Adam Williams – Kamloops This Week
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is doing everything it can to regulate the use of biosolids.
At the direction of the district’s board of directors, the TNRD held a public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 17, to consider zoning amendments to regulate commercial composting and limit the scale of agricultural composting in the region.
In essence, the TNRD was looking to restrict the sale of biosolid compost.
Following the public hearing and a lengthy discussion, the board passed the zoning amendment in a near-unanimous vote.
“What they [higher levels of government] do allow us to do is, through zoning, stop a farm or ranch from selling compost that they made on the land,” said Regina Sadilkova, the TNRD’s director of development services.
“They can bring it in to their lands and that’s whether it’s manure, biosolids from human waste-treatment plants, food scraps or mushroom compost. But, what we can do is say you cannot sell or export that from the farm.”
Under current regulations, farms are permitted to export 50 per cent of the compost they produce on the land, even if that compost is produced using biosolids.
Landowners already selling compost will be permitted to continue, protected by a grandfather clause in the Local Government Act, but future operations will be restricted. The clause will, however, restrict properties from expanding the land used in the production of compost.
Personal use will also be allowed to continue and the change will apply only to rural properties.
“If you’re a big ranch with 10 properties, you can spread it all over your 10 properties,” Sadilkova said. “But, you can’t go selling it to golf courses and exporting it. It sort of limits the scale, again with some exceptions.”