To register a complaint with the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB), please call the 24-hour, toll free response line: 1-866-383-6722
Your personal information and identity is confidential, in accordance with the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA). Complainants who wish to receive follow up information can ask to be contacted by an NRCB inspector.
When the NRCB inspector contacts you, you can explain your concern and discuss the kind of information and frequency of communication you would like to receive and that the inspector can provide.
The majority of complaints are responded to within one business day. The majority of on site inspections, if an inspection is required, occur within five business days.
Inspectors aim to resolve complaints or ensure no further action is required within 90 days of receiving the complaint. Every complaint and all steps taken to resolve the complaint are tracked on the “Confined Feeding Operation (CFO) database.”
Serious contraventions, such as calls that deal with a manure release off the operator’s property, are the first priority. If this type of call is received after hours, the call is forwarded to the on-call senior inspector and responded to within 24 hours.
The Natural Resources Conservation Board Compliance and Enforcement Policy sets out the procedures inspectors follow when responding to a complaint.
The NRCB also conducts regular client satisfaction surveys through a professional survey firm. If you wish to provide the board with your feedback, your contact information will be required.
What to Expect When You File a Complaint
Your complaint will be entered in the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) confined feeding operation (CFO) database and forwarded to the inspector who is responsible for that region (or to the senior inspector, in the case of serious contraventions that occur after regular work hours).
If you have provided your contact information, the inspector who receives your complaint will contact you to confirm the details of your complaint. The inspector will contact you again to inform you how the complaint was resolved after they have completed their investigation, unless you have indicated that you do not want to be contacted.
After the inspector has contacted you, the inspector will determine the most efficient and appropriate response for that type of complaint, on a case by case basis.
For an emergency situation, the inspector will immediately proceed to the site.
Most often, inspectors conduct a site inspection in response to a complaint. In some cases complaints can be successfully handled by a telephone conversation with the operator.
If the inspector issues an enforcement order as a result of the complaint, the complaint file is closed and an enforcement order file is opened.
While odour complaints are most common, other common complaints include manure application on frozen or snow covered land, non-compliance with a permit condition, and water quality concerns. Information on these and other topics is available under Frequently Asked Questions.
The majority of complaints are about odour. Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) inspectors must determine the source of the odour, and whether the odour is creating an inappropriate disturbance or would be considered normal for an agricultural operation.
Inspectors use an odour protocol to help respond to odour complaints. Complainants may be asked to track the time, duration and frequency of the odour events to help the inspector assess the cause and determine the appropriate response.
The following information is logged in the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) confined feeding operation (CFO) database and is used by the NRCB to evaluate its complaint response procedures and timelines:
the date and time of the inspector’s follow up in response to your call
a record of communication with all parties
the time and date of site inspections
issues identified during a site inspection
follow up actions taken