Air permits are key tools used by Metro Vancouver to control the discharge of air contaminants from industrial facilities. Businesses must apply to the “District Director” for new permits, or to amend existing permits. The public has a right to offer their comments and concerns regarding an application for a new permit or significant amendment. Here’s how you can have your say.
The public notification process starts once Metro Vancouver accepts a final application for a new permit or a significant amendment to an existing permit. The notification process provides information to the public, so people can present informed comments about the application to the District Director. The applicant must post a notice on site and publish in local newspapers and the BC Gazette.
Permit Applicant Responsibilities
The District Director may require the applicant to organize meetings to explain the application and proposed environmental protection measures. Metro Vancouver also asks the host municipality and health authority to comment on the application.
Public Comments and Concerns
If you think you may be adversely affected by the granting of a permit, you have the right to have your concerns considered by the District Director. There is a minimum public comment period of 30 days after the last public notification, including meetings. Comments should be provided in writing. The District Director can consider public comments up until a decision has been made.
All Sides are Heard
In determining whether to grant a permit, the District Director may consider relevant information provided by the applicant, concerned persons, government or private agencies, Metro Vancouver staff and others. To be fair, the applicant is given an opportunity to respond to all comments so that their position on issues can also be considered by the District Director.
Decisions and Appeals
Once a decision has been made about a permit application, the District Director will notify the applicant and any concerned persons of the decision. The District Director’s decision may be appealed as described in the Environmental Management Act.