A new Cowichan Valley Regional District bylaw dealing with waste management facilities has now been tested in court and has resulted in the conviction of a local man on two counts of violating the bylaw, announced CVRD Chair Jack Peake.
“It’s rewarding to see years of effort trying to regulate this industry finally pay off,” said Peake. “This region has seen too many questionable operators simply ignore provincial legislation with very little recourse, and when the CVRD began developing its own regulatory bylaw to stop this tide, many expected the same result. This conviction should serve as a wake up call to those players still giving the rest of this industry a bad rap.”
In a January 28, 2008 judgment of the Provincial Court of British Columbia in Duncan, a Cedar-area man was convicted of two counts of violating CVRD Waste Stream Management Licensing Bylaw No. 2570. Basically, the offences involved him accepting and managing sizable quantities of municipal waste, such as demolition waste, tires, furniture, fiberglass items, etc., on his property without a facility license as required by the bylaw. This waste was subsequently burned on the property.
As of January 1, 2007, all facilities in the CVRD were required to obtain such a license. Six licenses have been issued to date. Each site or license has specific operating terms and conditions attached that protect the environment and respect social interests such as noise, dust, etc. The Regional District of Nanaimo is also implementing a similar bylaw on a deferred timeframe.
“The beauty of this local Bylaw is that when neighbors and others in the waste management industry complained to the CVRD, their concerns were acted upon,” said Peake. “With the legitimate operators committing to hundreds of thousands of dollars in upgrades to their facilities, and putting up security to ensure the public is not left with a cleanup tab, there is now a strong self-policing incentive built into the industry.”
Sentencing in this case is expected to occur this spring. CVRD Bylaw No. 2570 provides for penalties of up to $200,000 per offence per day, and can be applied against a waste generator, hauler, landowner or all three.
Further bylaw information is available online at www.cvrdrecycles.bc.ca