Overview Of British Columbia's New Spill Reporting Regulation

On 30 October 2017, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy repealed Spill Reporting Regulation BC Reg. 376/2008 and replaced it with Spill Reporting Regulation Ministerial Order No. M329. The new regulation, which is currently in effect, expands the circumstances under which spill reports must be provided to the province and increases the information that must be contained within such spill reports. Any person who has possession, charge, or control of a substance listed in the schedule to the new regulation (including any substance that can cause pollution) should ensure they are familiar with their obligations under the new regulation.

The Old Regulation
Under the old regulation, a person who had possession, charge, or control of a listed substance when it was spilled in an amount equal to or greater than the amount specified in the schedule to the old regulation was obligated to provide a spill report to the Provincial Emergency Program immediately after the spill occurred. The spill report was required to include, among other things, the contact information of the person who caused the spill, the location and time of the spill, the type and quantity of the substance spilled, the cause and effect of the spill, and the details of spill response actions. In addition, where a spilled occurred, the person who had possession, charge, or control of the listed substance when it was spilled was required to take all reasonable and practical steps to stop, contain, and minimize the effects of the spill.

The New Regulation
Under the new regulation, the triggers for reporting a spill and the information that must be provided to the province in connection with a spill have been substantially altered.

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