The majority of
complaints are about odour, non-compliance with the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) or specific permit
conditions, water quality and nuisance issues such as dust or flies. On
average, the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) responds to
approximately 250 complaints each year.
of dead animals is regulated by Agriculture and Forestry under the Animal Health Act. The Natural
Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) refers all complaints about the disposal of
dead animals to Agriculture and Forestry
(Regulatory Assurance division) for follow-up.
the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) determines that issues brought to its attention are acceptable
agricultural practice (as discussed under Part 1 of the Agricultural Operation Practices Act), complaints may be referred
to the Farmers’ Advocate Office, Agriculture
and Forestry for review.
Livestock in water
Operation Practices Act (AOPA) regulates
confined feeding operations and manure management. It does not give the Natural
Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) authority for grazing livestock and does
not address the proximity of grazing cattle to common bodies of water. However,
the act does give the NRCB authority to address seasonal feeding and bedding
sites that pose a risk to common bodies of water. Board inspectors will respond
to issues of manure posing a risk to a water body, and will consult with
Environment and Parks, municipal irrigation district authorities and other
regulators as required.
complaints include concerns about stockpiling and spreading. Natural Resources
Conservation Board (NRCB) inspectors have jurisdiction for these issues under
the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA). For more information, please see the frequently asked questions Manure Storage & Facilities and Manure Application & Setbacks.
Conservation Board (NRCB) inspectors respond to inappropriate disturbance complaints
about dust and flies, and
can require an operator to take steps to control these issues.
with AOPA or a specific permit condition
about non-compliance with the Agricultural
Operation Practices Act (AOPA) or a specific permit condition will be investigated
or responded to within five business days. If a call back is requested the
complainant will be contacted within one business day of registering the
complaint. Confirmed and repeated non-compliance may be responded to by
Dust and flies are
common nuisance complaints. Board inspectors may require an operator to take
steps to control these nuisance issues.
Odour from manure
spreading or liquid storage lagoons is a common complaint. Permit conditions
may require an operator to take specific actions to mitigate odour. For
example, depending on soil conditions, an operator may be required to
incorporate manure within a specific number of hours or to use direct injection
when spreading manure. Actions may also need to be taken to minimize odours
from liquid manure storage facilities. However, some degree of odour is normal
and is considered accepted agricultural practice.
Conservation Board (NRCB) inspectors use an odour protocol to determine whether
an odour exceeds the level that would be considered accepted agricultural
practice. Complainants may be asked to track the intensity and duration of the
odour incidents. Tracking helps the inspector determine potential causes of the
odour and what steps might be appropriate to take to mitigate it.
Operation Practices Act (AOPA) requires operations constructed after
January 1, 2002 to have sufficient available space for nine-months of manure
storage. Operators must ensure that manure that has accumulated over the summer
months is spread before the onset of winter. Many operators practice good
neighbour relations by advising neighbours in advance of spreading.
Manure transport and road
The Natural Resources
Conservation Board (NRCB) does not have jurisdiction over road use.
Jurisdiction for road use depends on whether the road is classified as a
municipal or provincial road. Operators who truck manure are responsible for
obtaining any permits necessary to use these roads and for complying with all
applicable road regulations. The NRCB logs and responds to complaints regarding
road use and will forward the complaint to the appropriate authority.
Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA)
and regulations require confined feeding operations to prevent
manure-contaminated water from leaving the property or entering a common body
of water. If an issue is identified, Natural Resources Conservation Board
(NRCB) inspectors consult as required with provincial and federal regulators
responsible for water quality. Inspectors may also initiate enforcement action
under AOPA if required. Environment and Parks has authority for water quality
under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. Environment
Canada is responsible for the protection of fish
and fish habitat.
Operators require a
permit under the
Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) to construct manure collection or
storage facilities, or to increase their animal numbers. Operators who are
planning to construct a new facility, expand an existing facility or increase
their livestock should contact the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) or
an Agriculture and Forestry confined feeding operation extension specialist, before beginning construction, to
confirm whether they need a permit.
potential consequences for constructing without a permit can be quite severe.
Penalties can include being required to stop construction, to remove the
animals from the facility, or to stop using the facility to store manure or
hold livestock. In rare circumstances, operators may even be required to remove
If the NRCB receives a
complaint about unauthorized construction, the inspector will contact the
operator, and will conduct a site inspection if the inspector is not familiar
with the site. Compliance and enforcement typically start with education and
voluntary compliance. If necessary, verbal directives, written compliance directives, and
enforcement or emergency orders will be issued. In extreme cases, court action
can be taken.