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July 8, 2009, commencing at 3:36 p.m. Salmon River Committee Room th 4 Floor, 20338 – 65 Avenue, Langley, BC
MINUTES PRESENT: Councillor J. Bateman, Chair Mayor R. Green and Councillors B. Dornan, S. Ferguson and G. Ward STAFF REPRESENTATIVES: M. Bakken, A. Dixon-Warren, K. Larsen, M. Sloat, J. Winslade and C. Wright MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT REPRESENTATIVES: K. Stinchcombe, Water Stewardship Division H. Smart, Water Stewardship Division A. 1. APPROVAL OF AGENDA Council Priorities Committee July 8, 2009 A Notice of Motion on the Proposed Water Management Plan was added under Item D.1. Other Business. Moved by Councillor Ward, Seconded by Councillor Green, That the Council Priorities Committee adopt the Agenda of the July 8, 2009 meeting, as amended. CARRIED B. 1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Council Priorities Committee December 3, 2008 Moved by Councillor Ferguson, Seconded by Councillor Ward, That Council Priorities Committee adopt the Minutes of the December 3, 2008 meeting. CARRIED
July 8, 2009 Council Priorities Committee Minutes C. 1. PRESENTATIONS Consultation Summary Report
K. Stinchcombe provided an overview of the Living Water Smart (LWS), the Province’s water plan, and its relationship to the Township of Langley Water Management Plan (WMP). He commented that there is a growing awareness of the importance of water in today’s changing climate worldwide. There are three broad themes in the LWS: doing business differently, preparing communities for change and choosing to be water smart. He noted that the plan commits the government to regulate groundwater use in priority areas and large groundwater withdrawals by 2012, to secure access to and require more efficient use of water for agricultural lands, to improve water laws to ensure the protection of ecological values, to provide for more community involvement, and to require more efficient water use in certain sectors. Adapting to climate change and reducing our impact on the environment will be a condition for receiving provincial infrastructure funding, and fifty percent of new municipal water needs will be acquired through conservation by 2020. Water Act modernization will be a key focus area under the LWS. He noted that the province provided $300,000 in direct funding, an equivalent in staff time, facilitation of the Ministerial Order, and that the Township process is the first WMP undertaken in BC under Part 4 of the Water Act. He continued that the Township would be eligible to apply for provincial infrastructure funding as it becomes available. He discussed next steps and advised that the Township Water Management Plan implementation regulation would take approximately a year to complete. 2. Draft Final Water Management Plan A. Dixon-Warren provided a presentation on the draft Final Water Management Plan. She commented that issues and challenges facing the Township include growing population, intensification of land use, dropping groundwater levels, reduced stream flows, vulnerable aquifers, climate change, and limitations under existing legislation. She noted that there was support for the objectives of the WMP, for water conservation programs for new developments, conservation initiatives such as rebate programs and efficient irrigation, drilling authorizations, and hiring a conservation officer. Support for expanded sprinkling restrictions to non-municipal users, metering of municipal residential users and voluntary private well metering program was mixed. She noted that there were no substantial changes recommended to the WMP regarding new subdivisions and developments, commercial pesticides and fertilizers, well construction and closure, and large users as these were already addressed by the plan or provincial initiatives. In terms of other issues, staff continue to support Township wide lawn sprinkling restrictions as they were fair and consistent with the plan objectives, a metering (voluntary and required) study should be completed prior to meter implementation, and enhanced public awareness is required around agricultural water use and cosmetic pesticides. New recommendations include voluntary private well metering program if outside funding secured, interim reporting process to evaluate the plan effectiveness, and ensure provincial statutory decision makers consider the plan in their decisions.
July 8, 2009 Council Priorities Committee Minutes C. PRESENTATIONS MOTION TO EXTEND MEETING Moved by Councillor Mayor Green, Seconded by Councillor Dornan, That the meeting be extended. CARRIED K. Stinchcombe and H. Smart left the meeting at 5:31 p.m. COUNCIL
Moved by Mayor Green, Seconded by Councillor Dornan, That the Council Priorities Committee recommends: (i) That Council receive the Consultation Summary Report and the draft Final Water Management Plan; (ii) That Council endorse the following components of the Plan: 1. Mandate drilling authorizations for new or altered water supply wells. b) Mandate riparian 60 metre setback for new non-domestic wells less than 30 metres deep located next to a fish bearing stream. c) Mandate hydrogeologic assessments for any new water supply wells with a pump capacity greater than 190 litres per minute (50 US gallons per minute). Enhance municipal planning and development initiatives. a) Ensure WMP and other plans affecting water and land are harmonized. b) Mandate new developments to maintain their pre-development infiltration rates. c) Mandate municipal connections for all new developments and subdivisions if, and when, services exist nearby. d) Require proper closure of abandoned wells after new municipal water supply connections are installed. g) Expand xeriscaping initiatives (drought resistant landscaping). Enhance municipal water supply system. b) Initiate a municipal zone tracking and pressure managing. Develop an integrated system for issuing drilling authorizations and surface WLs. Review water supply and licensing on fish bearing streams within the Township. Identify flowing artesian wells and make sure they are stopped or brought under control. Prohibit new groundwater bottling operations. Ensure specified provincial statutory decision makers consider the WMP in making their decisions. Implement a management plan for decentralized sewage in the Township of Langley. Eliminate the exemption in the Water Act that allows persons who are not qualified well drillers to undertake certain activities.
3. 5. 6. 7. 8.* 9. 10. 13.
July 8, 2009 Council Priorities Committee Minutes C. PRESENTATIONS 14. 15. 16. 17.
20. 21.* 22. 23. 24.
26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.
Require proper closure of an unused well within a time period that is shorter than allowed under the GWPR. Require all contaminated sites be remediated to soil and groundwater standards for the protection of drinking water. Support the provincial government to ensure local compliance with contaminated site regulations. Collaborate with BC Agriculture Council and MAL to enhance local participation in the EFP program 18. Collaborate with real estate sector to ensure GWPR requirements are met during property acquisition. Restrict the production, use, storage and/or disposal of high risk contaminants in areas above highly vulnerable aquifers and/or within municipal well capture zones. Undertake source water assessments of municipal wells with the Township working on conjunction with the local Drinking Water Officer. Coordinate abandoned well closure through a voluntary registry program. Promote eco-friendly alternatives to emergency response chemicals (e.g. fire retardants). Mandate submission of new and existing well data to provincial WELLS database. a) Water Use Study. b) Expand MOE’s Observation Well Network. c) Township-Wise Contaminated Inventory Study / Nitrate Loading Analysis. d) Stream Flow Monitoring Program. e) Water Balance Study. f) Groundwater Surface Interactions. Enhance public awareness, education, and incentives. a) Expand the Township’s Water Wise and rebate programs. b) Encourage participation in the Private Well Network. c) Raise awareness about the risks of improperly closed or abandoned wells. d) Promote rain barrels, water efficient appliances, waterwise gardens, and grey water recycling initiatives for new developments. e) Encourage efficient irrigation scheduling practices. f) Strengthen awareness about the risks of cosmetic pesticides. g) Enhance awareness of local food production and agricultural practices. Review the WMP in Year 5 and provide interim progress reports. Establish a funding mechanism for approved WMPs under Part 4 of the Water Act. Establish a community stakeholder advisory committee to provide input into the WMP and its implementation. Establish a local (environmental) protection officer. Review EMA and the Water Act to identify offenses that are appropriate for ticketing and take steps to make them ticketable. Instigate more rigorous inspection and enforcement of existing regulations affecting groundwater quality.
July 8, 2009 Council Priorities Committee Minutes C. PRESENTATIONS
(iii)That Council refer the following components to a Council Priorities Committee meeting and invite the Ministry of Agriculture staff to attend to determine their position on these elements: Place peak flow restrictions on specified new or altered water supply wells. 2. e) Encourage development standards to better meet the WMP goals. f) Require certified irrigation plans for new developments, and upgraded or replacement irrigation systems (including systems on municipal land). 3. a) Limit the amount of water extracted by municipal supply wells. 4. Mandate summertime lawn sprinkling restrictions for private well owners. 8.* Mandate the prohibition of new groundwater bottling operations through legislation. 11. Adopt a series of locally enforceable agricultural practices in the Township. 12. Initiate a pilot Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) in the Hopington area. 21.* Coordinate abandoned well closure through a mandatory registry program. 24. Fund and implement a comprehensive monitoring and study program to inform future groundwater decisions. g) Residential metering assessment for the municipal water supply system. 25. h) Support a voluntary metering program, if external funding is secured. (iv) That Council inform the Ministry of Environment of progress to date, however, delay finalizing the Plan until the referred items are considered. CARRIED D. 1. OTHER BUSINESS Proposed Water Management Plan Moved by Mayor Green, Seconded by Councillor Ward, That the Council Priorities Committee receive the following Notice of Motion: Whereas there is considerable concern and continuing issues with wells and their draw on the aquifers in the Township of Langley; and Whereas there is need to address the issues associated with wells in an expedient manner; Therefore be it resolved that we move to implement recommendations #1, #7, #12, #13, #21 and #23 to the proposed Water Management Plan commencing immediately; and further That staff investigate funding for the implementation of these recommendations with the Provincial Government; and further That staff investigate an implementation strategy to provide an incentive to encourage residents to cap unused wells. CARRIED 1. a)
July 8, 2009 Council Priorities Committee Minutes
NEXT MEETING Date: TBA Location: Salmon River Committee Room 4th Floor, 20338 – 65 Avenue Time: 3:30 p.m. Chair: Councillor C. Fox
TERMINATE Moved by Councillor Ferguson Seconded by Mayor Green That the meeting terminate at 5:40 p.m. CARRIED
_________________________ Chair, Councillor Jordan Bateman
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