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This Act is current to January 17, 2018
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 1 — Introductory Provisions

Definitions

1  (1) In this Act:

"air" means the atmosphere but does not include the atmosphere inside

(a) a human made enclosure that is not open to the weather,

(b) an underground mine, or

(c) a place designated by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

"air contaminant" means a substance that is introduced into the air and that

(a) injures or is capable of injuring the health or safety of a person,

(b) injures or is capable of injuring property or any life form,

(c) interferes with or is capable of interfering with visibility,

(d) interferes with or is capable of interfering with the normal conduct of business,

(e) causes or is capable of causing material physical discomfort to a person, or

(f) damages or is capable of damaging the environment;

"appeal board" means the Environmental Appeal Board continued under section 93 [environmental appeal board];

"approval" means an approval under section 15 [approvals] or under a regulation;

"auxiliary conservation officer" means a person designated as an auxiliary conservation officer under section 106 (3) [conservation officer service];

"biomedical waste" has the prescribed meaning;

"chief conservation officer" means the person appointed as chief conservation officer under section 106 (2) [conservation officer service];

"code of practice", except in Part 3 [Municipal Waste Management], means a code of practice established by the minister under section 22 [minister's regulations — codes of practice];

"conservation officer" means a person described in section 106 (2) (a) or (b) [conservation officer service] and includes, in relation to a specific power or duty, an auxiliary conservation officer and a special conservation officer who has been authorized under section 106 (3) (b) (iv) to exercise the power or perform the duty;

"Conservation Officer Service" means the Conservation Officer Service established under section 106 [conservation officer service];

"director" means a person employed by the government and designated in writing by the minister as a director of waste management or as an acting, deputy or assistant director of waste management;

"district director" means,

(a) except in sections 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver] and 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts], a person appointed under section 31 [control of air contaminants in Greater Vancouver] as district director by the board of the Greater Vancouver Regional District,

(b) for the purpose of section 32 [disposal of municipal solid waste in Greater Vancouver], a person appointed under section 32 (3) as district director by the Administration Board of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, and

(c) for the purpose of section 33 [disposal of municipal solid waste in other regional districts], a person appointed under section 33 as district director by a regional district;

"effluent" means a substance that is introduced into water or onto land and that

(a) injures or is capable of injuring the health or safety of a person,

(b) injures or is capable of injuring property or any life form,

(c) interferes with or is capable of interfering with visibility,

(d) interferes with or is capable of interfering with the normal conduct of business,

(e) causes or is capable of causing material physical discomfort to a person, or

(f) damages or is capable of damaging the environment;

"environment" means air, land, water and all other external conditions or influences under which humans, animals and plants live or are developed;

"facility" includes any land or building, and any machinery, equipment, device, tank, system or other works;

"greenhouse gas" has the same meaning as in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act;

"hazardous waste" has the prescribed meaning;

"introduce into the environment", in relation to waste, includes discharge, emit, dump, abandon, spill, release and allow to escape into the environment;

"land" means the solid part of the earth's surface including the foreshore and land covered by water;

"manager" means a person appointed under the Public Service Act as a manager in the ministry and designated in writing by the minister as a regional manager or as an acting, assistant or deputy regional manager;

"municipality", except in Part 4 [Contaminated Site Remediation], includes,

(a) a regional district,

(b) an improvement district that has as an object

(i) the disposal of sewage or refuse, or

(ii) the provision of a system for the disposal of sewage or refuse or both, and

(c) the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District;

"officer" means

(a) a person or class of persons employed by the government, a government corporation or a municipality and designated in writing by a director as an officer, or

(b) a conservation officer;

"operational certificate" means a certificate issued under section 28 [operational certificates] for the design, operation, maintenance, performance and closure of sites or facilities used for the storage, treatment or disposal of waste or recyclable material;

"order" means an order made or given under this Act;

"packaging" means a material, substance or object that is

(a) used to protect, contain or transport a commodity or product, or

(b) attached to a commodity or product or its container for the purpose of marketing or communicating information about the commodity or product;

"permit" means a permit issued under section 14 [permits] or under the regulations;

"pollution" means the presence in the environment of substances or contaminants that substantially alter or impair the usefulness of the environment;

"recyclable material" means a product or substance that has been diverted from disposal, and satisfies at least one of the following criteria:

(a) is organic material from residential, commercial or institutional sources and is capable of being composted, or is being composted, at a site;

(b) is managed as a marketable commodity with an established market by the owner or operator of a site;

(c) is being used in the manufacture of a new product that has an established market or is being processed as an intermediate stage of an existing manufacturing process;

(d) has been identified as a recyclable material in a waste management plan;

(e) is any other material prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, or the minister under section 22 [minister's regulations — codes of practice];

"refuse" means discarded or abandoned materials, substances or objects;

"regional district", except in the definition of "municipality" and in sections 25, 26 and 30, includes the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality;

"registered mail" includes any method of mail delivery provided by Canada Post for which confirmation of delivery to a named person is available;

"remediation" means action to eliminate, limit, correct, counteract, mitigate or remove any contaminant or the adverse effects on the environment or human health of any contaminant, and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) preliminary site investigations, detailed site investigations, analysis and interpretation, including tests, sampling, surveys, data evaluation, risk assessment and environmental impact assessment;

(b) evaluation of alternative methods of remediation;

(c) preparation of a remediation plan, including a plan for any consequential or associated removal of soil or soil relocation from the site;

(d) implementation of a remediation plan;

(e) monitoring, verification and confirmation of whether the remediation complies with the remediation plan, applicable standards and requirements imposed by a director;

(f) other activities prescribed by the minister;

"special conservation officer" means a person designated as a special conservation officer under section 106 (3) [conservation officer service];

"waste" includes

(a) air contaminants,

(b) litter,

(c) effluent,

(d) refuse,

(e) biomedical waste,

(f) hazardous waste, and

(g) any other substance prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, or the minister under section 22 [minister's regulations — codes of practice], or, if either of them prescribes circumstances in which a substance is a waste, a substance that is present in those circumstances,

whether or not the type of waste referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) or prescribed under paragraph (g) has any commercial value or is capable of being used for a useful purpose;

"waste management facility" means a facility for the treatment, recycling, storage, disposal or destruction of a waste, or recovery of reusable resources, including energy potential from waste;

"waste management plan" means a plan that contains provisions or requirements for the management of recyclable material or other waste or a class of waste within all or a part of one or more municipalities;

"water" includes groundwater, as defined in section 1 (1) of the Water Sustainability Act, and ice;

"works" includes

(a) a drain, ditch and sewer,

(b) a waste disposal system including a sewage treatment plant, pumping station and outfall,

(c) a device, equipment, land and a structure that is used to

(i) measure, handle, transport, store, treat or destroy waste or a substance that is capable of causing pollution, or

(ii) introduce into the environment waste or a substance that is capable of causing pollution,

(d) an installation, plant, machinery, equipment, land or a process that causes or may cause pollution or is designed or used to measure or control the introduction of waste into the environment or to measure or control a substance that is capable of causing pollution, or

(e) an installation, plant, machinery, equipment, land or a process that is used to monitor or clean up pollution or waste.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a detrimental environmental impact occurs when a change in the quality of air, land or water substantially reduces the usefulness of the environment or its capacity to support life.

(3) For the purposes of the definition of "air contaminant" and "effluent", it is not necessary to prove

(a) that the air contaminant or effluent, if diluted at or subsequent to the point of introduction, continues to be capable of harming, injuring or damaging a person, life form, property or the environment, or

(b) the actual presence of a person who, or a life form that, is capable of being harmed or injured by the introduction of the air contaminant or effluent.

(4) If a regulation under this Act authorizes the minister or a director to substitute a different requirement for any requirement in the regulations, a reference to the regulations includes a reference to the substituted requirement.

Powers conferred on included officials

2  A provision of this Act or the regulations that confers powers on an officer also confers them on a director and a manager.

Director includes delegate

3  (1) Subject to the limitations in section 57 [delegation of responsibilities to municipalities or other ministries], a director may delegate any of his or her powers, duties or functions under this Act, except the power to establish protocols, to any person, subject to the terms and conditions the director considers necessary or advisable.

(2) In this Act a reference to the director includes a reference to a delegate of the director.

Conflicts with other enactments

4  If there is a conflict between this Act or its regulations or an approval, a licence, an order, a permit or an approved waste management plan under this Act and

(a) the Geothermal Resources Act or the regulations under that Act, or a permit, a licence, a lease, an authorization, an order or an agreement under that Act, or

(b) the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act or the regulations under that Act,

this Act, its regulations and an approval, a licence, an order, a permit or an approved waste management plan subsisting under this Act prevail.

Minister's authority

5  The duties, powers and functions of the minister extend to any matter relating to the management, protection and enhancement of the environment including, but not limited to, the following matters:

(a) planning, research and investigation in relation to the environment;

(b) development of policies for the management, protection and use of the environment;

(c) planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of works and undertakings for the management, protection or enhancement of the environment;

(d) providing information to the public about the quality and use of the environment;

(e) preparing and publishing policies, strategies, objectives, guidelines and standards for the protection and management of the environment;

(f) preparing and publishing environmental management plans for specific areas of British Columbia which may include, but need not be limited to, measures with respect to the following:

(i) flood control, flood hazard management and development of land that is subject to flooding;

(ii) drainage;

(iii) soil conservation;

(iv) water resource management;

(v) fisheries and aquatic life management;

(vi) wildlife management;

(vii) waste management;

(viii) air management.

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