Upland Excavating Operational Certificate Review

March 2019

Upland Excavating Ltd. (Upland) currently operates a landfill located north of Campbell River, adjacent to the Campbell River Municipal landfill and an active sand and gravel pit. The landfill is permitted under permit PR-10807. The permit allows for the landfill to accept demolition, land clearing and construction waste, including: stumps, trees, land clearing waste, limited building demolition debris, and residue from burning wood waste.

Background

The landfill permit was first issued in 1992, under the acts and regulation at the time. The permit has not previously been updated or replaced by an Operational Certificate to align with today’s standards and regulatory framework. The adjacent sand and gravel operation is authorized under the Mines Act and is also operated by Upland Excavating Ltd.

The Upland landfill is included in the regional Solid Waste Management Plan (PDF) (SWMP), which was approved on May 23, 2013. Section 18.9 of the SWMP indicates that “each private demolition, land clearing and construction (DLC) waste disposal facility will prepare a proposed action plan and schedule to upgrade the facility to satisfy Ministry standards or to phase-out and close the facility, and that the Ministry will replace / update / amend the existing authorizations with updated permits or operational certificates that reflect the action plans and requirements.”

The Environmental Management Act requires that all regional districts prepare and submit a SWMP to the B.C government. Final plans are approved by a Minister after sufficient public and stakeholder consultation has taken place. One of the key components of a SMWP is to obtain formal Ministerial approval for new municipal solid waste landfills, or landfill expansions, whether they are publicly or privately owned. These waste management plans should be reviewed, or amended as needed, every 10 years.

New Authorization Application

In early 2015, Upland submitted an application for a new Operational Certificate to replace its 1992 permit. This was done in compliance with the approved SWMP (above), which was developed by the SWMP Advisory Committee for the Comox Valley and the Strathcona Regional Districts. Operational Certificates are issued under Section 28 of the Environmental Management Act to impose conditions deemed necessary for the protection of the environment for sites previously approved under a SWMP, such as the Upland site.

The new Operational Certificate would authorize the landfill to receive more waste per year and allow for the receipt of waste level contaminated soils. The proposed landfill will meet or exceed landfill criteria introduced in 2016. If issued, Upland proposes to relocate waste discharged under their existing permit, to the upgraded landfill. In addition to requiring updated engineering and other measures that would greatly improve environmental protection, approving a new authorization allows the B.C. government to update other aspects of the permit that would improve clarity and compliance enforcement.

Notice of Intent

As per Section 4(6) of the Public Notification Regulation, a director must give notice of a decision, at least 14 days before an operational certificate is issued. The purpose of this notice is to allow members of the public, First Nations, agencies and stakeholders to provide comments on the proposed conditions included in the draft Operational Certificate, provided below, before it is issued. In this particular case, the proposed comment period is 30 days, ending no earlier than April 28, 2019.

The Notice of Intent is available below and is also posted in the local Campbell River Mirror newspaper.

Hard copies of the Notice of Intent and the Draft Operational Certificate are also available at the Upland office, located at 7295 Gold River Highway, Campbell River, during normal business hours.