Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaws
What is it?
Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaws can be used to prohibit the deposit or removal of soil within a municipality without a permit, and may also be drafted to apply to other materials such as construction waste. The goal such a bylaw is to protect topsoil, riparian areas, waterbodies, and agricultural lands from erosion, sedimentation, and pollution, and to prevent the introduction of invasive species. As well, Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaws protect public health and safety.
The bylaw provides a means to manage activities that can pollute or degrade the natural infrastructure system that are not already regulated by other policies. Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaws can also enable enforcement through issuing of fines and court action.
How can municipalities use it?
By instituting a permitting process through a Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw, a municipality can regulate activities that may cause harm to the environment and public health. Application requirements and permit conditions can be used to ensure that permitted activities comply with best management practices.
What are the advantages?
The advantages of a Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw include:
Protects waterbodies and riparian areas from pollution, erosion, and sedimentation
Prevents the removal of topsoil, which protects the integrity of ecological lands
Reduces negative impacts to water quality
Prevents the introduction of invasive species through soil deposits
Can help educate developers and community members about the adverse impacts soil deposit and removal can have
What should you watch out for?
The following should be considered when creating Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaws:
Resources are needed to manage a permit approval process
Enforcement of the bylaw is necessary to ensure adherence
Education is needed to inform residents of bylaw
How can it help maintain natural infrastructure?
Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaws help to maintain the natural infrastructure system by prohibiting the deposit of materials that can cause pollution, sedimentation, erosion, and introduction of invasive species, as well as prohibiting the removal of soil resources necessary for the integrity of the natural infrastructure system.
The City of Kelowna Soil Removal and Deposit Bylaw – This Soil Removal and Deposit Bylaw sets out the regulations for removing and/or depositing soil on land within the City of Kelowna.
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw – This Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw seeks to address issues/impacts by providing the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District with both proactive and reactive regulatory tools.
Green Bylaws Toolkit: for conserving sensitive ecosystems and green infrastructure – This document is an important resource for understanding how municipalities can safeguard the environment from a regional to a site level. It clearly explains each tool, and provides case studies and examples of bylaws that are in use in British Columbia. This document describes and provides case studies of soil deposit and removal bylaws.
Did we miss something?
If you know of a resource that should be on this list - or your municipality has a sample or case that should be here, please let us know!