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. Three policy intentions papers (IP) for public consultation have been issued - January 2012, July 2015, and November 2017. Links to the IPs and summaries of the comments received from public consultations are found below.

Hullcar Aquifer Water Quality Review

In August 2017, B.C.’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 issued the third Intentions Paper to consult on the proposed changes to the AWCR related to the POLIS Hullcar Report recommendations.

Public Consultation

The Ministry welcomed comments on proposals outlined in intentions papers. Comments provided to the Ministry will be considered in updating the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation.

Read more about previous public consultations:

Agricultural Boilers

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

Register a Boiler or Heater

To register an agricultural boiler or heater—including how to calculate output capacity and manage emissions properly—visit the Agricultural Boilers page.

On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion

Operating on-farm anaerobic digesters requires a separate waste discharge authorization.

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