Voluntary Environmental Compliance in B.C.
Voluntary compliance occurs when authorized parties meet requirements, without the province initiating enforcement actions. Compliance promotion is a key strategy in achieving voluntary compliance.
In order to voluntarily comply with a regulatory requirement, authorized parties must be:
- Aware of the requirement
- Able to understand the requirement and the consequences of non-compliance
- Willing to comply with the requirement
- Able to financially and/or technically comply with the requirement
Any activity that increases awareness, educates, motivates, or changes behaviour, and encourages voluntary compliance with a regulatory requirement. The province achieves voluntary compliance through education and outreach and through highlighting the benefits of staying in compliance.
How Inspections Benefit Authorized Parties
- The province’s policy is to inspect all authorization holders in a set period of time, with high risk sites inspected more frequently
- Lack of compliance verification and ongoing non-compliance could result in an unfair economic advantage and environmental harm
- Regular inspections by officers ensure all non-compliances at all authorized sites are treated consistently
- Inspections provide an opportunity for operators to meet on-site with an inspector to discuss particular issues or challenges
How Staying in Compliance Benefits Authorized Parties
- It demonstrates your corporate commitment to protecting the environment
- Compliance records are public, so let your stakeholders and the public can see the good work you have been doing
- It can be more expensive to delay improvements or repairs as costs increase over time