UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Enforcement patterns and compliance outcomes in BC : lessons learned from the rollout of EAO's watchdog program Franko, Allison


In 2011, the Office of the Auditor General of BC reported that post-certification monitoring of projects certified through the environmental assessment (EA) process was largely absent (OAGBC, 2011). In response, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) implemented a compliance and enforcement (C&E) program and began conducting inspections. A total of 103 inspections on 42 active projects have been conducted by EAO between August 2011 and March 2016. Although many regulatory theories detail factors that affect compliance, empirical evidence evaluating patterns of enforcement and compliance outcomes directly related to EA requirements is lacking. This research examines patterns in compliance oversight and compliance outcomes through collection, verification and analysis of a wide range of publically available data. Findings indicate that certain aspects of EAO’s C&E strategy are effective and warranted; while other strategies are not being properly implemented and require reassessment. Based on key findings, a range of recommendations, including suggestions for further research, is provided to improve EAO’s C&E strategy, which will in turn enhance environmental management in BC.

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