The B.C. government lacks oversight of an environmental regulation meant to protect the areas that border rivers, lakes and streams, says the provincial ombudsman.
Kim Carter’s latest report looks at the Riparian Areas Regulation, which applies to 15 regional districts in populated areas from Vancouver Island to the Interior.
“There was, originally, quite a bit of oversight, there were people looking at every report that was filed and going back with comments, not forwarding approval for development until conditions were met.”
She blames a number of different reasons for the lapses.
“Some court decisions that require regulatory change, we’ve seen some areas where technology could be used to better make information available.”
She says it didn’t happen overnight, rather over a number of years.
Some of the gaps her report identified?
“The were a whole series of gaps in everything from ensuring that reports were only filed by qualified environmental professionals, to reviewing reports, doing site visits to make sure that what people said was happening, was happening on the ground.”
Carter’s report did come with 25 recommendations, all but one have been adopted by the province.