Since 1974, West Coast Environmental Law Association (WCELA) has provided legal services to members of the public who are concerned about threats to the environment. WCELA and the West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation provide legal representation, promote law reform, provide legal education, conduct legal research and maintain a library of environmental legal materials.
WCELA has a long history of promoting pollution prevention as the preferred approach to dealing with environmental contamination. We support the development of a long term pollution prevention strategy for British Columbia, combining strict law enforcement for environmental polluters with economic incentives to encourage polluters not to pollute in the first place. [(1) -- 1. . See Preventing Toxic Pollution: Toward a British Columbia Strategy, West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation, 1991, which outlines a pollution prevention strategy for B.C. Portions of this paper rely on sections of that earlier report.] Therefore, we support the development of legislation that will provide the legal basis for a comprehensive pollution prevention strategy for British Columbia. New environmental protection legislation is urgently needed to replace the existing Waste Management Act -- to provide the change in focus from end of pipe waste management to preventing pollution.