Programs 2010 to 2017

Risk Based Compliance Program

The risk based compliance program was introduced in 2010 and completed in 2016-17. The program was a one-time project to identify confined feeding operations that could pose a risk to groundwater. (Any surface water issues that required attention were also identified.) The environmental risk screening tool was used to identify potential risks or confirm their absence. In some cases, appropriate monitoring or modifications to a site were required, and existing monitoring requirements were adjusted as necessary.

Confined feeding operations were identified for the program if they met all three of the following criteria: 1) the facility was constructed before 2002 (before the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) came into effect); 2) the facility was an earthen liquid manure storage; and 3) the facility was located in a region identified as having an aquifer with a high potential of vulnerability.

From the start of the program to its end, 170 confined feeding operations with a total of 213 facilities between them were evaluated. Of those, 176 facilities were identified as low risk to groundwater, 29 as moderate risk to groundwater, and eight as high risk to groundwater. Any surface water risks that were identified during the inspections were addressed.

Follow up includes an annual inspection and review of the risk scoring of all high-risk sites. Inspectors each review two moderate risk sites per year. Each low risk site is reviewed every four years.

Risk Based Compliance Program 2010-17

CFOs screened since start  
of program

 Facilities* ranked low risk to groundwater

Facilities ranked moderate risk
  to groundwater

Facilities ranked high risk 
to groundwater 





* A confined feeding operation often has more than one facility.

Leak Detection Program

The leak detection program was a one-time project from 2008 to 2011 to evaluate the risk to groundwater at operations that were required by their permits to conduct regular groundwater monitoring. The environmental risk screening tool (ERST) was developed for this project. The project ensured that appropriate monitoring was in place to reflect the actual risk at each site, as measured by an environmental risk screening. Follow up with operators was undertaken where issues were identified. The majority of operations were found to pose a low risk to groundwater.

The program was recognized in August 2011 with a Gold Premier’s Award of Excellence and in September 2011 with an Excellence Canada Award of Merit.