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BC organics recycling reg British Columbia's environment ministry has proposed amendments to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation made under the Environmental Management Act and the Public Health Act. The regulation was enacted in 2002 and...


BC organics recycling reg

British Columbia’s environment ministry has proposed amendments to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation made under the Environmental Management Act and the Public Health Act. The regulation was enacted in 2002 and addresses the construction and operation of composting facilities and the production, distribution, storage, sale, and use or land application of biosolids and compost. The proposed revisions are intended to reflect advances in science and technology, and feedback from stakeholders since the regulation was enacted. (For more on biosolids, turn to the Blog column on the inside back page of this edition.)

The ministry plans to replace the requirement for preparation of an environmental impact study with a requirement to prepare a leachate impact assessment report. All composting facilities will be required to prepare such a report if discharging leachate. (Currently, only those facilities with a certain production tonnage are required to prepare an environmental impact study.)

The ministry also intends to prohibit the discharge of leachate in all areas of the province unless the discharge is in accordance with the leachate impact assessment prepared by a qualified professional. In addition, an impermeable surface, roof, cover, prepared surface and leachate collection system will be required unless deemed unnecessary by a qualified professional. The leachate impact assessment report must be submitted to the director at least 90 days prior to the discharge of any leachate.

The ministry also proposes to require all existing facilities to prepare plans and specifications by January 1, 2013 (and that plans required of composting facilities be prepared by qualified professionals). The odour management plan required of composting facilities must describe how air contaminants from the facility will be managed, treated and discharged in a manner that does not cause pollution. The operating plan for a composting facility must address the management and control of wildlife, litter, air quality and dust. In addition, a land application plan must be prepared when the volume of managed organic matter to be land applied is greater than five cubic metres in a year. The land application plan must provide details on all discharges expected for that year.

The ministry intends to require any materials, products or substances at the composting facility (including organic matter, managed organic matter, compost, municipal solid waste, residuals and waste) be managed and stored in a manner that prevents access by and attraction of wildlife, domestic animals, birds and associated vectors. The plan, reports and specifications required of composting facilities must be kept up to date, and the ministry must be notified of any change within 30 days of any change.

Quebec residuals landfilling

Quebec’s regulation respecting the landfilling and incineration of residual materials under the Environment Quality Act has been amended to permit fibrous waste from sawmills, fibrous waste of the same nature as fibrous waste from sawmills that originates from oriented strandboard manufacturing plants, and certain ash, soils or sludge from specified establishments to be landfilled. Another amendment made to the regulation prohibits the burning of residual materials in an engineered landfill. Also, a new provision has been added to the regulation that provides that the operator of the landfill must confirm the acceptance of certain soil materials.

SO reduces auto plastics incentive

Stewardship Ontario (SO) has decided to reduce the transportation incentive for automotive-related plastics. In April of 2010, collection shortages of auto-related plastics, including oil containers and anti-freeze containers, caused the organization to increase transportation and processing incentives. The increase was approximately 30 per cent and was part of an effort to collect more plastic for diversion. This action resulted in an increase in the collection of auto-related plastics during the past year. As a result, SO has reduced the transportation incentive by 15 per cent.

Quebec containers and packaging schedule

Quebec has approved a schedule of contributions developed by Eco Entreprises Quebec for containers and packaging, and printed matter classes. Quebec’s regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials has been amended to incorporate the approved schedule. The schedule designates classes of material requiring a contribution, and sets out the applicable contribution. It also provides for registration and reporting by those required to remit.

The regulation is enacted under the Environment Quality Act that includes provisions with respect to financial compensation to municipalities (for services they offer to ensure recovery and reclamation of residual materials designated by regulation). Eco Entreprises Quebec is the certified body that represents the companies that market containers and packaging and printed matter classes of materials, and collects money from these companies to be remitted to municipalities. Companies designated as owners of a brand, name or a distinguishing guise are required to pay a contribution. If the owner of the brand, name or distinguishing guise does not have a domicile or establishment in Quebec, then the first supplier in Quebec may be required to pay the contribution.

Rosalind Cooper, LL.B., is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in Toronto, Ontario. Contact Rosalind at rcooper@tor.fasken.com


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