Organic Matter Recycling Regulation

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Last spring, the BC Ministry of Environment announced a review of the BC Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) to ensure it remains protective of human health and the environment. An OMRR Policy Intentions Paper  followed in the fall, with the Ministry inviting comments on the intentions, as part of the stakeholder consultation process. This past March the Ministry provided an update on the status of the OMRR reporting that, based on feedback received and the need to potentially develop additional policy options, government wishes to obtain feedback on several policy areas. As such, a follow-up Intentions Paper is anticipated in summer 2017.

During the 2016 consultation process, 75 submissions were received over the 60 day comment period; and, included a submission by Northwest Biosolids. A summary of the feedback the Ministry received in 2016 is available here.

For the 2017 land application season, the Ministry is encouraging proponents to voluntarily engage First Nations; Ministry will make Guidance on First Nations engagement available. The Ministry invites any concerns, or questions regarding the 2017 land application season be sent to env.omrr.reg.reviews@gov.bc.ca. For more information about the OMRR review, see the Ministry’s website.

The current OMRR criteria and requirements were adopted from pre-existing legislation in BC and Canada, as well as from the work done in developing the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Part 503 rule. Amendments to the OMRR are of significant interest to all our members, as regulations from other countries can influence how other nations may consider customizing regulatory standards in the future.