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New B.C. penalty program aims to encourage compliance


June 26, 2014
By Ground Water Canada

Topics

June 26, 2014, Victoria – The British Columbia Ministry of Environment
is introducing an administrative penalty program to encourage compliance
with the
Environmental Management Act and the Integrated Pest Management
Act.

June 26, 2014, Victoria – The British Columbia Ministry of Environment is introducing an administrative penalty program to encourage compliance with the
Environmental Management Act and the Integrated Pest Management
Act.

The new program makes it possible to give out financial penalties to
violators who fail to comply with an Act or regulation, or with orders,
licences or permits issued by ministry officials.

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The goal is to encourage compliance and discourage potential
violators. Administrative penalties are to be used when non-compliance
has a direct environmental impact or interferes with the protection of
the environment.

This new program fills a gap between warnings and violation tickets
for minor offences and criminal prosecutions for more serious offences.

Examples of violations include:

  • Discharging waste without a required authorization;
  • Releasing a substance into the environment that exceeds what is permitted under an authorization or regulation; or
  • Failure to submit monitoring reports.

A violation will fall into one of four categories with maximum
penalties of $2,000, $10,000, $40,000 and $75,000. Each violation will
be evaluated on a case by case basis with no fixed penalties. Final
decisions on penalties will be made by statutory decision makers within
the Ministry of Environment.