Organic Matter Recycling Regulations & Guidelines
The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation of B.C. (OMRR) governs the production, quality and land application of certain types of organic matter. It provides clear guidance for local governments, as well as compost and biosolids producers, on how to use organic material while protecting soil quality and drinking water sources.
Compost Facility Update
On June 9, 2016, government amended the OMRR with respect to larger compost facilities. These amendments to the regulation are available below. The new requirements came into force on June 9, 2016.
- Order in Council
- Organic Matter Recycling Regulation Amendment - Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Organic Matter Recycling Regulation Amendment - Backgrounder (PDF)
On April 4, 2016 the Province announced it is undertaking a review of the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation to ensure it remains protective of human health and the environment.
An Intentions Paper describing proposed changes to the regulation was published on October 3, 2016. Those interested were invited to submit comments during the 60 day consultation period which closed on December 2, 2016. A summary of the comments received is now available.
Based on feedback received and the need to potentially develop additional policy options, government wishes to obtain feedback on several policy areas. Accordingly, and consistent with ministry practice, a follow-up Intentions Paper is anticipated in the summer of 2017. Policy topics for exploration include:
- enhancing First Nations engagement;
- strengthening qualified professional requirements;
- improving the authorization process for land applications of managed organic matter;
- creating more rigourous biosolids processing requirements; and
- considering more stringent requirements for use of surface application methods for land application of biosolids.
For any concerns or questions regarding the 2017 land application season, please contact ministry staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to growing concerns over the land application of biosolids, on June 17, 2015, the Provincial government announced that a technical working group would conduct a scientific review of biosolids. The scientific review includes two key components: a review of scientific and academic literature on biosolids land applications and a soil sampling project. The literature review and sampling technical report are now available for viewing.
- Biosolids Scientific Review: Informing the OMRR Review (PDF)
- Biosolids Literature Review Covering Memorandum – June 6, 2016 (PDF)
- Literature review of risks relevant to the use of biosolids and compost from biosolids with relevance to the Nicola Valley, BC (PDF)
- Sampling project technical report (PDF, 2.4MB)
Phase two of the biosolids sampling project is currently underway. A report outlining results and analysis of the second phase of the sampling project is anticipated for the summer of 2017. In addition, the first phase of a wildlife risk assessment is currently underway. An information update in the risk assessment is anticipated for the summer of 2017.
For more information on the consultation process and the development of policy intentions papers see:
Historical Information on the OMRR Review Process
Information on the 2006 and 2011 review processes:
- 2006 Intentions Paper (PDF)
- 2006 Summary of Comments (PDF)
- 2011 Intentions Paper (PDF)
- 2011 Summary of Comments (PDF)
Guidance Documents & Guidelines
For help understanding and complying with the requirements outlined in the regulation:
- Land Application Guidelines for the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation and the Soil Amendment Code of Practice (PDF, 8.3MB)
- Summary of General Composting Best Management Practices: Information Notice (PDF)
- Composting Application Instructions (PDF)
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) also provides guidelines aimed at positive environmental impacts. CCME collaborates across various government levels to focus on issues that are national in scope.
- Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines
- CCME Guideline for Compost Quality (PDF)
- CCME Guidance Document for the Beneficial Use of Municipal Biosolids, Municipal Sludge and Treated Septage (PDF, 1MB)
- Emerging Substances of Concern in Biosolids: Concentrations and Effects of Treatment Processes Final Report-Literature Review (PDF)
- Emerging Substances of Concern in Biosolids: Concentrations and Effects of Treatment Processes - Field Sampling Program Final Report (PDF)
Environment Canada Technical Document
Environment Canada has also produced a number of technical documents on waste processing to contribute to the waste discussion in Canada. The following document contains science-based and user-friendly information on organic waste management processing: