Burning Bylaw Review
Why is the ACRD proposing new burning bylaws?
Open burning and wood burning for residential heat can negatively affect air quality in our communities, leading to both short term and long term health effects for our residents. The Port Alberni Air Quality Council (AQC) is a multi-stakeholder group that is working collaboratively to improve air quality within the region. The AQC has focused attention on the need for burning regulations within the region to better control the emission of smoke and particulate matter from burning in the rural areas. Presently, there are no comprehensive open burning or woodstove burning bylaws in place in the rural areas of the ACRD.
Island Health and the Ministry of Environment have continuously called for improved regulation of open burning within the region. The Province adopted the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (OBSCR) in September 2019, which governs the burning of vegetative material associated with land clearing, forestry operations and agriculture but exempts smaller-scale backyard burning of smaller vegetation. The City of Port Alberni, District of Tofino and District of Ucluelet each have regulations in place for outdoor burning and woodstove appliances but wood smoke does not stop at municipal boundaries. There are real health impacts relating to poor air quality and a collaborative, regional approach is required in order to effectively respond to air quality concerns from burning in the ACRD.
Air Quality & Burning Regulation Resources
- ACRD Particulate Matter Inventory
- 2018 AQ Health Presentation ACRD
- ACRD Respiratory Disease Statistics
- Air Quality Council - Smoke Pollution & Health Information
- Air Quality Council - Wood Burning as Residential Heat Source Information
- Air Quality Council - Backyard & Land Clearing Burning Information
- Air Quality Council - Slash Burning & Wildfires Information
- Air Quality Council - Garbage Burning Information
- Air Quality Council - Burning Regulations Information
In April 2020, the ACRD Board endorsed an eight-point public engagement plan (see below) to engage with ACRD residents on the two burning bylaws proposed for the region. A public survey was open from April 20 to May 16, 2021 to get input on the proposed burning regulations. Thank you to those who provided valuable input! ACRD Planning staff are compiling the public input received, then will present the results to the Alberni Valley Air Quality Council and prepare a report for consideration by the ACRD Board of Directors in June 2021. Please check back on this Burning Bylaw Review webpage for updates and new information.
ACRD Planning Department E: firstname.lastname@example.org | P: 250-720-2700
Let's work together on improving air quality in our region!