We Want to Hear From You

Metro Vancouver is conducting engagement on a Discussion Paper that describes a proposed regulation to manage emissions from open-air burning of vegetative debris from agriculture, land clearing, residential land maintenance, and forestry practices. Open-air burning of vegetative debris is the combustion of materials, such as branches or plant stalks, that is conducted outside a structure and does not vent to a chimney or stack, resulting in the emission of smoke.

We want to hear feedback from residents, businesses, First Nations, and other orders of governments on the proposed regulation that would protect public health and the environment in a simpler, more efficient, and less costly manner.

The first phase of engagement on a new approach to managing emissions from open-air burning of vegetative debris was conducted from November 2019 to July 2020. We have made revisions to the initial proposal based on concerns and suggestions raised during that engagement. You can see the feedback summary from Phase 1 of engagement here.

You can provide feedback through the online feedback form, by emailing AQBylaw@metrovancouver.org or by calling 604-432-6200. All feedback received during consultation will be compiled and presented to the MVRD Board. We encourage you to provide feedback by December 15, 2021.

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FEEDBACK FORM

We also encourage you to fill out a short feedback form by December 15, 2021.

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Impacts on Air Quality

Smoke emissions from open-air burning of vegetative debris contain fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and other harmful substances. These air contaminants can affect health and the environment, and some contribute to climate change. Because of the population density in parts of Metro Vancouver, smoke emissions from open-air burning can impact many people. Within the region, open-air burning activities are authorized for specific times under certain conditions, and this can create the potential for short-term exposure to elevated levels of smoke.

The proposed regulation is intended to provide a simpler and more efficient way to manage open-air burning of vegetative debris in cases where specified requirements are met, while protecting air quality and health. Metro Vancouver currently authorizes emissions from open‑air burning of vegetative debris through site‑specific, short-term approvals. The region currently does not have an emission regulation for open-air burning. A new emission regulation for the Metro Vancouver region can set equivalent requirements to the provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation that was amended in September 2019, or be more restrictive, but cannot be less restrictive.

Overview


Summary of Proposed Requirements

  • Registration

    What is involved?

    • Register site address or renew registration at any time in a calendar year.
    • Pay applicable fee.

    What do the proposed requirements apply to?

    Open-air burning of clean, seasoned vegetative debris generated on-site within 5 km of the fire, except

    • fires that are less than 0.6 m in height and less than 0.75 m for the largest horizontal dimension,
    • concurrent burning of three or more piles each not larger than 2 m in height and 3 m for the largest horizontal dimension,
    • burning of piles larger than 2 m in height and 3 m for the largest horizontal dimension, and
    • burning debris from dry land sorts.
      or Burning that uses air curtain technology.

  • Before burning

    What is involved?

    • Locate burn pile to meet distance requirements.
    • Only burn if Metro Vancouver Open Burning Advisory message indicates it is okay to start or continue a burn.
    • Notify neighbours and Metro Vancouver.

    What do the proposed requirements apply to?

    • No burning within 50 m of residences and businesses and 100 m of hospitals, schools, and community care facilities. Only burning of diseased vegetative debris or for community wildfire risk reduction between 50 m and 100 m from residences and businesses, and between 100 m and 500 m from hospitals, schools, and community care facilities. Burning according to varying levels of restrictions within defined distances from residences, businesses, hospitals, schools, and community care facilities.
    • All burns done under proposed regulation.
  • Burn initiation

    What is involved?

    • Start burning only within defined hours.
    • Limit burning to no more than 12 days per year and 6 days per month.
    • Comply with burn bans and municipal and fire department regulations.

    What do the proposed requirements apply to?

    All burns done under proposed regulation.

  • After burning

    What is involved?

    Keep records for one year.

    What do the proposed requirements apply to?

    All burns done under proposed regulation.

A comparison of the requirements of the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation and the proposed requirements for a Metro Vancouver open-air burning emission regulation is available in the discussion paper.

Contact


  • Open-Air Burning Consultation

    Mon to Fri (8:00 am - 4:30 pm)
    Information Centre
    604-432-6200

    Email: AQBylaw

    Mail: Attn: Open-Air Burning Consultation
    Air Quality and Climate Change
    4515 Central Boulevard,
    Burnaby, BC, V5H 0C6