Hospital Pollution Prevention Bylaw

​Hospital Pollution Prevention Bylaw

To protect the environment and the wastewater system, hospitals are required to develop pollution prevention plans to reduce the discharge of pollutants into the wastewater system. Hospitals have the potential to discharge pollutants in their daily operations, such as pharmaceuticals, formalin and biomedical waste, that can negatively impact the wastewater system or water quality.

Submit a plan or progress report

What Hospitals Does the Bylaw Apply To?

The bylaw applies to hospitals that are:

  • Located in Metro Vancouver (within the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District)
  • Included in Definition 1 a) of the Hospital Act (see list below)
  • Considered to be high-volume dischargers (releasing greater than 300 m3 of wastewater into the sewer system in a 30-day period)

The bylaw applies to the following institutions:

Vancouver Coastal Health Fraser Health
  • Lions Gate Hospital
  • Richmond Hospital
  • UBC Health Sciences Centre Hospital
  • Vancouver General Hospital
  • Burnaby Hospital
  • Delta Hospital
  • Eagle Ridge Hospital
  • Jim Pattison Outpatient Care & Surgery Centre
  • Langley Memorial Hospital
  • Peace Arch District Hospital
  • Ridge Meadows Hospital
  • Royal Columbian Hospital
  • Surrey Memorial Hospital
Providence Health Care Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
  • St. Paul's Hospital
  • B.C. Cancer Agency – Vancouver
  • B.C. Cancer Agency – Surrey
  • British Columbia's Children's Hospital & B.C. Women's Hospital


The bylaw does not apply to:

  • Private hospitals and smaller acute care facilities. These include nursing or convalescing homes, rehabilitation centres and extended care facilities.

Main Bylaw Requirements

The main bylaw requirements are:

  • Develop a pollution prevention plan and submit it to Metro Vancouver for approval.  The first plans were due in 2020.
  • Update the pollution prevention plan every five years.
  • Submit an annual progress report.
  • Pay an annual administration fee of $5,000 or a reduced fee if certain conditions are met.

 Bylaw to Regulate the Discharge of Waste from Hospitals (Bylaw No. 319)

How to Develop a Hospital Pollution Prevention Plan

  • Consider using the guide and template to help you develop pollution prevention plans that meet bylaw requirements.  
  • At a minimum:
    • Include measures to manage biomedical waste, unused drugs, formaldehyde, ‘silver-rich' solutions, and fats, oils and grease (FOG) from cooking  
    • Include a section on  priority areas for continuous improvement including improving the disposal of wipes, reviewing the use of macerators, and using less toxic chemicals
  • Have a qualified professional for the specific area of operations complete that section of the plan.
  • Have an authorized person from the hospital who has overall responsibility for submitting and implementing the plan sign off on the plan.

 Hospital Pollution Prevention Plan Guide

 Hospital Pollution Prevention Plan Template


Metro Vancouver