Environmental Law Brief


On July 17, 2013, the BC Environmental Appeal Board rendered a ruling in an appeal by a commercial landowner of a decision of the Ministry of Environment refusing to issue certificates of compliance (COCs) to the appellant landowner for two commercial sites in Coquitlam.  The appeal was allowed and the Ministry ordered to issue the COCs.  The Board’s decision confirms that the commonly held view that a COC will not be granted, without all offsite contamination having been located, is not supported in law. The Board held that the investigative and remedial standard is not one of perfection but one of reasonableness.

The decision also addresses bias, vagueness in regulatory decisions, burden of proof, standards of remediation in BC and the lack of Ministry power to set remediation requirements that are either unreasonable, retrospective, or not supported in law.

Richard Bereti and Una Radoja of Harper Grey LLP acted for the appellant.

To read the full-text Decision, click on the case cite below.

Burquitlam Building Limited and Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust v. Director, Environmental Management Act