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This Act is current to May 30, 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 5 — Remediation of Mineral Exploration Sites and Mines

Definitions and interpretation

65   (1) In this Part:

"advanced exploration site" means

(a) an area described by a valid and subsisting mineral title as defined under the Mineral Tenure Act where mineral exploration activities have been undertaken,

(b) an area described by a valid and subsisting Crown granted claim under the Land Act where mineral exploration activities have been undertaken, or

(c) a valid and subsisting location as defined under the Coal Act where coal exploration activities have been undertaken,

if

(d) bedrock has been excavated for the purpose of underground development, removed as bulk samples, or removed for trial cargos or test shipments, in an amount less than or equal to 1 000 tonnes, or

(e) coal has been mined, removed as bulk samples, or removed for trial cargos or test shipments, in an amount less than or equal to

(i) 50 000 tonnes of coal, or

(ii) 200 000 tonnes of total material disturbed, including coal;

"core area" means any of the following areas at an advanced exploration site or at a producing or past producing mine site:

(a) an area where waste rock or mine tailings are placed;

(b) an area where there is disturbance of the ground by mechanical means including, without limitation, trenches, open pits and underground workings;

(c) an area where there has been construction, modification, deactivation or reclamation of an access road;

(d) an area where prescribed activities take place or that is used for a prescribed use;

"dispute resolution process" means a process to resolve disputes established in an agreement between the deputy ministers of the ministry of the minister responsible for the administration of the Mines Act and the ministry of the minister responsible for the administration of this Act concerning the administration of mines under the Mines Act and this Act;

"exploration site" means

(a) an area described by a valid and subsisting mineral title as defined under the Mineral Tenure Act where mineral exploration activities have been undertaken,

(b) an area described by a valid and subsisting Crown granted claim under the Land Act where mineral exploration activities have been undertaken, or

(c) a valid and subsisting location as defined under the Coal Act where coal exploration activities have been undertaken,

if

(d) bulk samples, trial cargos or test shipments have not been taken, and

(e) bedrock has not been excavated for the purpose of underground development;

"historic mine site" means an area

(a) where mechanical disturbance of the ground or any excavation has been made to produce coal or mineral bearing substances, including a site used for processing, concentrating or waste disposal, and

(b) for which a Mines Act permit does not exist and no identifiable owner or operator is taking responsibility for contamination at the site;

"non-core area" means an area at an advanced exploration site or producing or past producing mine site that is not a core area including, without limitation, areas where facilities and operations such as maintenance shops, storage facilities, accommodation complexes, mineral crushing and processing mills and mineral treatment operations are located;

"producing or past producing mine site" means a mine

(a) defined by the area of

(i) a mineral title as defined under the Mineral Tenure Act,

(ii) a Crown granted claim under the Land Act, or

(iii) a location as defined under the Coal Act,

(b) in respect of which there is a valid and subsisting permit under the Mines Act, and

(c) that is currently producing or has produced minerals or coal,

if

(d) bedrock has been excavated for the purpose of underground development, removed as bulk samples or removed for trial cargos or test shipments, in an amount greater than 1 000 tonnes, or

(e) coal has been mined, removed as bulk samples or removed for trial cargos or test shipments, in an amount greater than

(ii) 50 000 tonnes of coal, or

(ii) 200 000 tonnes of total material disturbed, including coal;

"transfer agreement" means a written agreement between the Chief Inspector of Mines under the Mines Act and a director under this Act regarding the transfer of a Mines Act permit.

(2) This Part does not restrict the powers of a director to issue and enforce a permit or approval for a discharge to air, land or water associated with an advanced exploration site or producing or past producing mine site.

(3) This Part does not apply to exploration, mine development or the production of placer minerals, marl, earth, soil, peat, sand, gravel, dimension stone, rock or any natural substance that is used for a construction purpose on land.

(4) If there is a conflict between anything in Part 4 [Contaminated Site Remediation] or sections 81 [pollution prevention orders] and 83 [pollution abatement orders] that are otherwise provided for in this Part, the provisions of this Part prevail.

(5) Despite sections 66 (5) [exploration sites], 67 (4) [advanced exploration sites] and 68 (4) [producing or past producing mine sites], a person who requests a director to issue an approval in principle or a certificate of compliance under section 53 [approvals in principle and certificates of compliance] or to provide any other services in relation to a contaminated site must pay the fees prescribed in the regulations for those services.

Exploration sites

66   (1) Despite section 45 [persons responsible for remediation of contaminated sites], the following persons who carried out mineral or coal exploration activities at an exploration site are not responsible for remediation of the site:

(a) a previous owner or operator;

(b) a current owner or operator who holds a valid and subsisting bond for the exploration site under the Mines Act.

(2) A director may not issue a remediation order under section 48 [remediation orders] to a current or previous owner or operator of an exploration site.

(3) A director may not issue a pollution prevention order under section 81 [pollution prevention orders] or a pollution abatement order under section 83 [pollution abatement orders] to a previous owner or operator of an exploration site in respect of the exploration site.

(4) A director may not require or accept security under this Act for remediation of an exploration site.

(5) Fees prescribed under this Act for the purposes of Part 4 [Contaminated Site Remediation] in relation to an exploration site are payable only with respect to the remediation of spills of substances.

Advanced exploration sites

67   (1) Despite section 45 [persons responsible for remediation of contaminated sites], a previous owner or operator of an advanced exploration site is not responsible for remediation of the site if

(a) the owner or operator obtains a transfer agreement that excludes the owner or operator from liability for the contaminated site, or

(b) indemnification has been provided to the owner or operator for that site under the Financial Administration Act.

(2) A director may not issue a remediation order under section 48 [remediation orders] to a current or previous owner or operator of a core area within an advanced exploration site.

(3) A director may not require or accept security under this Act for remediation of an advanced exploration site.

(4) Fees prescribed under this Act for the purposes of Part 4 [Contaminated Site Remediation] in relation to an advanced exploration site are payable only with respect to

(a) the remediation of spills of substances, or

(b) an order issued under section 48 [remediation orders] for remediation of a non-core area.

Producing or past producing mine sites

68   (1) Despite section 45 [persons responsible for remediation of contaminated sites], a previous owner or operator of a producing or past producing mine site is not responsible for remediation of the site if

(a) the owner or operator obtains a transfer agreement that excludes the owner or operator from liability for the contaminated site, or

(b) indemnification has been provided to the owner or operator for that site under the Financial Administration Act.

(2) The director may not issue a remediation order under section 48 [remediation orders] in relation to the remediation of a core area of a producing or past producing mine unless

(a) requested to do so by the Chief Inspector of Mines under the Mines Act,

(b) this was agreed to in the resolution of a dispute under the dispute resolution process, or

(c) the land and water use at the producing or past producing mine site is formally changed from those approved in the applicable Mines Act permit.

(3) Subject to subsection (2), the director must not require or accept security under this Act for remediation of a producing or past producing mine site.

(4) Fees prescribed under this Act for the purposes of Part 4 [Contaminated Site Remediation] in relation to a producing or past producing mine site are payable only with respect to

(a) the remediation of spills of substances,

(b) a transfer agreement involving a core area,

(c) an order issued under section 48 [remediation orders] for remediation of a non-core area, or

(d) a formal change in land or water use from those uses approved in the applicable Mines Act permit.

Historic mine sites

69   Despite section 45 [persons responsible for remediation of contaminated sites], a person is not responsible for remediation of a historic mine site if

(a) indemnification has been provided to the person for that site under the Financial Administration Act, or

(b) the person acquired the mineral or coal rights at the site for the purpose of undertaking mineral or coal exploration activities and the exploration activities have not exacerbated any contamination that existed at the site at the time the person acquired those mineral or coal rights.

Regulations for purposes of Part 5

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

(a) prescribing other activities and uses for the purpose of the definition of "core area" in section 65 (1) [definitions and interpretation];

(b) prescribing the content of and criteria for transfer agreements for the purposes of this Part.

(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