Air Quality Regulatory Framework
Air quality in B.C. is
managed through a range of provincial acts and regulations (laws). The federal
government also plays an important role, along with regional and municipal
Management Act and the Waste
Discharge Regulation are the principal pieces of legislation for air
quality and other environmental issues in
British Columbia. Flowing from them are
regulations that address specific air quality issues. These regulations set
conditions on how certain classes of activities (e.g., a type of industry or
business) may be undertaken. For information on obtaining an authorization to
discharge waste to the environment, see Waste Discharge Authorizations.
The Government of B.C.
consults with the public, business and industry, nongovernmental organizations
and other interested parties in developing legislation. Local governments can
also pass bylaws to control emissions from activities such as backyard burning.
Air quality management
involves other processes and legislation. This includes the environmental
assessment process under the Environmental
Assessment Act. Proposed projects may need to undergo a formal
environmental assessment, if required by criteria in federal or provincial
legislation. This process identifies and assesses the potential impacts of a
proposed project and develops measures to eliminate, minimize or manage those
impacts. For more information, visit the Environmental
Assessment Office website.
government has passed crucial acts and regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse
gas emissions and addressing climate change. Regulations under these acts are
being developed. Since air quality and climate change are interrelated, these
laws will help decrease emissions that contribute to air pollution. To find out
more, see the Ministry of Environment's website: Policy, Legislation & Programs.
Airshed planning (management), which involves a variety of
government jurisdictions and other stakeholders, is another important way governments address air pollution.
In this section: