Contaminated Sites & Spill Reporting
Potential Approval, Permit or Code of Practice Requirements
Contaminated Site or Soils
In B.C., a site is contaminated if its land, water and/or sediment are unsuitable for particular uses. That means it’s an area that has a waste contaminating the soil, groundwater or sediment in an amount or concentration that exceeds environmental quality standards.
The Environmental Management Act is the main law governing contaminated sites in the province. It lays out standards for site identification, assessment, and cleanup (“remediation”). Other provisions are set out in the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The Ministry of Environment administers these legal requirements and provides direction for compliance.
Statute: Environmental Management Act, 2003
Relevant Section or Regulation: Environmental Management Act, Part 4, Contaminated Site Remediation Contaminated Sites Regulation
Regulating Agency: Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy
Environmental Emergencies in BC
Environmental emergencies include hazardous or toxic spills, discharges, emissions, as well as dyke and dam failures, debris flows and floods.
This number connects with the Emergency Coordination Centre (part of Emergency Management BC (EMBC); the dispatcher will notify the appropriate Environmental Emergency Response Officer.
Explanation: The Spill Reporting Regulation specifies the types and quantities of spills that must be immediately reported. Failure to report is an offence under Section 79(5) of the Environmental Management Act. The regulation requires the person in charge of the spilled substance to take all reasonable and practical action to stop, contain and minimize the effects of the spill.
Statute: Environmental Management Act
Relevant Section or Regulation:
- Sections 79 - Spill prevention and reporting of the Environmental Management Act
- Section 81 - Pollution prevention orders of the Environmental Management Act