Delta is committed to protecting the air, water and land through the use of bylaws and other environmental programs and legislation.
Metro Vancouver is responsible for regulating air quality in the region, including Delta. Regional Air Quality Management Plans set specific goals and objectives with the purpose of improving air quality.
View Metro Vancouver’s Integrated Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan.
Air Quality Health Index
Metro Vancouver operates a series of permanent air quality monitoring stations throughout the Lower Fraser Valley that collect information on the level of pollutants in our air.
- View the current air quality data from the Delta stations (North Delta and Tsawwassen) and other stations in the region.
- View Metro Vancouver’s Caring for the Air Reports.
As a joint venture between Health Canada, Environment Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment, BC Air Quality is now active throughout British Columbia. This resource may be used to find out what air quality is like in other communities, including any current air quality advisories in the province.
Air Quality Complaints
If you are experiencing air quality issues such as smoke, odour, dust or emissions in your area please contact Metro Vancouver’s Air Quality Hotline at 604-436-6777 or fill out their online Air Quality Complaint Form.
Please keep in mind that Delta is an urban-agricultural community and at various times of year there may be strong odours coming from agricultural fields. These odours are permitted when farmers follow normal farm practices.
Lowland watercourses, commonly referred to as ditches (or sloughs), make up a large part of Delta’s drainage and irrigation system. Delta uses this system during the summer to move fresh water from the Fraser River throughout Delta to agricultural producers for irrigation. During the winter months, the system helps convey runoff to prevent flooding. The channels provide habitat for a variety of wildlife and are maintained by Delta on a rotational schedule.
Delta’s lowland watercourses have a variety of wildlife, amphibians and fish living in them. Some of the main species that can be found using or living in these ditches are Three-spined Stickleback, Red-sided Shiners and Brassy Minnows, and the Great Blue Herons that are hunting them. Some endangered species, like the Pacific Water Shrew and the Northern Red-legged Frog are also present in some of the lowland ditches and wetlands.
Systems with salmonids (trout & salmon) are also present in some lowland systems, as well as the creeks found in North Delta.
Watercourses are highly susceptible to impacts from nearby works and you are responsible for not causing pollution when working in and around water. Delta’s Waterways Protection Bylaw No. 1615, 1969 states “no person shall foul, obstruct or impede the flow of any stream, creek, waterway, watercourse, waterworks, ditch, drain or sewer, whether or not the same are situate on private property."
Section 34(1) of the federal Fisheries Act addresses impacts to fish or fish habitat caused by introduction of a deleterious substance to the water. Deleterious substances are any substance that, if added to water, would degrade or alter or form part of a process to degrade or alter water quality. E.g., oils, paint, sediments
Any authorizations that are received to conduct work in and around water require adherence to permit conditions, many of which are meant to minimize the potential for pollution into the watercourse.
Watercourse Classification System
Delta’s watercourse classification system indicates fish and amphibian presence and provides timing windows for when work can be completed in the watercourse. Watercourses are classified as Schedule A (salmonid habitat), Schedule B (Other special species, usually either Northern Red-legged Frog or Brassy Minnow), and Schedule C (all others). Most of Delta’s watercourses and lowland ditches are Schedule C (channels within the yellow shaded area that are not red or brown highlighted). A map of Delta's watercourses can be viewed on DeltaMap. See the "Stream Class" layer under the Environmental category.
The province and the federal government also have work timing windows that must be adhered to.
The provincial reduced risk instream work window is applicable to the Schedule A watercourses in Delta, and is August 1 to September 15.
Marine / estuarine and the Fraser River timing windows are classified according to the federal timing windows of least risk. Delta is included within Area 29 – Steveston/Surrey.
The provincial Water Sustainability Act (WSA) requires provincial authorization to undertake work in and around a stream, as defined by the legislation, and also for dewatering activities. Because much of the Delta lowland watercourses are fed by groundwater (i.e., connected to the aquifer), they are considered a ‘stream’ under this legislation and are subject to provincial WSA authorization prior to undertaking the work.
Delta encourages property owners, consultants and developers to contact FrontCounter BC early in the project planning development to determine what type of provincial authorization your project may require. Authorizations range from 45 days (a Notification) to more than 140 days (a Short Term Use Approval for groundwater pumping, or Section 11 Approval).
Works conducted along tidally influenced shoreline may be subject to Federal review by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans under the Fisheries Act. Information on the Federal requirements for projects near water can be found on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website.
Note: It may take up to 90 days to receive a Fisheries Act Authorization, so please plan accordingly.
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the administration, management and control of land and water within its jurisdiction. To effectively manage these responsibilities, they administer a Project Review Process. The Project Review Process includes consultation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Delta's Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 6788, 2009 regulates the use of pesticides to reduce the unnecessary application of chemical pesticides on residential and municipally-owned land within Delta by restricting the use of chemical herbicides, insecticides and fungicides for cosmetic purposes. Homeowners who use landscaping companies for lawn maintenance are responsible to ensure that their contractor is following the Bylaw’s requirements.
A ‘cosmetic purpose’ is to use a pesticide to maintain the aesthetic appeal of ornamental landscaping such as outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, and turf. Exemptions do exist under the bylaw for some natural pesticide alternatives, including:
- Certain horticulture oils
- Acetic acid (vinegar)
- Diatomaceous earth
- Corn gluten meal
- Biological pesticides
- All pesticides listed under Schedules 2 and 5 of the Integrated Pest Management Regulation
Refer to the Bylaw for the complete list.
Common prohibited ingredients in pesticides that cannot be used for cosmetic purposes include the following. Note this is not an exhaustive list:
Traditional pesticides may be used for the following purposes:
- To control pests that pose a danger to human or animal health
- To control pests that transmit human diseases
- To control pests that impact agriculture or forestry
- To purify drinking water
- To control noxious pests: noxious weeds, rats and mice
- To control an infestation
- To control pests inside a building
- To prevent the deterioration of hard landscapes and structures
- To control pests on lands used for public utilities
If you are unclear whether a pesticide application is permitted, contact Climate Action & Environment. For any pest control product, you must read the product label to ensure the pesticide can be used for that purpose; always follow the application directions. Do not transfer pesticide into an unlabeled container.
Never dispose of leftover pesticides down the sink, into the toilet, or down a sewer or street drain. Pesticides may interfere with the operation of wastewater treatment systems and/or pollute waterways. Pesticides may harm fish, plants, and other living things if they reach a waterway.
Pesticides are accepted at:
- Scott Road Bottle Depot: Unit #2-12111 86 Avenue, Surrey BC
- Vancouver Landfill: 5400 72 Street, Delta BC
IMPORTANT: both facilities only accept pesticides in containers that show both the poison symbol, if initially present, and the P.C.P. Act registration number. Any pesticide in a container that does not have these two pieces of information will not be accepted. Unlabeled or unknown pesticides will only be accepted by hazardous waste companies (fee required). Therefore, never transfer pesticides out of their original containers.
For more information, visit Product Care.
For questions relating to this bylaw, please contact Climate Action & Environment at 604-946-3253 or by email.
Commercial and industrial businesses in Delta are expected to operate in a manner that does not cause damage to the environment.
Delta has a program where city staff will inspect businesses to verify compliance with environmental bylaws, and provide education and advice on pollution management best practices. Inspections evaluate practices such as sanitary wastewater control, prevention of polluted water discharge in storm water systems, solid and hazardous waste management, chemical storage procedures, air emissions control, and noise control.
Contact the Climate Action & Environment Department for more information.