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

Voluntary environmental compliance

Compliance Promotion

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