Illegal manure use in B.C. results in violation of WMA, fine

On August 7, 2003, a Chilliwack, B.C.-based company was fined $7,000 after pleading guilty to a charge under the Waste Management Act related to improper spreading of manure near a drinking water source.

Wie-Bet-Ter Holsteins Inc. was charged and fined $1,000 in provincial court and an additional order has been issued to pay $6,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. The charge was laid after an investigation by the conservation officer took place in October 2000. The company was warned twice in regard to illegal spreading of dairy manure on cornfields located above a sensitive aquifer.

According to the environment ministry, the city of Chilliwack obtains its drinking water from the Vedder aquifer, which is classified as an IA aquifer: the highest priority from a management and protection standpoint. Manure spread onto harvested cornfields late in the rainy season poses a threat to water quality because there are no growing crops and therefore no uptake of nutrients. Nitrates are leached straight through to the aquifer and contribute to the pollution of the water table.

The maximum fine for this type of offence is $1-million or up to six months in jail or both.

Through B.C.’s “Observe, Record, Report Program” citizens are are urged to help combat illegal activity. Call a Conservation Officer at 1-800-663-WILD (9453)