Agriculture Inspections To Help Protect Drinking Water (2001)

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As part of a provincial strategy to protect drinking water, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks staff will inspect farms throughout the Fraser Valley to ensure industry compliance with regulations around waste management.

Inspections will begin in October to determine compliance with requirements for covering manure piles and manure application. Under the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the Code of Agricultural Practice for Waste Management, producers must note the following:

  • Manure piles must be covered from Oct. 1 to April 1 inclusive to prevent the escape of agricultural waste. Manure piles where tarps have blown off will be considered uncovered manure piles.
  • Spreading manure on bare land during the fall and winter is not acceptable. Bare land includes harvested crops such as corn and vegetables, poorly established cover crops, etc.
  • Spreading manure on grassland during the months of November, December and January is not recommended. The risk of contaminated runoff or leaching of nutrients to surface or groundwater is greatest during this period.

The pollution regulations are designed to ensure that agricultural producers protect surface water and groundwater quality, especially in areas vulnerable to contamination such as the Abbotsford?Sumas aquifer. Protecting B.C.'s fresh water resource is vital to human health, community sustainability and the environment.

Non-compliance with provincial agricultural waste regulations may result in a request for a best agricultural waste management plan for the operation, an order, ticket or other legal action under the Waste Management Act.

Producers looking for help developing strategies to deal with manure can contact the regional office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries or the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.

For more information on B.C.'s freshwater strategy visit the environment ministry Web site at www.elp.gov.bc.ca/wat/wrs/freshwater/FSforBC.htm on the Internet.

Editors Note: Copies of the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and the Code of Agricultural Practice for Waste Management are available on request or visit the Web at http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/stat_reg/regs/elp

Contact:

Bev Anderson, (604) 582-5340
Agricultural Impact Officer
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
Surrey

Betsy Terpsma, (604) 582-5306
Communications
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
Surrey

Rick Van Kleeck, (604) 556-3100
Resource Management
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Abbotsford

For more information on the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. visit our Web site at http://www.gov.bc.ca/elp on the Internet.

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