On November 3, the province proclaimed the Environmental Manage and Protection Act 2010, bringing into effect the supporting regulations known as the Environmental Code. The code is the cornerstone of the province's new results-based approach to environmental regulation.
Results-based regulations define required environmental outcomes, empowering operators and organizations to determine how those results will be achieved or surpassed. This focus on results rather than process will provide the flexibility needed to apply innovative solutions, and allow the Ministry of Environment to focus on activities of greatest environmental risk.
The environmental code will come into force in stages in the new year to allow affected industries to prepare for the change. Chapters dealing with forest management will come into force January 5, 2015, with the remaining chapters in effect on June 1, 2015. Activities not included in the first edition of the code will continue to be regulated as before.
Of note to waste managers and municipalities, the chapters on landfills / transfer stations are NOT included in the approved code. Those chapters were removed because of stakeholder concerns about unknown costs and liabilities. Landfills and transfer stations will continue to be regulated through permitting and inspections until a provincial solid waste management strategy is developed.