Sponsors: Peace River Regional District
NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Endorse
WHEREAS illegal dumping of waste on private and crown land continues to be an issue across the Province resulting in unsightly, unsanitary and potentially dangerous refuse deposits in natural rural areas that should be protected and preserved for public enjoyment in ‘supernatural British Columbia’;
AND WHEREAS the problem of illegal dumping is an area of shared jurisdiction between multiple Provincial Ministries including Environment and Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, which results in decreased accountability and gaps in service:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the Provincial Government to designate a single Ministry as responsible for regulation of illegal dumping in the Province, including enforcement of said regulations and cleanup and removal of dumped waste.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM respectfully request that the Province provide adequate funding to the designated Ministry to ensure minimum staffing levels can be maintained in all areas of the Province to address the issue of illegal dumping.
This issue was previously identified as a concern under UBCM Resolution Number B27 (1996), B22 (2012) and B29 (2012).
The Ministry of Environment (MOE) has advised the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) that in addition to Conservation Officers working in the BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service Division of the Ministry; that MOE Environmental Protection Officers, MFLNRO staff, RCMP, and local government Bylaw Enforcement Officers may respond to complaints of illegal dumping. The PRRD wishes to see a lead agency take responsibility for this function.
In June of 2016, the Terrace Standard newspaper published a news story about illegal dumping in the area, and the Cowichan Valley Citizen newspaper also published a news story regarding illegal dumping in an area frequented by outdoor enthusiasts and a mere few kilometers from a regional recycling facility, confirming that the issue of illegal dumping is not localized in the northeast or northwest areas of the province.
According to statistics from the Society of BC Conservation Officers, there was a significant decrease in the levels of field strength staffing in all Regions of the Province (except the Okanagan) between 2001 and 2012, ranging from 23% to a 50% reduction. (http://wcel.org/sites/default/files/Staffing%20Level%20Comparison%202001%20to%202012%20-%20Final%20May%202013.pdf)
The UBCM membership has not considered a resolution requesting that the provincial government designate a single ministry to be responsible for regulation and enforcement of illegal dumping in BC. However, members did endorse resolution 2011-B89, which called on the provincial government to allocate additional human and financial resources to enforce, monitor and clean up illegal dump sites on Crown land; and resolution 2012-B29, which asked the Province to invest more resources to prosecute illegal dumping on Crown land.
In response to resolution 2011-B89, the provincial government expressed willingness to work directly with local governments to address local challenges with illegal dumping on a case by case basis.