Canada, BC: Small Metro Vancouver breweries to be exempted from water treatment fees
Fermenters that produce small quantities of beer, cider, wine, and spirits in the Lower Mainland are going to get a break from the regional government, Straight.com reported on January 15.
Metro Vancouvers liquid waste committee has received a staff report recommending the exemption of these operations from paying water treatment fees.
The exemption will cover operations that produce less than 250 hectolitres of liquor per year. A hectolitre is equivalent to 100 litres.
Marla Bondar, an environmental regulatory planner, prepared a report that is included in the agenda Thursday, January 16 of the liquid waste committee.
The review of current fees found that it is administratively inefficient to invoice and follow up with very small operations to pay small amounts in treatment fees, Bondar wrote.
According to Bondar, eliminating treatment fee invoices for these operations would free up staffing resources that could be better utilized enforcing a new proposed bylaw that is the main subject of her report.
Metro Vancouver regulates small fermentation operations that discharge less than 3,000 hectolitres of wastewater in a 30-day period through a bylaw.
The bylaw was adopted in 2015, and fees are based on the type of product, annual production, assumed waste water quantity, and organic strength of the waste.
For example, fermenters producing up to 1,000 hectolitres of beer, cider and wine pay C$250 a year. Fees increase with bigger productions.
Also, producers of spirits pay a flat C$100 annual fee.
A review found that more than half of the regulated operations were producing less than 1,000 hectolitres per year.
Based on the results of the review, new proposed treatment fees were developed that more accurately reflect actual costs, Bondar wrote in the report.
An amending bylaw is proposed containing treatment fees that more closely reflect actual treatment costs and are based upon data from inspections and sampling results for organic strength, Bondar stated.
The new fees are C$0.394 per hectolitre of product by a brewery; C$0.282 for a distillery; C$0.376, winery and cidery; and C$0.142 for a sake maker and ferment-on-premises operations.
If approved, the rates will apply for 2019 payments.
All operations would continue to pay the C$200 administration fee to cover regulation and enforcement resources, Bondar wrote.
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