Environmental Blog

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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 519-948-7300, ext. 114. Environmental Compliance Tips and Insights 2021 February: Public Pollution Reporting Hotline Can the public report a spill or incident in Ontario? Yes, they can and do report spills. The Public Pollution Reporting Hotline is 866-MOETIPS (663877). According to the MECP, the public can call Ontario’s Spills Action Centre if they witness:...

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Environmental Release to Air and Issues with Odours

Posted by on 7:37 pm in Blog | 0 comments

An article from last summer discusses why environmental management is a great educational/career path this way, “You can change the world for the better.” That’s a nice sound bite for university recruiting, but perhaps a bit idealistic. Nowhere in university recruiting material are you likely to find them promoting the often mundane reporting requirements, limited budgets with increased responsibilities, or the headaches when, despite your best efforts, you have to deal with an issue that has unfortunately, grabbed the community’s attention....

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Environmental Contaminants Measured in Canadians

Posted by on 7:14 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In our environmental site assessments, we evaluate chemicals (in soil, water, and air) based on regulatory standards established by the provincial or federal government.  These limits are established based on what is protective of human health and the environment. Canadian Health Measures Survey Looking, specifically, at the human health aspect is the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).  This survey, among other things, tests humans (blood and urine) for certain environmental contaminants. The CHMS is a national survey that is led by...

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Ontario Auditor General Report and Environmental Targets and Monitoring

Posted by on 5:02 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The focus of our blogs, environmental compliance tips, webinars, etc…is typically on the nuts and bolts of environmental compliance, assessment, and remediation. Occasionally, we look at the bigger picture issues because they may eventually have some bearing on the nuts and bolts issues. One of those big picture issues is a look at the annual report from the Auditor General of Ontario. You may recall that since 1994 the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) had acted as the “environmental watchdog” in Ontario. Premier Ford eliminated...

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Construction Activity May Benefit from Proposed Changes to Water Taking

Posted by on 5:42 pm in Press | 0 comments

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/16 to allow a greater number of “low risk, short-term water-taking activities” to register on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) instead of obtaining a Permit to Take Water (PTTW) or Environmental Compliance Approval. In the Discussion Paper provided by the MECP they state, “These amendments include introducing low risk pumping tests with well understood impacts as a new prescribed activity for registration on the...

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Environmental Violations Lead to Fines

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Environmental violations and the subsequent penalties can take months or years to “settle.”  When the violation is of federal environmental laws, there is the potential prospect of getting your name added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. According to the Government of Canada, “The registry includes convictions of corporations obtained through court proceedings.  Court prosecutions are one of several enforcement measures that may be used when violations or potential violations are detected.” Two of the three summaries below resulted in...

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Redeveloping Brownfield Sites in Ontario

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Which will work better for your new commercial development?  A Brownfield or a Greenfield?  A site with an “environmental history” obviously presents some complications, but if the location is right and the price is appealing, then the Brownfield Site may hold greater value. The old school of thought that suggested you dismiss out of hand, old industrial sites and focus only on Greenfields, may mean you are missing out on the ideal location. Thanks to the Record of Site Condition O. Regulation 153/04 passed on October 1, 2004, property...

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Canadian Companies Face Environmental Enforcement in Canada and the US

Posted by on 7:02 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Environmental Enforcement stories tend to get attention.  Sometimes it’s an indication of a trend or enforcement initiative, or it may be that a case has reached a conclusion.  Regardless, they are usually interesting unless, of course, it hits too close to home. The two enforcement cases below couldn’t be more different.  The first case was interesting because we have been following the ongoing enforcement at dry cleaners in Canada… the second because it crosses the border and it has some interesting history. Dry Cleaner Ordered to Pay...

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Environmental Issues at Old Manufacturing Plant In Ontario

Posted by on 8:55 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Addressing environmental issues at old manufacturing plants that have been shuttered can be a significant undertaking.  The storage and use of chemicals and products used in decades past may have been perfectly legal and acceptable at the time.  These same practices may now be both illegal and pose human health and environmental risks. Century-Old Manufacturing Plant is Potential Source of Contamination We were reminded of these risks again recently as the closed General Motors (GM) Plant in St. Catharines, Ontario, has been identified for...

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Scientifically Valid Evidence of Oil Sand Tailings Contamination?

Posted by on 8:42 pm in Blog | 0 comments

According to a report in the CBC, “An environmental watchdog says it has found ‘scientifically valid evidence’ that Alberta’s oilsands tailings ponds are contaminating groundwater sources.” The group, Commission for Environmental Cooperation, did not elaborate on the specifics of this evidence in the CBC report, but the CBC report includes the 200-page report “Alberta Tailings Pond II.” One section of the report is “State of the Science in Environmental Chemical Forensics for Distinguishing Natural and Anthropogenic Sources of...

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