B.C. Air Quality

Permits, Approvals and Codes of Practice

Permits, approvals and codes of practice are major components of the air-quality-management process in British Columbia to manage emissions from industry and business operations. They stem from the Environmental Management Act (EMA), brought into force in 2003 and the Waste Discharge Regulation (WDR), brought into force in 2004.   The Waste Discharge Regulation identifies those industries and activities requiring authorization to discharge under the EMA. 

Codes of practice ("minister's regulations") are legally enforceable standards that may apply to industries, trades, businesses and other activities. Where a code of practice exists, authorization to discharge may be obtained by registering under the code and complying with the requirements of the code.

Permits and approvals are site-specific authorizations by the government to discharge waste or emissions into the environment, subject to conditions and criteria that will prevent pollution.
For more information on what activities require authorizations to discharge emissions and what type of authorizations are available visit the Activities Requiring Authorizations page.

The Ministry is developing new codes of practice to regulate various industries. In addition the Ministry reviews and updates existing regulations and codes of practice from time to time. A list of regulations and codes of practice that are either recently completed or under review can be found on the Ministry’s regulatory review site. In addition there is a list of all Air Quality Regulations.

To understand the terms used in the regulatory process, see The Legislative Framework.

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