Electoral Area A director Blaise Salmon. (Submitted)

Electoral Area A director Blaise Salmon. (Submitted)

Cowichan Valley Regional District updates soil bylaw to strengthen regulations

Changes target district’s electoral areas

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has updated its soil deposit bylaw to strengthen regulations for soil deposit activities within the region’s electoral areas.

The soil bylaw, adopted by the board at its meeting on July 14, replaces the former soil deposit bylaw adopted in 2019.

The bylaw is intended to regulate deposits of clean soil, and to prevent unauthorized imports of contaminated soil and deleterious impacts to streams and other environmentally sensitive features.

Under the new bylaw, Type C soil deposits, the most unstable of the four soil types, in excess of 1,000 cubic metres are now limited to properties with commercial or industrial zoning.

Applicants for these permits must provide various plans and reports, including an environmental protection plan, site remediation plan, and in certain cases a groundwater impact assessment.

Applicants must also place ads in local newspapers about their proposed activities, including the location, amount and duration of soil deposits and measures to be taken to mitigate environmental impacts.

The new soil deposit regulations are intended to reduce nuisances, including heavy traffic and noise currently experienced in residential areas, and to improve public awareness of proposed soil deposit activities.

“By strengthening the requirements for large-scale soil deposits, we’ve taken another step towards ensuring our rural communities are protected against the harm that can be associated with these activities,” said Blaise Salmon, vice-chairman of the CVRD and director for Mill Bay.

“With a more rigorous application process in place, we expect to see fewer infractions and provide greater transparency for our residents.”

The bylaw and associated permit application forms are available on the CVRD website at https://www.cvrd.bc.ca/soil.

To make enquiries or report potential infractions, contact the CVRD via the Soil Deposit Hotline at 250-746-2646 or by emailing soils@cvrd.bc.ca.

The BC Ministry of Environment oversees contaminated sites and enforces violations of environmental protection laws. Enquiries about contaminated sites may be directed to envprotdiv@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca.

To report suspected polluters, contact the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277.