Burning Bylaw Review
The ACRD is introducing burning regulations for properties within the six ACRD Electoral Areas: Bamfield, Beaufort, Long Beach, Sproat Lake, Beaver Creek & Cherry Creek:
- R1030 Solid-Fuel Burning Appliance Emission Regulation 2021 - Adopted
- R1032 Outdoor Burning Smoke Control Regulation 2021 - Adopted
Thank you to those that provided your input to ACRD staff and Directors and to those that participated in the online burning regulations public survey. At their June 9, 2021 meeting, the ACRD Board received a report detailing the public and agency input received on the proposed regulations through the public engagement program conducted over spring 2021. The engagement included the online survey, to which the Regional District received 919 public responses, a dedicated ACRD Burning Regulation webpage to share information, social media engagement, agency referrals to relevant public health and air quality agencies, Advisory Planning Commissions and the Agricultural Development Committee.
ACRD staff have compiled the public input received and have presented reports and amended bylaws to the Alberni Valley Air Quality Council, the ACRD Electoral Area Directors Committee and the ACRD Board of Directors. On September 22, 2021, the ACRD Board gave three readings to amended Bylaws R1030 and R1032 and directed staff to conduct a public communication plan in conjunction with the Board considering the bylaws for adoption in October 2021.
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
On September 22, 2021, the Board directed staff to conduct a communication plan to educate the public about the burning regulations. The goal of the communication plan would be to inform the public of the new regulations and build knowledge within the region about the need for burning restrictions and the benefits to the communities in the region. The communication plan launched in October 2021 and involves notices mailed to ACRD households, newspaper advertisements and social media engagement highlighting the information provided on the ACRD Burning Bylaw Review webpage. The bylaws have a proposed effective date of November 1, 2021 and staff expect that the Board will consider Bylaw R1030 and R1032 for adoption in October 2021.
ACRD Planning Department E: firstname.lastname@example.org | P: 250-720-2700
Let's work together on improving air quality in our region!