News release

Regulatory Changes Reduce Burden on Small Farm Businesses

The government is introducing a simpler regulatory approach for processing facilities associated with small farm operations that will save them time and money while maintaining provincial environmental standards on wastewater.

The change means that 11 activities will no longer require an industrial approval and will instead be regulated through standard wastewater approval requirements.

“These changes reduce red tape while ensuring that environmental standards are met,” said Timothy Halman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “With input from industry, we are better aligning regulatory approvals to environmental and business needs.”

These activities include construction, operation or reclamation involving:

  • poultry, red meat, inland fish, dairy or dairy products, vegetable, or fruit processing plants
  • distilleries or wineries
  • breweries that produce 150,000 litres or more of alcoholic beverages per year
  • fish meal plants
  • food additive or supplement manufacturing plants

The changes take effect today, May 11, and align with the work of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.


The changes being announced today should help reduce some of the regulatory burdens our farms face. Anything that can be done to lessen the burden on our producers, while still ensuring the production of safe and sustainable food, is welcome. We anticipate that these changes will have a positive impact on producers. Tim Marsh, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Regulatory modernization balances regulatory changes with the associated risks. This change is an example of how we can reduce red tape for smaller agricultural businesses, saving them time and money, while maintaining important oversight. Fred Crooks, Chief Regulatory Officer, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

Quick Facts:

  • the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness estimates these changes will save each business $308 annually
  • the chief regulatory officer of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness helps government identify and remove regulatory burdens for businesses and citizens
  • Nova Scotia’s approach to this work is consistent with other Canadian provinces
  • the amendment to the Activities Designation Regulations is effective immediately

Additional Resources:

Activities Designation Regulations: