Chalk up delays in the province’s revision of the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation to COVID-19.
“We were anticipating regulatory updates to occur in fall 2020. However, at this point we are expecting this to be delayed due to COVID-19,” the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy told Country Life in BC this week.
The regulation is significant because of its role in managing composting activities and the application of biosolids. Originally promulgated in 2002, the regulation addresses “the recycling of organic material while protecting human health and the environment.” Two intentions papers, one in September 2016 and another in September 2018, have been issued for discussion with a view to updating the regulation “based on the best and most current science.”
Proposed policies include increased public transparency and information sharing, including specific requirements with respect to notifying and engaging with First Nations and local governments.
The report on the most recent consultation recommended steps to reduce the risk of introducing invasive weeds via compost and the development of communications materials for ranchers and farmers considering applying biosolids. Biosolids were a hot topic in the consultation, frequently featuring as something that shouldn’t be applied at all.
Clarification was requested on whether substrate from cannabis facilities could be composted and whether or not the Agricultural Land Commission regulations had a bearing on the regulation.
A spokesperson with the environment ministry says that most feedback supported the proposed changes, however, and will shape the new regulation.