Environmental Blog

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Fish Kills, Monetary Fines, Embarrassing Notices, and Concerns About Excess Soil

Posted by on 5:22 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Most of the environmental issues that we routinely address in the regulated community are not going to make the evening news.  They are just not newsworthy.  However, when those issues reach the point of violations/enforcement, or when there is distrust regarding the proposed activity, there is plenty of press.  From a “risk communication” standpoint, these prickly issues fall into consensus and crises communication. Release Leads to Fish Kill The fire and subsequent environmental impact at the Jim Beam warehouse in Kentucky that lead to a...

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A 10-Second Environmental Compliance Check Up

Posted by on 7:00 am in Blog | Comments Off on A 10-Second Environmental Compliance Check Up

If you have a question about an environmental compliance issue, or would like us to address a specific environmental compliance issue in the future, contact Christopher Paré, P.Geo. at 519-979-4500, ext. 114. Environmental Compliance Tips 2019 August: Permit to Take Water Do I need a permit to take water from groundwater or surface water? Maybe.  In general, if you are taking more than 50,000 litres of water per day, you will need a permit. Permits are not required for taking water for the following: For firefighting or other emergency...

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Energy Company Fined and Heated Debate Over Energy and Climate Continue

Posted by on 5:20 pm in Blog | 0 comments

A subsidiary of Husky Energy was fined nearly four million dollars for a spill from a pipeline.  The issue dates back to June 2016 when 225,000 litres of diluted crude was released near the North Saskatchewan River – 90,000 litres reached the river. The company vice president of pipelines, Duane Rae, said the “damage has been done to both the company’s reputation and the entire Western Canadian energy industry.” Husky’s release was in violation of the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act.  As a result of the release, the...

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Air Emissions in Canada Causing Health Concerns?

Posted by on 6:17 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Are industrial emissions the cause of the higher-than-average rates of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in several Canadian Cities?  This is a very complex and emotional topic, but a new study may be helpful in understanding and addressing industrial emissions. High Rates of Cancer As reported in Canada’s National Observer, “A new peer-reviewed study has found ‘strikingly high’ rates of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in Canadian border towns, including Sarnia, Ont., a city whose manufacturing sector is referred to as Canada’s Chemical Valley.” The...

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Excess Soils in Ontario: What You Need to Know

Posted by on 12:30 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In our annual informal survey at CANECT, we asked those in attendance, “What is the most important environmental issue facing the regulated community?”  One of the common themes was keeping up with changing regulatory requirements.  Perhaps nothing exemplifies this frustration more (trying to keep up with and understand your obligations) than the issue of excess soil (policy/practices/regulation). In 2016, we wrote an article in Environmental Science and Engineering (“How will Ontario’s proposed excess soil management policy work?”). ...

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Changes in Ontario: Environmental Commissioner’s Office and TRA Eliminated

Posted by on 6:02 pm in Blog | 0 comments

While the environmental violation by Air Liquide Canada happened two years ago (April 2017), the matter was recently settled in court.  The violation, a release of 815 kilograms of ammonia, resulted in some people seeking shelter and one person who experienced eye and throat irritation.  For Air Liquide Canada, it cost them $100,000 and another $25,000 victim surcharge (paid to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks). This violation was relatively minor when compared to some of the previous violations we have shared (see Limiting...

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Environmental Emergency Regulations and Upcoming Final Regulations

Posted by on 6:53 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In August 2019, the updated Environmental Emergency (E2 Regulations) will officially repeal and replace the existing Environmental Emergency Regulations.  What exactly does this mean and how can you prepare now for updated E2 Regulations?  We provide some details below. As we stated in October 2016, the E2 Regulations are, in principle, based on, and in response to, the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India.  That 1984 incident released 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 11,000 people. Environmental Emergency...

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“Green” Canada and Sustainability: 26 Targets Outlined by the Federal Government

Posted by on 3:45 pm in Blog | 0 comments

While most everyone is familiar with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), what is far less familiar is the federal government’s focus on the larger issue of sustainability.  For background, see the Federal Sustainability Development Act. Making Canada One of the “Greenest Countries in the World” This ambitious sustainability plan was recently updated (13 March 2019).  As stated in the report, it includes “…13 aspirational goals supported by measurable targets and clear actions.  These are all aimed at realizing the vision that...

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Releases to the Environment, Hefty Fines, and Controversial Regulations

Posted by on 4:09 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Attempts to create a safer workplace and reduce risks of releases are as old as mankind.  The Code of Hammurabi from about 1750 BCE addressed building codes, and Lloyds of London’s first registry addressed safety and risk dating back to 1834. Today, we have entire disciplines devoted to reducing these risks.  We also have laws and regulations with respect to chemical handling, management, and disposal. Through modern safety and risk management practices, we have greatly reduced human health and environmental risks.  Companies spend a lot of...

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Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Environmental Liability will Impact Lenders

Posted by on 6:38 pm in Blog | 0 comments

It was one year ago that we shared what we believed was an important case before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC).  See Supreme Court of Canada Considers Environmental Liability Case.  We, along with others, suggested that this case had potentially far-reaching consequences. On January 31, 2019, the SCC handed down their much-anticipated decision in Orphan Well Association v. Grant Thornton Ltd. (“The Redwater Decision”).  Redwater refers to Redwater Energy Corporation.  This is a complex case with many legalities – we are simply touching on...

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