Ministry of Environment

Proposed Changes to the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation

The Ministry of Environment is doing a comprehensive review of the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation (AWCR) with the intention of amending the regulation and shifting to a code of practice under the Environmental Management Act, the Health Act and the Waste Discharge Regulation. A code of practice is a “minister’s regulation” and is a legally binding and enforceable set of requirements that must be followed by the agricultural operations for environmental and human health protection.

The AWCR describes environmentally sound practices for using, storing and managing wastes, such as manure, and by-products, such as composted materials or other materials used in agriculture, such as wood waste to protect the environment and human health.

The ministry developed a Policy Intentions Paper for Consultation (intentions paper) with options for proposed changes to the AWCR. The purpose of this intentions paper is to describe the ministry’s proposed policy direction and formed the basis for the start of discussions and consultation, and to seek responses and comments from stakeholders and the public on the ministry’s intentions. The Intentions Paper was a discussion document and the feedback will influence the policy approach.

The intentions paper and response form for providing comments to the ministry, as well as further information and links to related legislation, were posted on the ministry’s consultation website. The content of the proposed regulatory changes is outlined in the policy intentions paper below.

Public Consultation Process

A notice was sent on January 27, 2012, informing of the start of the consultations, and was extended from March 31, 2012 to May 31, 2012, in response to stakeholders who requested additional time to respond and provide comments (Letter to Stakeholders (PDF/69 KB)).

The public consultation period ended on May 31, 2012. A summary of the comments received is posted here.

This report provides a summary of stakeholder comments received during the public consultation process held from January 27, 2012 to May 31, 2012, to seek input on the ministry’s intentions. 

 These comments respond to the initial proposals in the Policy Intentions Paper; however, on the basis of early feedback, the Ministry embarked upon a stakeholder engagement process, to further consult with the agriculture industry. Nevertheless, the ministry feels it is important to capture and report on those views received during the initial public consultation period in a transparent manner.

The Ministry is currently working with the BC Agriculture Council on further detailed cross-sectoral consultations with the agriculture industry, to provide a full opportunity to discuss the environmental concerns that the intentions paper addresses and to develop a suite of possible options. There is no fixed timeline for this project. It is anticipated that regulatory changes to the AWCR will not occur before spring 2014.