Agriculture Environmental Management

Agricultural activities and operations are regulated in B.C. under the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation (1992) (AWCR), which describes environmentally sound practices for using, storing and managing agricultural wastes and by-products, such as manure and composted materials.

Regulatory Review

The AWCR is currently undergoing a comprehensive review. Two policy intentions papers (PIP) for public consultation were issued on January 2012, and July 2015. Links to the two PIPs and summaries of the comments received from the public consultations are found below. From April 2012 to October 2016, the ministry consulted with an Agriculture Industry Working Group and a final policy resulting from all the consultations was prepared.

Hullcar Aquifer Water Quality Review

In August 2017, BC’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy ordered a review to be done of the Hullcar aquifer water quality concerns by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, to gather the information necessary to inform and improve future approaches to management and decision-making related to source water protection and agricultural nutrients.

A number of recommendations in the POLIS Hullcar Recommendations Report (POLIS Report) relate to the AWCR. As a result, the ministry is issuing an Intentions Paper (IP) to consult on the proposed changes to the AWCR related to the POLIS Hullcar Report recommendations that are being considered for inclusion in a proposed new code of practice under the Environmental Management Act.

Public Consultation

The ministry welcomes comments on the proposals outlined in this intentions paper. Comments can be provided to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy by e-mail attachment, using the prepared comment form posted below. Responses received by January 15, 2018, will be considered by the ministry in updating the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation.

Learn more about the previous public consultations:

Agricultural Boilers

The AWCR was amended in 2008 to include requirements for boiler emissions:

To register an agricultural boiler or heater – including how to calculate output capacity and manage emissions properly.

Register and manage a boiler

On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion

A separate waste discharge authorization is required for operating on-farm anaerobic digesters. 

To better understand the guidelines specific to On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion, please consult Chapter 4 of the draft document:

You are welcome to provide feedback on this document by sending comments by e-mail to Margaret Crowley at