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This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Environmental Management Act

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 53

Part 9 — Compliance

Division 1 — Conservation Officers

Conservation Officer Service

106  (1) The Conservation Officer Service is continued.

(2) The Conservation Officer Service consists of

(a) a person employed in the ministry who is appointed by the minister as the chief conservation officer, and

(b) the persons designated under subsection (3) (b) (i).

(3) Subject to the direction of the minister,

(a) the chief conservation officer has general supervision over the Conservation Officer Service, and

(b) the chief conservation officer, or a member of the Conservation Officer Service designated by the chief conservation officer for the purpose, may do all the following:

(i)   designate persons employed in the ministry, each of whom the chief conservation officer considers suitable, as members of the Conservation Officer Service;

(ii)   designate persons, or a class of persons, employed in the ministry as auxiliary conservation officers;

(iii)   designate persons, or a class of persons, as special conservation officers;

(iv)   impose and confer on an auxiliary or a special conservation officer, or on a class of auxiliary or special conservation officers, any of the duties imposed and powers conferred on a member of the Conservation Officer Service under this Act or another enactment;

(v)   establish standards and procedures, including, but not limited to, establishing training and retraining standards and specifying operational procedures for the efficient discharge of duties and functions by the Conservation Officer Service and its members;

(vi)   specify equipment, including, but not limited to, uniform apparel, vehicles and firearms to be used by members of the Conservation Officer Service;

(vii)   establish rules for the prevention of neglect and abuse by members of the Conservation Officer Service.

(4) An auxiliary or a special conservation officer may perform and exercise the duties and powers imposed and conferred on the officer under subsection (3) (b) (iv).

(5) Members of the Conservation Officer Service

(a) may exercise the powers and perform the duties of a conservation officer under this Act or any other enactment,

(b) are peace officers for the purposes of

(i)   exercising the powers and performing the duties of a conservation officer under this Act or another enactment,

(ii)   exercising the powers and performing the duties of a prescribed official under an enactment prescribed for the purposes of section 107 (1) (a), and

(iii)   enforcing an enactment prescribed for the purposes of section 107 (1) (b), and

(c) have the immunities, and are authorized to exercise the powers and perform the duties, of a peace officer exclusively for the purpose of

(i)   exercising the powers and performing the duties of a conservation officer under this Act or another enactment,

(ii)   exercising the powers and performing the duties of a prescribed official under an enactment prescribed for the purposes of section 107 (1) (a), and

(iii)   enforcing an enactment prescribed for the purposes of section 107 (1) (b).

Enforcement powers of the Conservation Officer Service

107  (1) A member of the Conservation Officer Service may

(a) exercise the powers and perform the duties of

(i)   an officer under this Act, and

(ii)   a prescribed official under a prescribed enactment, and

(b) enforce the prohibitions or requirements of prescribed enactments.

(2) On information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence under an enactment referred to in section 106 (5) (b) has occurred or is occurring, a justice, on being satisfied that an entry and a search are likely to provide evidence of such an offence, may issue a warrant authorizing a conservation officer

(a) to enter and search the real or personal property specified in the warrant,

(b) to seize and remove anything that the conservation officer has reasonable grounds for believing is evidence of an offence, and

(c) to take other actions as the justice considers appropriate in the circumstances and authorizes in the warrant.

(3) A person required by an enactment in respect of which a conservation officer has enforcement authority to keep records must submit the records to a conservation officer for inspection on request.

(4) If a person refuses to submit records for inspection as required under this section, a justice, on being satisfied that an inspection of the records is necessary for the administration of the enactment that requires them to be kept, may issue a warrant authorizing a conservation officer to enter property specified in the warrant and to seize the records.

(5) A conservation officer who enters on property in accordance with a warrant issued under subsection (2) or (4) may take with him or her persons and equipment that may be necessary for the purpose of the entry.

(6) and (7) [Repealed 2006-15-6.]

(8) Despite subsection (2), a member of the Conservation Officer Service may

(a) search real or personal property, including premises or a part of premises occupied solely as a private residence, and

(b) seize and remove anything that the member has reasonable or probable grounds for believing may provide evidence of the commission of an offence under an enactment referred to in section 106 (5) (b),

without a warrant, if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but because of exigent circumstances it is not practicable to obtain the warrant.

(9) For the purposes of subsection (8), "exigent circumstances" means circumstances in which the delay necessary to obtain the warrant would result in danger to human life or safety or the loss or destruction of evidence.

Disposition of items seized by a conservation officer

107.1  (1) The forms referred to in section 21 of the Offence Act, and sections 22 to 24.2 of that Act, apply to a warrant under section 107 (2) of this Act, and to a search and anything seized by a conservation officer under section 107 (2) or (8) or 112 (1) of this Act.

(2) If, under section 24 (2) (a) of the Offence Act, a justice orders that something referred to in subsection (1) of this section be detained, despite section 24 (3) of the Offence Act, the thing may be detained for up to one year before an order under section 24 (5) of that Act, authorizing its continued detention, is required.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2) or anything to the contrary in the enactment authorizing the inspection, if the chief conservation officer, or a member of the Conservation Officer Service designated by the chief conservation officer for the purpose, considers anything seized in a search under section 107 (2) or (8) or in an inspection under an enactment referred to in section 106 (5) (b)

(a) to be a pollutant or an environmental hazard, it must not be returned and the person claiming it is not entitled to compensation, or

(b) to be contaminated by a pollutant, it must not be returned unless it is decontaminated at the expense of the person entitled to it.

Conservation officers entering land

108  Despite any other enactment, a conservation officer performing duties under an enactment may

(a) enter any land, whether enclosed or not,

(b) enter any structure, including, if the conservation officer has a warrant authorizing the entry, a structure or a part of a structure used solely as a private residence,

but, at the request of the owner or occupier of the land or structure, the conservation officer must provide proof of identity.

Certificate evidence of the chief conservation officer

108.1  A certificate purporting to have been signed by the chief conservation officer certifying

(a) the manner and content of an exercise of the chief conservation officer's powers under section 106 (3),

(b) a decision of the chief conservation officer under section 107.1 (3), or

(c) the content of an agreement the chief conservation officer has entered into under section 135 [interagency agreements],

is admissible in a proceeding in relation to, or in a prosecution under, an enactment referred to in section 106 (5) (b) without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the certificate and is proof of the certified matters.

Division 2 — General Powers

Inspections

109  (1) For the purposes of ensuring compliance with this Act and the regulations, an officer may enter land or premises, except premises or a part of premises occupied solely as a private residence, at any reasonable time and inspect any process, works or activity that

(a) produces or is capable of producing waste,

(b) causes or is capable of causing pollution, or

(c) is used for the storage, handling, treatment, destruction or disposal of waste.

(2) An officer may exercise powers under this section in respect of premises used as a private residence only

(a) with the consent of the occupant, or

(b) under the authority of a warrant under subsection (3) or another enactment.

(3) If satisfied by evidence on oath that access to premises or a part of premises, used solely as a private residence, is necessary for the purposes of this Act, a justice may issue a warrant authorizing a person named in the warrant to enter the premises and conduct an inspection.

(4) An officer who enters on land or premises under subsection (1), with consent under subsection (2) or under a warrant under subsection (3), may do any of the following:

(a) inspect, analyze, measure, sample or test land, and any article, substance or waste located on or in the land, and premises to ascertain

(i)   whether pollution is present,

(ii)   the quantity of waste produced, treated, stored, handled, transported or discharged, or

(iii)   the characteristics of waste produced, treated, stored, handled, transported or discharged;

(b) take away samples of land, articles, substances or waste;

(c) examine and take away copies of records relating to

(i)   the production, treatment, storage, handling, transportation and discharge of waste, and

(ii)   the characteristics of the waste produced, treated, stored, handled, transported or discharged;

(d) require that anything related to the production, treatment, storage, handling, transportation or discharge of waste be operated, used or set in motion under conditions specified by the officer;

(e) use a computer system at the place that is being inspected to examine data, contained in or available to the computer system, related to the production, treatment, storage, handling, transportation or discharge of waste;

(f) record or copy by any method any information related to the production, treatment, storage, handling, transportation or discharge of waste;

(g) use any machine, structure, material or equipment in the place that is being inspected as is necessary to carry out the inspection;

(h) use copying equipment located at the place that is being inspected to make copies to take away;

(i) take photographs or make audio or video records.

(5) An officer who enters land or premises in accordance with this section

(a) may take with him or her the persons and equipment that may be necessary for the purposes of the inspection, and

(b) on request, must provide proof of identity to a person present on the land or premises entered.

(6) A person who is or was a director, receiver, receiver manager, officer, employee, banker, auditor or agent of a person who is the subject of an inspection under this section must, on request of the inspecting officer,

(a) produce, without charge or unreasonable delay, for examination by the inspecting officer

(i)   any approval, licence, order, permit or waste management plan related to waste produced, treated, stored, handled, transported or discharged on or from the land or premises, and

(ii)   any other record that touches on any matter relating to the production, treatment, storage, handling, transport or discharge of waste on or from the land or premises, and

(b) provide the inspecting officer with information relevant to the purposes of the inspection.

Minister may enter on private land

110  The minister and other persons the minister designates in writing have for the purposes of this Act the right to enter any property except a private residence.

Inspection of vehicles

111  (1) In this section:

"officer" includes a peace officer as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act;

"vehicle" includes a vehicle as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act, an off-road vehicle as defined in the Off-Road Vehicle Act, a rail vehicle as defined in the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act and a vessel.

(2) For the purposes of ensuring compliance with this Act or the regulations, including with a permit, licence, order, waste management plan or approval, if an officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a vehicle is being used for the transportation or handling of waste, the officer may, at any reasonable time,

(a) require a person operating the vehicle to stop the vehicle and provide identification, and

(b) carry out an inspection in accordance with this section.

(2.1) When requested or signalled to do so by an officer who is readily identifiable as a conservation officer, or as a peace officer as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act, the operator of a motor vehicle must immediately

(a) stop the vehicle, and

(b) provide identification and the information that the officer or peace officer considers necessary to determine whether this Act and the regulations are being complied with.

(2.2) For the purposes of carrying out an inspection under this section, an officer may

(a) require that any compartment of the vehicle or any container in or on the vehicle be opened, and

(b) exercise any of the powers under section 109 (4) [inspections].

(3) If, as a result of an inspection or a test carried out under this section, it appears to the officer that the vehicle is transporting hazardous waste in a manner that creates a risk of harm to the public or the environment, the officer may require the driver to drive the vehicle to a place the officer specifies and the officer may do one or more of the following:

(a) order one or more of the following persons to deal with the hazardous waste in accordance with the officer's directions:

(i)   the owner of the hazardous waste;

(ii)   the person operating the vehicle;

(iii)   the owner of the vehicle;

(b) seize and, in accordance with the regulations, dispose of

(i)   the hazardous waste, and

(ii)   any package or container holding the hazardous waste;

(c) detain the vehicle for any period that the officer considers necessary in order to exercise his or her powers under paragraphs (a) and (b).

(4) The owner of the hazardous waste, package or container and the owner of the vehicle that was transporting the hazardous waste, package or container are jointly and separately liable to the government for the cost of disposing of the hazardous waste, package or container under subsection (3) (b), and that cost is recoverable from them by the government as a simple contract debt.

Seizures and prevention orders

112  (1) If an officer concludes in the course of an inspection under this Act that the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has contravened or is contravening this Act or the regulations, the officer may

(a) order a person to do anything the officer considers necessary to stop the contravention or prevent another contravention, and

(b) seize anything validly inspected by the officer that the officer believes on reasonable grounds

(i)   was used or is being used in the contravention, or

(ii)   will afford evidence of the contravention.

(2) Sections 23 (4) and 24 to 24.2 of the Offence Act apply in respect of anything seized under subsection (1) of this section and, for the purposes of section 23 (4) of the Offence Act, an officer is deemed to be a peace officer.

(3) If, under section 24 (2) (a) of the Offence Act, a justice orders that something referred to in subsection (2) of this section be detained, despite section 24 (3) of the Offence Act, the thing may be detained for up to one year before an order under section 24 (5) of that Act, authorizing its continued detention, is required.

(4) If a director considers that a thing seized in an inspection or, despite subsections (2) and (3), under subsection (1), is

(a) a pollutant or an environmental hazard, it must not be returned, or

(b) contaminated by a pollutant, it must not be returned unless it is decontaminated at the expense of the person entitled to it.

(5) Compensation is not payable by the government in respect of anything lawfully seized, detained or destroyed under this Act.

(6) Sections 23 to 24.2 of the Offence Act do not apply in relation to anything taken in the course of an inspection under section 109 or 111 of this Act unless subsection (1) of this section applies.

Inquiries

113  (1) If the minister considers it necessary, the minister may

(a) order an inquiry with respect to the environment, and

(b) appoint a person to conduct the inquiry.

(2) A person appointed under subsection (1) must conduct the inquiry in accordance with terms of reference and any procedural guidelines specified by the minister for the inquiry.

(3) For the purposes of an inquiry under this section, the minister or person appointed under subsection (1) has the powers, privileges and protection of a commission under sections 16, 17, 22 (1), 23 (a), (b) and (d) to (f) and 32 of the Public Inquiry Act.

Restraining orders

114  (1) If a person, by carrying on an activity or operation, contravenes any of the following, the activity or operation may be restrained in a proceeding brought by the minister in the Supreme Court:

(a) section 6 [waste disposal];

(b) section 9 [hazardous waste storage and disposal];

(c) section 10 [transportation of hazardous waste];

(d) a suspension or cancellation made under section 18 [suspension or cancellation of permits and approvals];

(e) an order made under Part 4 [Contaminated Site Remediation];

(f) section 76.2 [management of greenhouse gases at waste management facilities];

(g) [Not in force.]

(2) The making of an order by the court under subsection (1) in relation to a matter does not interfere with the imposition of a penalty in respect of an offence in relation to the same contravention.

Division 3 — Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalties

115  (1) Subject to the regulations, if a director is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that a person has

(a) contravened a prescribed provision of this Act or the regulations,

(b) failed to comply with an order under this Act, or

(c) failed to comply with a requirement of a permit or approval issued or given under this Act,

the director may serve the person with a determination requiring the person to pay an administrative penalty in the amount specified in the determination.

(2) A determination under subsection (1) must be in the prescribed form and contain the prescribed information.

(3) A penalty imposed under this section must be paid within the prescribed time.

(4) Before the date an administrative penalty under this section is due, the director may, subject to the regulations, enter into an agreement with the person who is liable for the penalty.

(5) An agreement under subsection (4) may provide, in accordance with the regulations, for the reduction or cancellation of the penalty subject to the terms and conditions the director considers necessary or desirable.

(6) An agreement under subsection (4) must specify the time for performing the terms and conditions and if the person fails to perform those terms and conditions by the date specified, the penalty specified in the notice under subsection (1) is due and payable on that date.

(7) Neither a director's decision whether to enter into an agreement nor the terms and conditions of an agreement under subsection (4) may be appealed under Division 2 [Appeals from Decisions under this Act] of Part 8.

(8) If a director issues an administrative penalty notice to a person in respect of a contravention or failure referred to in subsection (1), a prosecution for an offence under this Act in respect of the same contravention or failure may not be brought against the person.

(9) If a corporation contravenes the Act or regulation or fails to comply with an order, permit or approval as described under subsection (1), an employee, officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the contravention or failure is also liable under this section even though the corporation is liable for or pays an administrative penalty.

Effect of charging an offence

116  A person who has been charged with an offence under this Act may not be subject to an administrative penalty in respect of the circumstances that gave rise to the charge.

Recovery of administrative penalties

117  (1) Subject to a decision of the appeal board cancelling a determination under section 115 (1) [administrative penalties], an administrative penalty under this Act may be recovered as a debt due to the government.

(2) If a person fails to pay an administrative penalty as required under section 115 [administrative penalties], the officer who made the determination may file a certificate in a court that has jurisdiction and, upon filing, the certificate has the same force and effect, and all proceedings may be taken on it, as if it were a judgment of the court with which it is filed.

(3) A certificate under subsection (2) may be in the prescribed form, must be signed by the officer and must contain

(a) the name of the person who is liable for the penalty,

(b) the contravention or failure in relation to which the penalty is imposed, and

(c) the amount of the penalty.

Division 4 — Economic Instruments

Environmental certification

118  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council, by regulation, may limit the circumstances in which prescribed words, names, phrases, symbols, labels, marks or packaging may be used in relation to products or services to indicate that the product or service

(a) was produced or provided using prescribed environmental practices, or

(b) meets prescribed environmental quality or production standards.

(2) A regulation referred to in subsection (1) may adopt standards developed by a prescribed person for use of the prescribed word, name, phrase, symbol, label, mark or packaging.

Division 5 — Regulations for Part 9

Regulations for purposes of Part 9

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

(a) for the purposes of providing economic incentives to promote environmentally responsible behaviour,

(i)   respecting the variation of fees payable by a person under this Act, including without limitation,

(A)  authorizing a director to vary fees,

(B)  establishing the criteria the person must satisfy to be eligible for or subject to a variation, and

(C)  limiting the amount of a variation authorized by the director,

(ii)   respecting agreements under which the requirements of this Act or the regulations may be varied, including by adding to, restricting the application of or eliminating requirements, in relation to that person for the term of the agreement, including without limitation

(A)  authorizing the minister to enter into agreements,

(B)  establishing the criteria the person must satisfy to be eligible for an agreement,

(C)  specifying the provisions of the Act or regulations that may be varied under an agreement, and

(D)  requiring public notification to persons affected by an agreement, and

(iii)   respecting the establishment of a program of discharge monitoring, registration and trading, including offsets or credits;

(b) for the purposes of section 115 [administrative penalties],

(i)   prescribing procedures for making a determination including, but not limited to,

(A)  prescribing the form and content of an administrative penalty notice,

(B)  prescribing contraventions in relation to which an administrative penalty notice may be sent and a determination made, and

(C)  establishing procedures for providing a person on whom a notice of an administrative penalty has been served with an opportunity to make representations which need not entail an oral hearing,

(ii)   prescribing a schedule of monetary penalties that may be imposed and the matters that must be considered by an officer in establishing a penalty in a particular case,

(iii)   authorizing administrative penalties to be imposed on a daily basis for continuing contraventions or failures,

(iv)   prescribing time limits for paying administrative penalties,

(v)   prescribing, in relation to a contravention or failure described in section 115 (1), whether a notice of an administrative penalty must be cancelled if the person on whom it was served demonstrates to the satisfaction of a director that the person exercised due diligence to prevent the specified contravention or failure,

(vi)   respecting agreements, including prescribing terms and conditions that must be included, under section 115 (4),

(vii)   prescribing a limitation period for imposing an administrative penalty and evidentiary matters in relation to that period,

(viii)   prescribing for manners of paying a monetary penalty,

(ix)   prescribing the consequences of failing to pay an administrative penalty which may include, but are not limited to, imposing additional penalties,

(x)   providing for the publication of an officer's determination to impose an administrative penalty, and

(xi)   prescribing the form of a certificate under section 117 [recovery of administrative penalties];

(c) prescribing, with the prior approval of the minister responsible for the administration of the Police Act,

(i)   officials and enactments for the purposes of section 107 (1) (a) (ii) [enforcement powers of the Conservation Officer Service], and

(ii)   enactments for the purposes of section 107 (1) (b).

(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