START UP: YOUR OBLIGATIONS
Laws, regulations and policies
There are three levels of government that may have jurisdiction over the specific commodity you wish to produce – federal, provincial and local government. The following are the main acts, regulations and policies which may affect you as an agricultural producer in New Brunswick.
Once you know the specific location and the commodity you have chosen, it is recommended that you contact your local regional service commission and your local Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries representative to make sure you are aware of all regulatory requirements.
Many of the applications you may need are at www.pxw1.snb.ca/snb7001/e/1000/1001e.asp.
You can also consult our quick reference guide by clicking here.
Consult the laws, regulations and policies of the following Departments:
Information on permits and programs:
Clearing Land for Farming
There are no restrictions to clearing farmland in New Brunswick. However, if clearing near a water course, a stream or wetland, you must consult with Department of Environment and Local Government as there are setbacks and other conditions required.
Permits are required by the Department of Environment and Local Government to install a culvert or bridge over a stream. It is also considered a best management practice to prevent access to streams by livestock. There are some programs designed to help fund fencing to keep livestock from streams. Contact your local Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries representative for details.
Wildlife Damage; Mitigation and Compensation
The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries has two programs to help with losses from wildlife. The first is mitigation. The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries administers programs under the Canada-New Brunswick Growing Forward 2 agreement that can provide partial funding for a large range of preventive measures from fencing to sheep dogs.
Use of the mitigation program is required to qualify for compensation. The second is a form of compensation administered by the Agricultural Insurance Commission. If you are planning to invest in a commodity that has potential for crop damage or loss of livestock due to wildlife, we suggest you first contact your local Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries representative or the commodity specialist for details.
Traditionally, blueberry operators burn old growth. Other producers burn brush when clearing land. In New Brunswick, there are specific periods when burning may be done and others when it is strictly prohibited. Following is a summary of the rules about burning in New Brunswick. Fire season usually runs from the third Monday in April until the end of October.
To burn small amounts of brush and woody material (Category1) fires, you must call the Department of Energy and Resource Development, 1-866-458-8080 (toll-free) or 506-444-5445 (in the Fredericton area) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information will be updated daily during the fire season. You must have the landowner’s permission before igniting a fire on private land. There will be three levels of permission based on the weather and fire conditions in your area: (1) burn, (2) burning permitted between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. and (3) no burning allowed. Residents and non-residents must acquire a burning permit during the fire season. Cities and towns have their own bylaws. Some villages also have bylaws that restrict burning. It is your responsibility to find out if your village has its own bylaw. If it does not, your area is governed by the provincial guideline. Certain material – such as pressure treated wood – must not be burned.
NOTE: If burning without permission results in damage to Crown land or other properties, you may be liable.
For more information about burning, permits required and your responsibilities, visit www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.200891.Burning_Permits_(Fire_Season).html.
Before spending money on road signs for the farm, consult with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to determine if you are eligible to place road signage. There are certain requirements as to size and location that must be met. Provincial signage “tabs” can also be installed along highways for agri-tourism operations, wineries and farm markets.
The following links may be helpful to determine eligibility and obtain contact information.
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure/ Department of of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Highway Advertisements Information Kit 3: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/ gnb/Departments/trans/pdf/en/ RoadsHighways/2011HighwayAdverisementsInfoKit.pdf.
For legislation and regulations governing signs:
Office of the Attorney General, Highway Act:
Dairy Farm Milk Producer’s Licence
A producer licence must be obtained from the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission. An application for a licence must be completed and sent to the commission. Plans for the facility must be then sent to the appropriate provincial health inspector. When the plans are approved, the Department of Health will inspect the farm to confirm that the farm meets the regulatory requirements. Also, the Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick (DFNB) requires the bulk tank be calibrated by an approved calibrator. DFNB will inspect the driveway to ensure that trucks can make it in and out of the farm.
Once the farm is approved, the commission will issue the licence. Once a producer is licensed, he or she must maintain the premises and sanitation requirements as well as meet the raw milk quality standards as laid out in the milk quality regulations. Inspections by the Department of Health take place annually or as required should issues arise.
Failure to meet requirements may result in monetary penalties or suspension/revocation of a licence. This licence from the commission is not to be confused with the requirement of the dairy farmer to also possess a quota or permission to purchase quota, which is a requirement by DFNB.
Pesticide Applicator Licence
To buy or apply non-domestic agricultural pesticides in New Brunswick, you need a Pesticide Applicator Certificate from the Department of Environment and Local Government.
Fuel Storage Tanks on the Farm
A licence is required to store 2,000 litres or more of petroleum products.
Keeping one hive or more of bees requires an annual licence obtained from the chief apiarist of New Brunswick by May 31 of each year. For details, visit www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.7175.Beekeeper_Registration.html.
It is important to note that inter-provincial transfer of bees or the importation of bees may also require permits. Be sure to contact the provincial apiarist for the latest requirements.
Development and Building Permits
The building, locating, relocating, demolishing, altering or replacing of a building or structure in an unincorporated area requires a development and building permit available at your local regional service commission. Municipalities also require building permits for the same activities. Contact your local municipality for details as to where to apply.
Electrical wiring permits authorize contractors to carry out electrical installations. New Brunswick-licensed electrical contractors and sign installer contractors are required to obtain a wiring permit for electrical construction involving more than 10 outlets or five kw of load. A plan review is required for electrical installations in excess of 400 amps at 120/240 volts, 200 amps at 120/208 volts, 100 amps at 347/600 volts and for any installations having a voltage exceeding 600 volts.
Permits must be obtained before construction begins and before a utility power connection is made. Working without a permit will result in a special inspection fee in addition to the cost of the permit. There are some permit exemptions for owners of establishments where their operation requires frequent alterations performed by permanently employed electricians.
Plumbing permits are required for the construction of all plumbing systems and must be obtained before construction begins. Plumbing permits are issued to New Brunswick-licensed plumbing contractors or to homeowners performing work on their own premises (provincial permits only, homeowner permits are not available within the municipal jurisdictions of Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John).
Homeowners will be required to prove their competence in the plumbing trade. Provincial inspections are carried out on an audit basis according to risk priority. Specific requests for inspections are subject to availability and may be subject to special inspection fees. The cities of Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John issue plumbing permits to cover work in their jurisdictions and carry out their own inspections.
Plumbing plan approvals are required for plumbing installations having more than 30 fixtures. A plumbing permit must be purchased by a plumbing contractor before starting the installation, extension, alteration, renewal or repair of a plumbing system.
Septic System Permits
Properties that do not have access to municipal wastewater services require an on-site sewage disposal system to help protect water resources from becoming contaminated and to avoid creating public health hazards. A conventional on-site sewage disposal system typically consists of a septic tank and a subsurface disposal field.
Property owners who need to install, construct, repair and/or replace an on-site sewage disposal system must obtain an approval by having a licensed installer submit an application to the local Health Protection Branch of the Department of Health. Public Health inspectors will then assess these applications to ensure they are in accordance with the On-site Sewage Disposal System Regulation and New Brunswick Technical Guidelines for On-site Sewage Disposal Systems. The design and location of the system and the property’s soil conditions are evaluated to determine if sewage can be effectively treated to limit the spread of communicable diseases. Licensed installers may proceed with the installation, construction, repair and/or replacement of an on-site sewage disposal system only when the application has been assessed and approved by a Public Health Inspector.
Once the on-site sewage disposal system has been installed it must also be available for inspection and approval by a Public Health inspector prior to covering. On-site sewage disposal systems that have not been installed according to the approved application or those that fail to meet the requirements of the regulation must be corrected or modified and are subject to re-inspection.