Environmental Blog

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PFAS: An Emerging Environmental Contaminant

Posted by on 8:12 pm in Blog | 0 comments

It was about a year ago when we mentioned the emerging regulatory concern related to a particular class of persistent organic chemicals:  Polybrominated Diphenyl Esters (PBDEs) (see PBDE:  An Emerging Environmental Regulatory Concern?). There is another group of persistent organic chemicals that have been making news, not just in Canada, but across North America and elsewhere.  Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that includes Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS). Public health and...

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A 10-Second Environmental Compliance Check Up

Posted by on 11:04 am in Blog | Comments Off on A 10-Second Environmental Compliance Check Up

Below are Dragun’s monthly environmental compliance tips and reminders. These very brief tips are provided in our monthly environmental newsletters along with other environmental news. If you would like to receive our e-newsletter, you can sign up on our website, or contact me (ahahn@dragun.com) and I will add your name to our database. 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 519-979-7300, ext. 114....

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Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s Report

Posted by on 8:43 pm in Blog | 0 comments

On October 24, 2017, the Ontario Environmental Commissioner, Dianne Sax, released her 2017 Environmental Protection Report entitled, Good Choices, Bad Choices: Environmental Rights and Environmental Protection in Ontario, to the Ontario Legislature. According to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s (ECO) website, the commissioner is an independent “environmental watchdog” appointed by an all-party committee. The ECO’s lengthy report includes 8 Chapters.  The report covers everything from phosphorus runoff concerns to Environmental Bill...

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Assessing and Understanding Health and Environmental Risks

Posted by on 2:19 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Is “it” regulated and/or is “it” an environmental contaminant of concern?  That depends.  It depends because the regulation of chemicals, as well as exposure pathways, change.  In some cases, change is quick and by a lot.  So the answer to that question will depend on when you ask. The changing regulatory landscape is one of many challenges for those managing environmental risks.  Below are some updates on a couple of chemicals/groups (phthalates/BENPAT [1,4-Benzenediamine, N,N’-mixed Phenyl and tolyl derivatives]) recently assessed....

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Six-Figure Fine for Stormwater Violations

Posted by on 1:04 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Earlier this year, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) fined a subcontractor $600,000 for the discharge of “sediment-laden water” into nearby streams, for not reporting the discharge, and for failing to employ the best management practices. According to the news release, a stormwater and erosion prevention plan was submitted for review and approved by the MOECC.  It is noteworthy that the main contractor was exonerated because it was specifically outlined in the contract that the subcontractor was responsible for...

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Chemicals Management Plan Update

Posted by on 5:56 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In the eighth issue of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Progress report, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), along with Health Canada, provided their half-year update on the assessment of chemical substances. The 11-page document provides a more-detailed look at the evaluation process, including microbeads, which we have discussed in the past. Below are a couple of notable new updates to the CMP. Asbestos What’s the latest regarding asbestos prohibition?  “The government expects to publish proposed regulations prohibiting the...

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The Duty to Consult

Posted by on 3:09 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In Duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples of Ontario, the Provincial Government of Ontario states that, “Ontario, as the Crown, has a legal obligation to consult with Aboriginal peoples where it contemplates decisions or actions that may adversely impact asserted or established Aboriginal or treaty rights. Ontario is committed to meeting its duty to consult with First Nations and Métis communities.” This consultation, according to a July 14, 2017, Ontario Divisional Court Ruling, did not happen as it relates to a limestone quarry on the...

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Local Control of Environmental Remediation

Posted by on 7:46 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The more proximate you are to a problem, the more you are vested in finding a solution, quickly.  While this may seem obvious, this hasn’t, in general, been applied to environmental remediation of impacted sites. For example, environmental issues at abandoned industrial sites or old historical federal sites are typically addressed by the federal or provincial governments.  While they are likely well intentioned in their efforts, the outcome, or rate of the outcome, does not usually impact them directly. Calgary Wants More Control over Sites...

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Environmental Infractions are Getting More Costly

Posted by on 2:54 pm in Blog | 0 comments

When I talk with my colleagues in our US office, they often comment that the fines for environmental violations seem far less severe in Canada than in the US.  In fact, earlier this year, the US Environmental Protection Agency substantially increased the potential cost for non-compliance. However, as I shared with my colleagues, some recent cases in Canada may signal a change in environmental fines, as well as plaintiff awards. Larger Penalties The federal Fisheries Act was updated a few years ago to allow for “more monetary teeth” in...

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Cambridge TCE Site – One of the Largest

Posted by on 6:59 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The Cambridge trichloroethylene (TCE) site is one of the largest TCE sites in Ontario.  This, according to Amy Shaw, district manager with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).  The site is the former Northstar Aerospace facility site in Cambridge, Ontario, where it has been 12 years since the Bishop Street TCE plume was discovered. Earlier this spring, the Cambridge TCE issue was in the news again.  The CBC reported that the MOECC did not have a timeline for when the area will be completely remediated. OHSInsider ran a...

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