Upland Excavating Operational Certificate Issuance

August 2019

An independent statutory decision maker issued a new Operational Certificate for Upland Excavating Ltd.’s (Upland’s) proposed new lined landfill site on August 01, 2019. The new Operational Certificate includes modern and enforceable requirements and is in response to the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) requirements to upgrade the facility and update the authorization. 

The decision concludes a review process that was initiated in 2015.  The review process involved extensive consultation and engagement with local government, members of the public and First Nations. 

The decision takes into account the Contaminated Soils Landfill Deferral Order issued on July 17, 2019 and does not allow acceptance of contaminated soil that exceeds industrial land use standards as defined in the Contaminated Sites Regulation.

Background

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 was authorized in 1992 under permit PR-10807 which allowed Upland to accept demolition, land clearing and construction waste, including: stumps, trees, land clearing waste, limited building demolition debris, and residue from burning wood waste.

The permit has not previously been updated or replaced by an Operational Certificate to align with today’s standards and regulatory framework.

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 Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Final plans are approved by the 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.

Permit PR-10807 has been cancelled. The new Operational Certificate replaces it as the required means to impose conditions to landfill operations authorized under SWMP’s.