Mining & Smelting Waste Guidance Documents

Environmental Management Act Technical Guidance

  • Information Notice: Mining Pre-Application Process (PDF)
    • This Information Notice is intended to provide proponents of mining projects with an overview of the pre-application and screening process for a waste discharge application required under the Environmental Management Act.
  • The Effluent Permitting Process: An Overview for Mine Project Applicants – 2013 (PDF)
    • This document provides a high-level overview of the mine effluent discharge permitting process. It is specifically aimed at applicants from the mining sector who are applying for a new permit under the Act. However, much of the content is also relevant to mining permit amendments, other activities, and other industry sectors.
  • Technical Guidance 1: Environmental Impact Assessment and Technical Assessment Terms of Reference (PDF)
    • These Terms of Reference (TOR) are intended for proponents of major mine projects applying for an effluent discharge permit under the Environmental Management Act (EMA). This document outlines the information requirements of the Technical Assessment Report (TAR), with particular emphasis on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) normally required as part of the application
  • Technical Guidance 2: Table of Concordance - CURRENTLY BEING REVISED
    • The Table of Concordance is intended as a guide to assist proponents by identifying the information requirements for the Technical Assessment Report (TAR) and Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA), and identify the Natural Resource Sector guidance documents that provide the direction on completion of the requirement. Once completed by the proponent, the table indicates how well the information requirements for a TAR and EIA for effluent permit applications are met.
  • Technical Guidance 3: Developing a Mining Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (PDF)
    • This document has been prepared to help mining companies develop sound practices for erosion and sediment control so that when they are implemented, they will contribute to compliance with the Environmental Management Act and protection of the environment. The information provided in this document is intended to help users exercise their professional judgment in developing site-specific management strategies. The reader is encouraged to consult the various erosion and sediment control guidelines that are available for specific erosion and sediment control methods to use when preparing the site specific mine permit application.
    • User Guide: Best Management Practices for Developing a Mining Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (PDF)
  • Technical Guidance 4: Annual Reporting Under the Environmental Management Act (PDF)
    • This guidance document summarizes the Ministry of Environment's (MOE) expectations for annual reports submitted by mining companies operating in British Columbia. It also recommends a reporting format that makes it easy for the reader to recognize both compliance issues and environmental concerns. Sections 3, 4, and 5 can be used as a guide to developing a table of contents for an annual report. Annual reports submitted for the 2015 calendar year and onward should follow this document. However, this guidance does not replace or alter the legal requirements of any permit, approval or regulation issued under provisions of the EMA.
    • User Guide to Annual Reporting Requirements for Mining Under the Environmental Management Act PDF)
  • Technical Guidance 6: Water and Air Baseline Monitoring Guidance Document For Mine Proponents and Operators (PDF)
    • The MOE's Water and Air Baseline Monitoring Guidance Document outlines and defines the baseline study requirements and information considerations necessary to propose a mineral development project in the Province of British Columbia. Information requirements for geology/geochemistry, meteorology and air quality, surficial hydrology, hydrogeology, water quality (physical and chemical parameters, aquatic sediments, tissue residues, and aquatic life), fish and fish habitat, and initial environmental impact assessment are covered, focusing on the collection, analysis, interpretation, and submission of baseline information as part of a proposal to develop a mining project in British Columbia. By providing these requirements to the proponent early in the project evaluation stage, the MOE’s goal is to ensure effective study design, information collection, and data usage/interpretation that will assist in both the initial project evaluation and throughout the development, operation, and closure of a mine.
    • User Guide to Water and Air Baseline Monitoring Requirements for Mining PDF)
  • Technical Guidance 7: Assessing Design Size and Operation of Sediment Ponds (PDF)
  • Technical Guidance 8: Framework for Development and Use of Freshwater Science-Based Environmental Benchmarks for Mines (PDF)
    • In some circumstances, science-based environmental benchmarks (SBEBs) may be developed to support permitting or other regulatory decisions. SBEBs should only be considered after best achievable technologies (BAT) and best management practices have been considered and incorporated into development plans. SBEBs must be protective of the most sensitive aquatic species and life stages at a site.  This document details the circumstances where SBEBs may be used and the process for developing them.
  • Joint Mines Act /Environmental Management Act Permit Application Information Requirements (PDF)
    • ​​This document sets out the information that is required to support a joint application for a Mines Act permit issued by Ministry of Energy & Mines (MEM) and an effluent discharge permit under EMA issued by MOE. It is intended for both new and existing major mines, including major expansions. The combined technical information requirements are intended to reduce overlap in information required by both ministries and enable one application, or bundled applications, to be submitted for review.
  • Metal Leaching and Acid Rock Drainage (ML/ARD) Guidance and Policy (PDF)
    • ML/ARD can be a significant environmental issue at mines in BC. These documents guide proponents in assessing and mitigating ML/ARD issues within the BC regulatory framework.

Fact Sheets

  • Mining Operations Fact Sheet (PDF)
    • The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of MoE’s responsibilities regarding regulation of mining operations, and a brief description of the roles and responsibilities of each provincial agency involved, and that of the proponent.
  • Industrial Camps Fact Sheet (PDF)
    • When camps are established to house workers within BC, waste is generated. This document provides guidance on what should be done to manage waste from camps with emphasis on authorizations required by the BC Ministry of Environment. Information is also provided for best management practices when authorization is not required.
  • Best Achievable Technology Fact Sheet (PDF)
    • A summary of MOE’s approach to determining Best Achievable Technology for controlling discharges to the environment.​
  • Long-Term Average vs. Short-Term Maximum Water Quality Guidelines Fact Sheet (PDF)
    • An overview of when to use long-term average vs. short-term maximum water quality guidelines