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This Act is current to September 13, 2017
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Environmental Management Act

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 53

Part 3 — Municipal Waste Management

Definitions

23  In this Part:

"code of practice" means a code of practice attached to and forming part of a bylaw made under section 25 [authority to manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material in regional districts];

"hauler" means a person who picks up, delivers, hauls or transports municipal solid waste or recyclable material on a commercial basis;

"manage" or "management" includes the collection, transportation, handling, processing, storage, treatment, utilization and disposal of any substance;

"municipal liquid waste" means

(a) effluent that originates from any source and is discharged into a municipal sewer system,

(b) effluent from residential sources that is discharged to the ground, or

(c) effluent specified by a director to be included in a waste management plan;

"municipal solid waste" means

(a) refuse that originates from residential, commercial, institutional, demolition, land clearing or construction sources, or

(b) refuse specified by a director to be included in a waste management plan;

"sewage facility" means works operated by a municipality to gather, treat, transport, store, utilize or discharge sewage.

Waste management plans

24  (1) A municipality, alone or with one or more other municipalities, may submit for approval by the minister a waste management plan, that complies with the regulations respecting the management of municipal liquid waste.

(2) On the written request of the minister, a regional district must submit for approval by the minister a waste management plan that

(a) is for the benefit of the whole area of the regional district,

(b) complies with the regulations, and

(c) is in respect of biomedical waste.

(3) Despite any other requirement of this Act, the minister, by notice in writing, may

(a) direct a municipality to prepare a waste management plan that complies with the regulations or revise a waste management plan and submit it to the minister for approval on or before a date specified by the minister, or

(b) specify a date by which a municipality must provide proof, in a form satisfactory to the minister, of the progress that the municipality is making to comply with this section.

(4) If the minister considers it to be in the public interest and is satisfied that a municipality is making efforts in good faith to complete a waste management plan in accordance with this Act and the regulations, the minister may, on conditions specified by the minister, grant an extension of a date specified under this section.

(5) Subject to section 27 (2) [public consultation process], the minister may, at any time, with or without conditions, approve all or part of a waste management plan or an amendment to a waste management plan.

(6) The minister may, by order, amend or cancel a waste management plan and, if cancelled, the waste management plan ceases to have force or effect.

(7) Despite anything in the Community Charter or the Local Government Act, if a waste management plan

(a) is required under subsection (2) or (3) (a), or

(b) has been approved by the minister under subsection (5),

a bylaw adopted by a municipality for the purpose of preparing the waste management plan referred to in paragraph (a), or implementing the waste management plan referred to in paragraph (b), does not require a petition, the assent of the electors or the approval of the electors.

(8) Nothing in a waste management plan prevents the exercise of rights conferred by a permit or approval subsisting on the date the waste management plan is approved unless the permit or approval is suspended or cancelled by the minister under section 18 (1) [suspension or cancellation of permits and approvals].

(9) Despite subsection (8), if a provision of a permit or approval conflicts with a requirement of an approved waste management plan, that provision has no force or effect after the waste management plan is approved.

(10) Despite subsection (8), if an operational certificate is issued under section 28 (1) [operational certificates] in respect of a site or facility for which a permit or approval authorizing the discharge of waste was previously issued, the permit or approval is cancelled.

Authority to manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material in regional districts

25  (1) In this section and sections 26 [municipal solid waste disposal fees], 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver] and 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver]:

"hauler licence" means a licence issued by a regional district to a hauler, under the authority of a bylaw made under subsection (3) (h) (i);

"recycler licence" means a licence issued by a regional district, under the authority of a bylaw made under subsection (3) (h) (i), to the owner or operator of a site that accepts and manages recyclable material;

"regional district" means

(a) a regional district as defined in the Local Government Act,

(a.1) except in section 26, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, or

(b) the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District constituted under the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Act;

"site" means any site or facility, including those identified specifically or by class in an approved waste management plan for the management of municipal solid waste or recyclable material;

"waste stream management licence" means a licence issued by a regional district, under the authority of a bylaw made under subsection (3) (h) (i), to the owner or operator of a site that accepts and manages municipal solid waste.

(2) Despite any other Act, a person must manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material at a site in accordance with

(a) any applicable approved waste management plan for the site,

(b) any requirements or conditions that a director includes in an operational certificate or permit issued for the site, and

(c) any applicable bylaw made under subsection (3) of this section or section 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver] or 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver].

(3) For the purpose of implementing an approved waste management plan, a regional district may make bylaws to regulate the management of municipal solid waste or recyclable material including, without limitation, bylaws regulating, prohibiting or respecting one or more of the following:

(a) the types, quality or quantities of municipal solid waste or recyclable material that may be brought onto or removed from a site;

(b) the discarding or abandonment of municipal solid waste or recyclable material;

(c) the burning of any class or quantity of municipal solid waste or recyclable material;

(d) the delivery, deposit, storage or abandonment of municipal solid waste or recyclable material at authorized or unauthorized sites;

(e) the transport of municipal solid waste or recyclable material within or through the area covered by the waste management plan;

(f) the operation, closure or post-closure of sites, including requirements for

(i) the recording and submission of information,

(ii) audited statements respecting the municipal solid waste or recyclable material received at and shipped from a site, and

(iii) the installation and maintenance of works;

(g) respecting fees, including

(i) setting fees and charges that may vary according to

(A) the quantity, volume, composition or type of municipal solid waste or recyclable material, or

(B) the class of persons, sites, operations, activities, municipal solid wastes or recyclable materials, and

(ii) specifying the manner and timing of the payment of those fees and charges;

(h) requiring the owner or operator of a site or a hauler to

(i) hold a recycler licence, a waste stream management licence or a hauler licence, or

(ii) comply with a code of practice;

(i) setting the terms and conditions for issuing, suspending, amending or cancelling a licence referred to in paragraph (h);

(j) requiring an owner or operator of a site or a licence holder to obtain insurance or provide security satisfactory to the regional district to ensure

(i) compliance with the bylaws, and

(ii) that sufficient funding is available for site operations, remediation, closure and post-closure monitoring;

(k) requiring the owner or operator of a site to contain municipal solid waste or recyclable material within specified height and area limits, and specify requirements and terms for confirming compliance with those limits;

(l) prohibiting unauthorized persons from handling or removing municipal solid waste or recyclable material that is deposited at a site or set out for collection;

(m) establishing different prohibitions, conditions, requirements and exemptions for different classes of persons, sites, operations, activities, municipal solid wastes or recyclable materials;

(n) requiring an owner of municipal solid waste or recyclable material, the deposit of which has been prohibited by bylaw, to pay the cost of its disposal in a manner specified in the bylaw;

(o) authorizing designated persons to enter a site or inspect the contents of a vehicle for the purpose of enforcing a bylaw made under this subsection and, for this purpose, sections 109 [entry on property] and 111 (2) [inspection of vehicles] apply to a designated person as if the designated person is an officer referred to in those sections, but only in respect of municipal solid waste and recyclable material;

(p) providing that

(i) a contravention of a provision of the bylaws is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $200 000, and

(ii) if a corporation commits an offence under the bylaws, an employee, officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the offence commits the offence even though the corporation is convicted.

(4) Before exercising the authority under this section, a regional district must

(a) indicate in its waste management plan its intention to undertake consultations with affected stakeholders in accordance with section 27 (1) [public consultation process], and

(b) undertake the consultations.

(5) This section does not apply to the management of municipal solid waste or recyclable material at the site at which it originates.

(6) A regional district, including its employees and elected officials, is not liable

(a) to any person for environmental conditions at a site, or

(b) to remediate a site included in a waste management plan,

solely because it holds security as required under a bylaw made under this Part.

Municipal solid waste disposal fees

26  (1) In this section, "waste hauler" means

(a) a municipality that picks up, delivers, hauls or transports municipal solid waste, or

(b) a person who, on a commercial basis, picks up, delivers, hauls or transports municipal solid waste.

(2) In addition to its other powers, a regional district may, by bylaw, exercise one or more of the following powers in relation to the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste generated within its area or within a municipality that has contracted with the regional district for the disposal of municipal solid waste from the municipality:

(a) setting fees payable by persons who use the services of a waste hauler or by generators of municipal solid waste;

(b) setting levels of fees based on

(i) the quantity, volume, type or composition of municipal solid waste generated,

(ii) the fees charged by the applicable waste hauler for its services, or

(iii) any other criteria prescribed by regulation;

(c) varying fees by class of persons, operations, activities, industries, trades, businesses, works, sites or municipal solid wastes;

(d) requiring waste haulers to

(i) act as agents of the regional district when collecting fees under this section,

(ii) remit fees to the regional district in accordance with the bylaw,

(iii) maintain records in accordance with the bylaw, and

(iv) permit an employee or agent of the regional district to inspect and make copies of these records during the waste hauler's normal business hours;

(e) setting conditions respecting the collection and remittance of fees by waste haulers and setting compensation payable to the waste haulers for this service;

(f) establishing fines for failure to comply with a bylaw made under this section.

Public consultation process

27  (1) A municipality must provide for a process for comprehensive review and consultation with the public respecting all aspects of the development, amendment and final content of a waste management plan that applies to that municipality.

(2) The minister may not approve a waste management plan unless the minister is satisfied that there has been adequate public review and consultation with respect to the development, amendment and final content of the waste management plan.

Operational certificates

28  (1) If a waste management plan is approved by the minister, a director may, in accordance with the regulations, issue an operational certificate, with or without conditions, to the municipality or to any person who is the owner of a site or facility covered by the waste management plan.

(2) An operational certificate issued under subsection (1) forms part of and must not conflict with the approved waste management plan.

(3) A director may exercise a power or authority in relation to an operational certificate in the same manner and to the same extent as provided by this Act with respect to a permit.

(4) At least 14 days before issuing an operational certificate, a director must give notice of his or her intention to issue the operational certificate

(a) in writing to the person named in the operational certificate, and

(b) to the public in accordance with the regulations.

(5) A director who gives notice under subsection (4) must allow any person who has been given notice under that subsection to

(a) inspect the proposed operational certificate, and

(b) provide comments to the director respecting the requirements or conditions of the proposed operational certificate.

Sewage control areas

29  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate all or a specified part of a municipality as a sewage control area, and on the designation the council, board or other governing body of the municipality

(a) must appoint one or more persons as sewage control managers, and

(b) may appoint one or more persons as municipal sewage control officers

who have and may exercise, in relation to the sewage control area, the powers of an officer set out in section 109 [entry on property].

(2) A sewage control manager may, subject to any applicable waste management plan, by order, prohibit or regulate the discharge of any type of waste other than domestic sewage into a sewage facility.

(3) Without limiting subsection (2), a sewage control manager may

(a) in an order made under subsection (2), specify

(i) the conditions under which the waste may be discharged into a sewage facility, and

(ii) that the person who discharges, or the council, board or other governing body that permits the waste to be discharged into the sewage facility in the municipality, or both of them, monitor the waste discharged in the manner and at the times specified, or

(b) amend or revoke an order made by him or her under subsection (2).

(4) A sewage control manager may order a person who discharges waste other than domestic sewage into a sewage facility, or who possesses waste other than domestic sewage that may ultimately be discharged into a sewage facility, to keep records and provide information in the form and manner required by the sewage control manager respecting the waste discharged, handled, stored, treated or transported.

(5) A person affected by an order of a sewage control manager under this section may appeal the order under Division 2 [Appeals from Decisions under this Act] of Part 8 in the same manner as if the order were a decision of the director, and Part 8 applies.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may reduce or extend the boundaries of a sewage control area, and may disestablish a sewage control area.

Sewage in regional districts

30  (1) The board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District or, if a regional district exercises a power to provide a service related to the disposal or treatment of sewage, the board of the district, may make bylaws respecting the direct or indirect discharge of wastes into any sewer or drain connected to a sewerage facility operated by the district.

(2) A bylaw made under this section may provide that its contravention is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $10 000.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), a bylaw under this section may do one or more of the following:

(a) require the keeping of records and the provision of information respecting waste produced on property other than residential property;

(b) impose conditions respecting the discharge into sewers of waste produced on property other than residential property;

(c) provide that its prohibitions, restrictions and requirements apply only to specified persons or classes of persons.

Control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver

31  (1) Despite anything in its letters patent, the Greater Vancouver Regional District may provide the service of air pollution control and air quality management and, for that purpose, the board of the regional district may, by bylaw, prohibit, regulate and otherwise control and prevent the discharge of air contaminants.

(2) The board of the Greater Vancouver Regional District must appoint

(a) officers who may, with respect to the discharge of air contaminants in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, exercise all the powers of an officer under section 109 [entry on property] and the regulations, and

(b) a district director and one or more assistant district directors who may, with respect to the discharge of air contaminants in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, exercise all the powers of a director under this Act.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), a bylaw under this section may do one or more of the following:

(a) provide that contravention of a provision of the bylaw that is intended to limit the quantity of air contaminants or that specifies the characteristics of air contaminants that may be discharged into the air is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $1 000 000;

(b) provide that a contravention of a provision of the bylaw, other than a provision referred to in paragraph (a), is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $200 000;

(c) require the keeping of records and the provision of information respecting air contaminants and their discharge;

(d) exempt from the application of section 6 (2) and (3) [waste disposal], in relation to the discharge of air contaminants, any operation, activity, industry, trade, business, air contaminant or works that complies with the bylaw, if it also complies with any further restrictions or conditions imposed under this Act;

(e) establish different prohibitions, regulations, rates or levels of fees, conditions, requirements and exemptions

(i) for different persons, operations, activities, industries, trades, businesses, air contaminants or works, and

(ii) for different classes of persons, operations, activities, industries, trades, businesses, air contaminants or works.

(4) A district director may, by order, impose on a person further restrictions or conditions in relation to an operation, activity, industry, trade, business, air contaminant or works covered by a bylaw under subsection (3) (d) in order that the person may qualify for an exemption under that subsection, including a condition that the person obtain a permit.

(5) The minister may require the Greater Vancouver Regional District to amend, suspend or cancel any bylaw or part of a bylaw made under this section if the minister considers it necessary in the public interest.

Disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver

32  (1) In addition to anything in the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Act, the Administration Board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District may make bylaws to prohibit, regulate or otherwise control the introduction into the environment of municipal solid waste.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a bylaw under this section may do one or more of the following:

(a) provide that contravention of a provision of the bylaw that is intended to limit the quantity of municipal solid waste, or that specifies the characteristics of municipal solid waste that may be discharged into the environment, is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $1 000 000;

(b) provide that a contravention of a provision of the bylaw, other than a provision referred to in paragraph (a), is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $200 000;

(c) require the keeping of records and the provision of information respecting municipal solid waste and its discharge;

(d) exempt from the application of section 6 (2) and (3) [waste disposal], in relation to the discharge of municipal solid waste, any operation, activity, industry, trade, business, works, site, facility or municipal solid waste that complies with the bylaw, if it also complies with any further restrictions or conditions imposed under this Act;

(e) establish different prohibitions, regulations, rates or levels of fees, conditions, requirements and exemptions for different classes of persons, operations, activities, industries, trades, businesses, works, sites or municipal solid wastes.

(3) The Administration Board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, before exercising a power under subsection (1) or (2), must

(a) appoint a district director and one or more assistant district directors who may, with respect to the management of municipal solid waste and recyclable material at sites within the area of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, exercise all the powers of a director under this Act, and

(b) appoint officers who may, with respect to the management of municipal solid waste and recyclable material at sites within the area of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, exercise all the powers of an officer under sections 109 [entry on property] and 111 [inspection of vehicles] of this Act and under the regulations.

(4) If the minister considers it necessary in the public interest with respect to the exercise of the powers granted under subsections (1) and (2), the minister may

(a) require a person designated by the minister to carry out a review of the manner in which the powers have been exercised by the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, or

(b) take any action to ensure proper administration of the powers granted, including authorizing the designated person to carry out the duties associated with those powers.

(5) After the minister receives a report and recommendation from the officers referred to in subsection (4) (a), and after any consultation the minister considers necessary, the minister may revoke any or all of the powers granted under subsection (1) or (2).

(6) No action lies, and no proceedings may be brought, against the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District or an officer, employee or elected or appointed official of the Greater Vancouver Regional District because of anything arising out of the administration of the powers, duties and functions under this section unless a person establishes that the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District or an officer, employee or elected or appointed official of the Greater Vancouver Regional District has acted in bad faith.

(7) Division 2 [Appeals from Decisions under this Act] of Part 8 and section 133 [service of notice] apply to a decision of the Administration Board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, or a decision of an officer, employee or elected or appointed official of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, made under the authority of a bylaw made under subsection (1) or (2).

(8) This section does not apply to a site owned or operated by the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District or one of its member municipalities.

Disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts

33  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council, on receipt of a written request from a regional district, other than a regional district that is within the area of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, and after appropriate consultation with the regional district and affected stakeholders, may make regulations

(a) giving the regional district the authority to make bylaws to prohibit, regulate or otherwise control the introduction into the environment of municipal solid waste within the area covered by the regional district's approved solid waste management plan, and

(b) specifying the terms and conditions, including terms and conditions respecting the collection of fees, to which the authority under paragraph (a) is subject.

(2) Section 32 (2) to (8) [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] applies in relation to a regional district in respect of which the Lieutenant Governor in Council has made regulations under subsection (1).

Bylaw approval or amendment

34  (1) A bylaw made by a regional district under the authority of section 25 [authority to manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material in regional districts], 26 [municipal solid waste disposal fees] or 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts] or made by the Administration Board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District under the authority of section 25, 26 or 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver], may not be adopted without the prior written approval of the minister.

(2) If the minister considers it necessary in the public interest, the minister may require a regional district or the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District to amend, suspend or cancel a bylaw or part of a bylaw, or any authorization given under a bylaw made under section 25 [authority to manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material in regional districts], 26 [municipal solid waste disposal fees], 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] or 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts].

Delegation of powers

35  (1) For the purposes of sections 25 [authority to manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material in regional districts], 26 [municipal solid waste disposal fees], 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] and 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts], a regional district may, by bylaw, delegate to an officer or employee of the regional district the power to perform the functions and duties of the regional district in bylaws made under those sections.

(2) For the purpose of sections 25 [authority to manage municipal solid waste and recyclable material in regional district], 26 [municipal solid waste disposal fees] and 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver], the Administration Board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District may, by bylaw, delegate to an officer or employee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District the power to perform the functions and duties of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District in bylaws made under those sections.

(3) A bylaw referred to in subsection (1) or (2) must include an appeal mechanism from a decision of the officer or employee.

Municipal administration of storage tanks

36  (1) A municipality may, on giving notice to a director, administer regulations made under this Act respecting tanks used to store petroleum products or other substances.

(2) No action or other proceeding for damages lies or may be instituted against a municipality or a member of its council or an officer or employee of the municipality for anything done or omitted to be done in the exercise or intended exercise of any authority conferred on it by subsection (1) unless the person acted negligently or in bad faith.

Conflicts between this Act and bylaws, permits, etc. issued by a municipality

37  (1) Despite the Community Charter, the Local Government Act, the Vancouver Charter or the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Act,

(a) a bylaw of a municipality, other than a bylaw under section 30 [sewage in regional districts], 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver], 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] or 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts], or

(b) a permit, licence, approval or other document issued under the authority of a municipal bylaw

that conflicts with this Act, the regulations, an approved waste management plan or a permit, approval or order under this Act is without effect to the extent of the conflict.

(2) A bylaw under section 30 [sewage in regional districts], 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver], 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] or 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts] that conflicts with this Act, the regulations, an approved waste management plan or a permit, approval or order, other than one issued by a district director, is without effect to the extent of the conflict.

(3) A permit, approval or order issued by a district director that conflicts with this Act, the regulations, an approved waste management plan or a bylaw under section 30 [sewage in regional districts], 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver], 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] or 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts], is without effect to the extent of the conflict.

(4) A bylaw of a municipality that conflicts with a bylaw under section 30 [sewage in regional districts], 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver], 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] or 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts], is without effect to the extent of the conflict.

(5) For the purposes of subsections (1) to (4), a conflict does not exist solely because further restrictions or conditions are imposed by the bylaw, permit, licence, approval, order or other document, unless the minister by order declares that a conflict exists.

(6) Despite the Local Government Act and the Vancouver Charter, if

(a) a bylaw of a municipality purports to zone land for a use, or

(b) a land use contract under the Local Government Act purports to restrict the use of land to a use

that would not allow the land to be used for the purpose allowed under a permit, approval or order issued in respect of the land or an approved waste management plan respecting the land, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, suspend the operation of the bylaw or contract to the extent the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary to enable the rights given by the permit approval or order to be exercised.

Regulations for purposes of Part 3

38  (1) Without limiting section 138 (1) [general authority to make regulations], the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) respecting the development, content, amendment, approval and review of waste management plans and operational certificates;

(b) establishing municipal solid waste reduction targets for the purpose of assessing waste management plans;

(c) prescribing the criteria for setting fees for the purposes of section 26 (2) (b) (iii) [municipal solid waste disposal fees].

(2) Section 139 [regulations — general rules] applies for the purpose of making regulations under this section.

Contents | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 6.1 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11