Sponsors: District of Vanderhoof
Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships
WHEREAS vacant sites or orphan properties known as “brownfields” are often on properties located along transportation corridors and in downtown core areas, are eyesores to the community and have caused real or suspected environmental contamination and negatively impact economic development of that specific site and in the general area of that specific site;
AND WHEREAS the owners of these “brownfield” sites have already reaped the benefits and should have an obligation to clean-up their own mess;
AND WHEREAS the UBCM membership endorsed resolution 2008-B33, which strongly urged the provincial government to take immediate steps to implement the previously adopted resolutions 2007-B29 and 2007-B70 that were passed at the 2007 Convention and no concrete action has taken place;
AND WHEREAS there has been no real progress to support rural communities continuing to face the challenge of economic loss and unsightly premises in their downtown core due to real or suspected environmental contamination on vacant lots;
AND WHEREAS provincial policies and regulations for remediation of brownfield sites are vague and not strictly enforced:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NCLGA and UBCM request that the Ministry of Environment be authorized to legislate that owners of all contaminated brownfield sites, regardless of their hazard rating, be remediated upon request from the local government and provide timely communication with the local government regarding remediation progress.
UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership endorsed a resolution in 2012 with the same wording, submitted by the same sponsor (2012-B26).
In response to resolution 2012-B26, the Province noted that they have implemented policy that imposes a time limit of one year for completion of site investigation of decommissioned sites. The time limit is meant to help expedite the remediation process and determine the degree of risk of contamination at these sites sooner. Provincial policy also includes the release of local government demolition permits so that structures that become unsightly if left in place may be removed in a timely manner.
In addition, the Province recently announced a new $1.5 million brownfield renewal funding program, which funds studies to determine whether a site is contaminated and to develop options for site restoration and redevelopment. The program is available to private property owners, including local governments, First Nations, non-profit agencies, and businesses.
Background: UBCM News Release - March 27, 2013
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources is now accepting applications for funding available under the Brownfield Renewal Funding Program. The program funds studies to determine if a site is contaminated and to develop options for site restoration and redevelopment. It is available to private property owners, including local governments, First Nations, non-profit agencies, and businesses.
Application forms are available online. The deadline for applications is May 17, 2013.
A brownfield is an industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused. Brownfield sites are often contaminated and have redevelopment potential. Brownfield redevelopment helps to increase commercial space, creating employment, improving community safety, retaining green space and reducing pressures on undeveloped land.
For more information about this program, please contact:
Jeff Thom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-356-2244.