January 22, 2007

BC Environment releases latest compliance, enforcement summary

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment's third Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement Summary for 2006 includes 11 orders issued between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2006 to prevent or stop impacts to the environment, human health or safety.

These included eight engineer's orders under the Water Act, plus two pollution abatement orders and one pollution prevention (P2) order under the Environmental Management Act. The two abatement orders were issued to companies.

One order, to Gearbulk Shipping Canada, addressed an uncontrolled release of fuel from a ship and required the development of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and abatement plan, together with implementation of wildlife and waste management plans, all supplemented by weekly progress reporting. The other was issued to Columbia River Shake & Shingle in connection with unauthorized open burning of wood waste.

The P2 order was issued to Abbotsford property owner Ed Ilnicki for contraventions of provincial hazardous waste regulations. It required the owner to retain a qualified consultant to conduct an inventory and characterization of the hazardous waste and to submit the results, along with a description of the methodology used, to the Ministry.

The summary report also lists 42 administrative licensing sanctions (i.e. suspensions or cancellations of hunting, angling or firearm licences) taken against individual hunters or anglers for various violations of the provincial Wildlife Act. No sanctions were imposed on any commercial operators during the reporting period. As well, the Ministry issued 695 tickets for contraventions of the federal Fisheries Act as well as provincial laws and regulations for which the Ministry has enforcement responsibility.

Finally, five court convictions were recorded, all involving individuals charged with various violations of BC's Wildlife Act. Fines totalling $22,145 were imposed.

The Ministry has invested an additional $1.5 million in compliance and enforcement activities this year, including the creation of a new industrial and commercial investigative unit that will focus on commercial and industrial settings.

The Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement Summary may be viewed on-line at www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/prgs/compliancereport.html.

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