewater system in question, it is the Condominium Corporation itself that is responsible for meeting those conditions and for keeping the system in good repair. The allegations in the documents submitted with this appeal suggest perhaps a lapse in meeting those responsibilities that caused the loss in this case.

[5] It is open always for the Condominium Corporation to apply further to the Director to vary the Approval further to meet the needs of the members, including Mr. and Ms. Salsauler. And section 73(3) of the Act allows the Condominium Corporation an opportunity to draw to the attention of the Director any new matters about the wastewater treatment plant revealed by the events in October.

[6] To conclude, the Board does not find that the facts of this case support the exercise of the Board's discretion to extend the time period for filing an appeal. Among other things, the Appellants became aware of the sewer backup in October, but even then, they did not file the appeal until December 16, 1999.

DECISION

[7] Pursuant to section 87(5) the Board finds this appeal is out of time and there are insufficient grounds to extend the appeal period. The appeal is dismissed and the Board will close its file.

Dated on February 11, 2000 in Edmonton, Alberta.

 

Dr. William A. Tilleman, Q.C.


FOOTNOTES

1. S.A. 1992, ch. E-13.3 (as amended).

2. 84(4) A notice of appeal must be submitted to the Board

(a) not later than 7 days after receipt of a copy of the enforcement order or the environmental protection order, in a case referred to in subsection (1)(e), (f) or (h),

(b) not later than one year after receipt of a copy of the reclamation certificate, in a case referred to in subsection (1)(i) relating to the issuing of a reclamation certificate, and

(c) not later than 30 days after receipt of notice of the decision appealed from or the last provision of notice of the decision appealed from, as the case may be, in any other case.

3. 73 An approval or registration holder shall forthwith submit to the Director any new and relevant information respecting any actual or potential adverse effect that results from the activity to which the approval or registration relates and comes to the approval or registration holder's attention after the issuance of the approval or registration.

 

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