Supreme Court Decision on British Columbia Landfill

As reported by CTV, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge has ordered the contaminate soil landfill above Shawnigan Lake to stop accepting any contaminated soil.

In the recent decision, the British Columbia (B.C.) Supreme Court justice set aside an earlier decision by the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board, reinstating the stay of the permit that allows Cobble Hill Holdings to accept contaminated soil.

In his judgement, Justice Robert Sewell found that the engineering company, Active Earth, hired to independently access the project, acted improperly.  The judge found that the financial relationship between Active Earth Engineering, the company that did the environmental assessment of the site, and Cobble Hill Holdings, the owner, was concealed from the appeal board.  

He also found that the conflict of interest inherent in that relationship was also concealed.  Active Earth Engineering, in fact, was interested in partnering with Cobble Hill Holdings on the landfill project.

In his ruling, the judge stated, “I am satisfied that the Environmental Appeal Board was misled on this point.  Cobble Hill Holdings filed misleading evidence in this court.  The Technical Assessment Report was prepared by persons who were biased in favour of approving the project.”

The B.C. The Ministry of Environment stated that no contaminated will be received at the landfill until further notice and there’s no decision on the permit.

Cobble Hill Holdings’ and South Island Aggregates’, the owners and operators of the landfill, issued a statement that they look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the environment remains protected.

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