New Brunswick Environmental Regulations and Legislation

A number of regulations, guidelines, and legislative acts have been adopted in New Brunswick, including guidelines on waste disposal and reduction, and air and water quality.

Environmental Regulations

The list of environmental regulations adopted in New Brunswick is quite long and includes the Water Well Regulation, Ozone Depleting Substance Regulation, Air Quality Regulation, and Protected Area Exemption Regulation. The Air Quality Regulation, for example, lists prohibitions on gasoline and volatile compounds, permissible ground level concentrations, and smoke density standards. The Ozone Depleting Substance Regulation includes provisions on prohibited sterilization systems and solvents and prohibited containers, wrapping, and packaging. There are also provisions on equipment labeling, modifying equipment, and disposal and dismantling.

Environmental Legislation

Major acts that regulate pesticides and water and air quality include the Pesticides Control Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Clean Environment Act. The main focus of the Clean Environment Act is on activities and materials that contribute to environmental contamination. The act contains regulations on the imposition of fines, offences and penalties, and approvals, permits, licenses, and registrations. The Clean Air Act provides for increased public involvement when it comes to contracts and projects related to air emissions. The act contains a number of prohibitions, including prohibitions on pull tabs and plastic rings, on distribution by unregistered distributors, and on promoting recyclables. The Clean Water Act includes provisions on the restoration of personal property, premises, and land, testing of water, and Crown control of water. There are also provisions on protected areas, water posing health risks, and well-drilling. The act also details the penalties imposed to persons who fail to comply with the provisions, including provisions on standards, terms, limitations, and prohibitions. Under the Clean Water Act, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has the powers to develop regulations on the removal, handling, and release of solids, gases, wastes, and contaminants from water.  The Lieutenant-Governor also has the powers to develop regulations on costs that must be paid or recovered and to remedy, rehabilitate, modify, eliminate, and rectify matters that fall under the act. Finally, the Pesticides Control Act contains provisions on the disposal and use of pesticides, including prohibitions and restrictions on the use, supply, and sale of pesticides. The act also includes provisions on permits and licenses, operator’s and vendor’s licenses, and the need for certificates and permits. There is also a prohibition on the discharge of substances that are used to wash pesticide containers. Under the act, the Minister has the powers to prohibit or restrict the distribution, use, processing, and sale of contaminated water, plants, animals, feed, food, or crops. Contaminated water, plants, animals, or crops must be either decontaminated or destroyed. Inspectors are responsible for monitoring compliance with the provisions, taking samples, as well as reviewing documents, registers, and records on the use, application, distribution, supply, and purchase and sale of pesticides. The act also includes provisions on penalties and offences, appeals, orders of inspectors, and services of documents.

Three additional acts concern environmental protection, the Beverage Containers Act, Environment Trust Fund Act, and Unsightly Premises Act. The Unsightly Premises Act, for example, sets out the requirements for premises upkeep. There are provisions on penalties for public safety hazards, interference with inspectors, the powers of inspectors, and notices to occupiers and owners. The provision on salvage yards enforces a prohibition on the operation and maintenance of salvage yards near different facilities. Salvage yards cannot operate within a certain distance from cemeteries, churches, hospitals, schools, and public parks. Salvage yards must not be located near public playgrounds, public bathing beaches, and highways.

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Invasive Alien Species in Canada

Alien spices are microorganisms, animals, and plants that usually move to another area due to human activity. Invasive alien species that have relocated to Canada include species such as butternut canker, green crab, emerald ash borer, and giant hogweed. Such non-native species can have a significant negative impact on society, economy, and the environment.

How Aliens Species Were Brought to Canada

Most alien species were brought by immigrants to Canada during the 17th and 18th century. This is a period marked with waves of immigration, trade, and colonization. The majority of invasive species were brought from Western Europe during this period. Today, other factors contribute to the spread of non-native species, including ecosystem destruction, climate change, and species being introduced randomly or unintentionally.


The series Wild Species 2010 show that out of 11.950 species analyzed 12 percent are alien. According to estimates of 2002, more than 1,440 invasive alien species are found in Canada, among which invertebrates, insects, plants, and fish. Non-native species include 55 types of freshwater fish, several molluscs and fungi, 4 amphibians, 2 reptiles, 26 mammals, 24 birds, 181 insects, and some 27 percent of vascular plants. Some of the most invasive species have been introduced to Canada, among which rainbow trout, common carp, gypsy moth, spiny water flee, and green crab. New species are continuously brought to Canada by water, land, and air. This is mainly due to increased international travel, e-commerce, and increased trade volumes.

The majority of species inhabit the country’s lakes, rivers, forests, rangelands, and farmlands. Invasive species can cost billions of dollars because some aliens can spread to every region. Researchers estimate that a sample of 16 species such as spotted knapweed and leafy spurge cause losses between about $13 and $34 billion each year.

Harm to the Environment and Economy

Invasive plants decrease crop yields and biodiversity and change soil composition so that local species are unable to survive. They interbreed with other species, compete for resources, and contribute to habitat destruction. The chemicals used to control and eliminate aliens also cause environmental harm as they require burning of dead plants, cutting, and spraying.

Non-native pathogens fall in different categories, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, insects, and worms. In recent years, they have been responsible for disease outbreaks across Canada, including species such as chytrid fungus, duck plague, avian influenza, and the West Nile virus which is spread to people, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Invasive Alien Species Strategy

The Invasive Alien Species Strategy was developed in 2004 in cooperation between the federal government and the territorial and provincial authorities. The main goals of the strategy are to prevent the introduction of new species, detect invasion, and control and eliminate invaders. Different control and eradication strategies can be used, including biological, chemical, and physical as well as integrated approaches. The measures target different sectors such as industry, transportation, forestry, wildlife, aquaculture and fisheries, agriculture, and human health.

The Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program is another initiative that aims to control and prevent invasion of non-native species. Projects targeting alien invasion are offered funding, and recipients include Crown corporations, municipal, territorial, and provincial governments,  companies, research and educational institutions, Aboriginal groups, and non-profit and non-governmental organizations.