Environmental Appeal Board dismisses appeal of new “operating rule curve” for the weir

On May 30, 2013, the Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights issued an order adopting a new operating regime, or "operating rule curve," for the control and release of water from Cowichan Lake into the Cowichan River, by means of the control gates at the weir between the lake and the river. Six individuals appealed the Deputy Comptroller's order (one on behalf of himself and a privately-held company) to the BC Environmental Appeal Board (the Board). The appellants were seeking to have the the Board reverse the order, or refer the matter back to the Deputy Comptroller for reconsideration. The Board heard the six appeals together, on April 14-17, 2014 and June 3-5, 2014, in Langford and Victoria, BC.  On May 21, 2015, the Board released its decision, dismissing the six appeals. Click here to read the full decision document. The summary and conclusions of the appeal are in in Section 228. The decision is in S229 and 230. Other sections of note include S110, S148-151 (decision regarding justifiable downstream benefits), S197 to 204 (decision regarding flooding and unlawful expropriation) and S225 to 227 (decision regarding erosion) make interesting reading.

Date: 21 May 2015
Author : Robert Wickett, Daphne Stancil, Douglas VanDine