DELTA – The BC Liberal critics for Agriculture and Environment say local farmers and other stakeholders deserve more time to provide their expertise and feedback on the government’s Agriculture Waste Control Regulation Review.

The regulation looks at environmentally sound practices for using, storing and managing agricultural wastes and by-products. The BC Ministry of Environment asked for this input at the end of November, with a deadline of January 15, 2018.

“Farmers believe we should meet modern waste control challenges with innovation and creativity—yet they are being rushed to come up with and share these ideas over an extremely tight deadline,” says Delta South MLA and Agriculture Critic Ian Paton. “I wrote to Environment Minister George Heyman on their behalf nearly three weeks ago, asking for a 60 to 90 day extension—but so far, the concerns of these farmers have been ignored.”

“The NDP have dithered on a number of key issues like ride-hailing, $10-a-day childcare and more—so why are they rushing industry stakeholders to provide their valuable input?” asks Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar, Critic for Environment and Climate Change. “A short response period over the holidays begs the question of whether the NDP is truly interested in hearing meaningful feedback.”

Of particular concern to farmers are new restrictions on the spreading of manure in high-precipitation areas during the months of October through March, as well as new soil-based thresholds for nitrogen and phosphate levels.

Paton and Milobar are calling on the Minister to extend the deadline so stakeholders can provide the thoughtful and well-researched responses they are eager to share.