The Natural Resources Conservation Board is responsible for ensuring that operators are compliant with the Agricultural Operation Practices Act and the terms of their permit, which may include specific conditions that were included when the permit was issued.
Inspectors work closely with Environment and Parks, municipalities, the Regulatory Services Division of Agriculture and Forestry, regional health authorities and other regulatory bodies to investigate and respond to potential risks to the environment.
Confined feeding operations that pre-date the Agricultural Operation Practices Act are grandfathered by the act. The existing facilities on these operations are not required by the act to meet its technical specifications, but the operations may not cause a risk to the environment or cause inappropriate disturbance, such as noise or dust that would not be normal agricultural practice. New construction and expansion of existing facilities require an application to the Natural Resources Conservation Board and must meet the standards set out in the act.
Confined feeding operations that pre-date the Agricultural Operation Practices Act and have a permit issued by the local municipality must also meet the conditions that were included in their permit when it was issued. Operators may apply to the board to have a permit condition changed if it is no longer relevant to their operation. Public notification may be required depending on the type of permit and the change that is being requested.
The Compliance and Enforcement Policy (Operational Policy 2016-8) outlines the board’s policies and procedures for responding to complaints, non-compliance issues and risks to the environment. The policy is based on problem solving in consultation with the operator, and complaint response. If compliance is not achieved through education and voluntary compliance, enforcement will progress to verbal directives, written directives, enforcement or emergency orders, and, in rare cases, court orders and prosecution.