Neighbours Must Air Their Dirty Secrets - New
Notice Requirements Under The Contaminated Sites Regulation
"It is your
business when the wall next door catches fire."
It is bad enough to learn
that your property is contaminated, now you may have to
notify your neighbour of the contamination if it appears
likely that the contaminants have migrated to their
property. On February 4, 2002 amendments to the British
Columbia Contaminated Sites Regulation
came into effect. Among the amendments are new Sections
60.1., both of which place an obligation on
responsible persons to notify the Ministry of Water, Land and Air
Protection and the owner of neighbouring
lands if substances are migrating or likely migrating
onto the neighbouring lands causing or likely causing,
Section 57, the obligation to
notify is triggered when the migration or likely
migration of contaminants is discovered during the
course of an independent remediation and under
Section 60.1 when the discovery
is made during a site investigation.
The obligation to notify is on
"responsible persons" which includes current and
previous owners and operators, persons who have
transported or produced substances and have disposed of
them at the site, and certain other classes of persons
designated by regulation. Failure to comply with the new
notification provisions is an offence under the Waste Management Act punishable
by a fine and possibly imprisonment.
If you have knowledge of contaminants
migrating or likely migrating from a property in British
Columbia onto neighbouring lands, we recommend that you
immediately contact your legal counsel to determine
whether you have an obligation to notify under the new
For more general information, please
visit the Contaminated Sites Website of
the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.
If you require assistance in determining your
obligations under the new notification requirements,
please contact Aaron Singer.