Legal Perspectives: Environmental Law Issues in Agriculture

March 25, 2014 | Jennifer Spencer, Wendy A. Baker

For those of you who missed our recent seminars on environmental law issues in agriculture, we are pleased to have a summary as well as a link to the presentation materials here on the Food Web blog.

View the presentation materials from our Vancouver session held in Langley on March 14, 2014.

  • Manure Law: Regulatory Control over Nutrient Management Provincial governments across Canada have enacted regulatory schemes to control the storage and management of manures and other nutrients, in an attempt to balance environmental responsibilities with the realities of agricultural production. This session will briefly canvass the regulatory landscape across the country and then focus on nutrient management in BC under the Code of Agricultural Practice for Waste Management and the Waste Management Act.
  • Air Emissions Issues: Metro Vancouver’s Air Quality Management Bylaw governs ambient air quality in the lower mainland and has far reaching implications for businesses. Odour, emissions, and dust all create potential conflict between businesses and their neighbours. Get an update on GHG Emissions regulation in BC, a review of regional air emission initiatives and the proposed new air quality bylaw. Also, get some pointers on the do’s and don’ts for application for and compliance with air quality permits.
  • Fisheries Act: Issues One environmental challenge often faced (or forgotten about) is working in and around streams. In particular, it is keeping on the right side of fisheries protection laws that not only protect the fish and fish streams but also any other areas on which they depend. This means that even dry streams, human made drainage ditches and land and trees (riparian areas) near water courses may be protected. How do agricultural operations manage these risks and avoid running afoul of the these laws; and what do the recent changes to the federal Fisheries Act mean?
  • Right to Farm Legislation: Farming operations can run into conflict with neighbors who complain about air pollution, odours, noise pollution, and other nuisances. Right to Farm legislation provides farmers with tools to carry on their normal farm practices in the face of such complaints. Find out more about what Right to Farm legislation is, and whether it applies to your operations.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch!  Bonus points for anyone who asks Jennifer Spencer about her Right to Farm case involving guinea fowl.


This blog sets out a variety of materials relating to the law to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only; the author(s) of this blog do not intend the blog to be a source of legal advice. Please retain and seek the advice of a lawyer and use your own good judgement before choosing to act on any information included in the blog. If you choose to rely on the materials, you do so entirely at your own risk.