Keywords: Waste Management Act – s. 3(2), 33(2), 33(5); Agricultural Waste Control Regulation – s. 2; Code of Agricultural Practice for Waste Management – s. 13; Manure Management Guidelines for the Lower Fraser Valley; Environmental Guidelines for Dairy Producers in British Columbia
Brandy Farms Ltd. appealed a decision by the Deputy Director of Waste Management, upholding the issuance of a Pollution Prevention Order requiring Brandy Farms to cease application of agricultural waste (manure) to its land and develop a Best Agricultural Waste Management Plan. The Director found that manure had been applied to ground that was essentially bare at a rate that exceeded the amount that would be used by the crop in the field, and that the concentration of ammonia in the field ditch was sufficient to cause a concern about likely pollution, contrary to the Code of Agricultural Practice. Brandy Farms appealed to the Board.
The Panel found that Brandy Farms had not complied with the applicable guidelines regarding manure application. It also concluded that, contrary to Brandy Farm’s assertion that it did not cause the contaminant levels found in the ditch, the most reasonable explanation for those contaminant levels in the ditch was leaching from the fields after the heavy rains that occurred shortly after the application of the manure, combined with the lack of a well-established cover crop. The Panel found that the levels of contaminants in the ditch water impaired the usefulness of the water for livestock and irrigation and, if continued, would render the water unfit for aquatic life. If continued, the Panel found that the elevated levels of contaminants could have impaired the usefulness of the environment. The Panel held that there were reasonable grounds to issue the Order despite the fact that testing and scientific analysis of the water had not been completed. The Order was upheld and the appeal was dismissed.