UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Negotiation in environmental policy-making: a case study of nitrate regulation in B.C.’s Code of agricultural practice for waste management Zimmerman, Kathleen Agnes


Non-point sources of water pollution from agricultural production are a growing problem in British Columbia. In response, the government has adopted the Code of Agricultural Practice for Waste Management. This thesis outlines the environmental impacts of agricultural non-point source pollutants in general, and the difficulties of regulating manure nitrate contamination in particular. This is followed by a brief discussion of the political, social, and economic factors that affect agroenvironmental policy-making. These factors help to set the context for the Code's development. The Code was developed using an industry-government multi- stakeholder negotiation. The goal of the thesis was to describe and evaluate the negotiation process used in the Code's creation, and to evaluate how the process affected the Code's implementation. Qualitative data were gathered through tape-recorded personal interviews with 12 selectively sampled respondents who were involved in the Code's negotiation, and ten selectively sampled respondents who were involved in the Code's .implementation. In addition to the interview transcripts, other sources of data were documents produced during the Code's negotiation, and the proceedings of a non-point source pollution workshop. The major findings were that the Code's negotiation was a productive process (it met eleven of the sixteen criteria for negotiated rulemaking), and i t did increase farmers' awareness of environmental issues. However, it was not sufficient - by itself to motivate farmer compliance. It was concluded that the Code was part of a larger "package" of programs (e.g. cost-sharing programs, Environmental Guidelines booklets, producer conservation groups), that in total are helping to motivate compliance.

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