Environmental Regulatory Compliance for
Highway Development and Operations

Burning Wood Waste

Potential Approval, Permit or Code of Practice Requirements:

  • A person who carries out open burning of debris on a parcel of land is exempt from the requirement to hold a permit or approval under the Environmental Management Act if they comply with all the requirements under section 2 of the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation.
  • If the requirements under Section 2 of the Regulation cannot be met and a person wants to apply for a permit or approval to burn debris they should contact the Regional Operations Branch, Environmental Protection Division, Ministry of Environment in their area to discuss the permitting process. Process for waste discharge authorizations.


Open burning for land-clearing is a major source of smoke. The Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation and its Code of Practice (Schedule B of the Regulation) are intended to encourage the reduction and reuse of vegetative debris whenever possible. If open burning is the sole viable disposal option, the regulation allows it only under strict, safe conditions, which are aimed at keeping smoke to a minimum and preventing pollution. The Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation does not override more stringent municipal rules on burning or smoke. Fires may also require a fire safety permit from the local fire department or the B.C. Ministry of Forests.

The MoE Regional Environmental Protection officer is responsible for enforcement. Section 4 of the regulation provides enforcement options to prevent pollution or prevent it from continuing. The Environmental Management Act provides additional enforcement options including pollution prevention orders under section 81 and pollution abatement orders under section 83.


Relevant Section or Regulation:

Regulating Agency:


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