British Columbia Ministry of Environment (BCMOE)

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Who or what does the organization report to?

British Columbia Provincial Government

Mandatory/Regulatory or Voluntary/Non-Regulatory

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is responsible for the effective protection, management, and conservation of British Columbia's water, land, air, and living resources in accordance with the Environmental Management Act.

The Environmental Management Act governs the management of waste in British Columbia. The act provides the authority for introducing wastes into the environment, while protecting our health and the environment. Specifically, the act enables the use of permits, regulations and codes of practice to authorize discharges to the environment and enforcement options, such as administrative penalties, orders and fines to encourage compliance

The Integrated Pest Management Act sets out the requirements for the use and sale of pesticides in British Columbia. Requirements are set through a pesticide classification system and regulatory provisions and standards for licenses, certification, permits, and confirmations of pesticide use notices under Pest Management Plans.

Both the Environmental Management Act and the Integrated Pest Management Act include enforcement options, such as administrative penalties, orders and fines to encourage compliance.


What does the organization regulate or is in charge of with respect to vineyards/wineries

The Environmental Management Act - How the Ministry Regulates

All operations/ facilities must be conscious of the overriding Environmental Management Act requirement 6(4) that states “a person must not introduce waste into the environment in such a manner or quantity as to cause pollution”.

In accordance with the Waste Discharge Regulation (WDR) Schedule 2 “Beverage Industry”,  operations engaged in producing or manufacturing greater than 16,000,000 L per year of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages (other than water) will require a site specific permit to authorize the discharge of waste (effluent, air and/or refuse) from operations to the environment.

Regardless of if a facility requires a site specific permit, all operations/ facilities must be conscious of the overriding Environmental Management Act requirement 6(4) that states “a person must not introduce waste into the environment in such a manner or quantity as to cause pollution”.

The province does not recommend the burning of waste, but instead that organic matter be composted in accordance with the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) or transported to a facility authorized to receive and compost the material. Effluent (if under the WDR threshold listed above) must be discharge in a manner that does not cause pollution. Information on composting and facility requirements can be accessed here: Food and Organic Waste Regulations.

  • The Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation governs the burning of vegetative material associated with a range of activities including agriculture and sets out conditions under which burning of vegetative debris is authorized. The regulation does not generally prohibit burning, but rather aims to ensure that burning is conducted with minimal risk to air quality. It is highly recommended alternatives to burning be prioritized. Information on the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation and the ventilation index can be accessed here: Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation
  • Please note, local governments and communities may add stricter requirements to larger-scale open burning.
  • It is recommended operators reach out to the Agricultural Land Commission for additional information on the applicability of the Right to Farm Act and potential requirements. 

Depending on an operation’s specific situation and proposed activity, requirements under the Ministry’s Agricultural Environmental Management Code of Practice may be applicable (i.e. uses of wood residue, land application of nutrient sources, composting of agricultural by-products, etc.). The Code of Practice can be accessed here: Code of Practice 


The Integrated Pest Management Act - How the Ministry Regulates

The Integrated Pest Management Act and Regulation establish classes of pesticides and requirements for licenses, certificates, permits and confirmations for each class. The classification system utilizes definitions and labeling for sale and use of pesticides set out in the federal Pest Control Products Act. Pesticide classes under the Integrated Pest Management Act are:

  • Permit-restricted: these pesticides are listed by name in the regulation. They are the most strictly controlled, requiring a permit for purchase or application;
  • Restricted: these pesticides have the Restricted product class specified on their label. A pesticide applicator certificate is required for their purchase or use;
  • Commercial: these pesticides have the Commercial product class specified on their label;
  • Domestic: these pesticides have the Domestic product class specified on their label. They are intended for use by non-professionals in or around private homes and gardens; and
  • Excluded: these pesticides are listed by name or type of use in the regulation. Their use or sale does not require a license, certificate, permit or confirmation.

Any person storing, transporting or using a pesticide must do so in a manner that minimizes hazards to human health and the environment following the standards set out in the Regulation. Pesticides, other than excluded and domestic class pesticides, must be stored separately from food, in a properly ventilated facility and with appropriate signage and restrictions to access. Pesticides being transported must be secured in a manner that prevents escape or discharge.

More information on pesticide use in B.C. including certification, licensing and production guides can be accessed here: Pesticide Use  

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