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Metro wants stronger permitting for East Ladner compost facility

Aspects related to odour monitoring in the original air quality permit were successfully challenged through an EAB hearing
GFL composting in East Ladner, Delta BC
The Delta staff update notes Metro Vancouver has recently completed an inspection at GFL and is actively following -up with the operator.

Metro Vancouver is proceeding with its application for a judicial review of an Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) decision regarding a controversial East Ladner organic waste recycling facility’s air quality permit.

The review is scheduled to be heard this December.

Information about Metro Vancouver’s plan was released to Delta council by Delta staff regarding the GFL Environmental facility on 72nd Street, responding to a letter of complaint from a local resident regarding the smells.

The update notes Metro Vancouver is proceeding with its application for a judicial review and the outcome of that process will help clarify the regional district’s ability to regulate odorous emissions from the composting facility going forward.

Metro Vancouver issued an air quality permit for the new facility in 2018, paving the way for a transition to a fully-enclosed composting building, which was completed in September 2020.

The EAB made several revisions to Metro’s permit, reportedly significantly impacting the regional district’s ability to monitor and regulate the compost facility when it comes to the emission of odorous air contaminants.

“Delta continues to work with Metro Vancouver and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to ensure that they exercise their authority in respect of the GFL facility and confirm compliance with applicable regulations,” said Delta staff in their report. “Staff also continue to conduct periodic odour observations in the area and to follow up directly with GFL as they address any operational issues that are contributing to odours in the community.”

The update also notes council has consistently advocated for Metro and the province to use their available regulatory tools to ensure the facility is operating in accordance with the appropriate permits and regulations.

“While a significant improvement in odours from the facility has been observed since the upgrades were completed and commissioned, staff agree that at times there continues to be detectable odours beyond the facility boundary and within East Ladner,” the update report adds.