Environmental Blog

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Environmental Regulatory Bans, Delays, and Changes

Posted by on 7:05 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Our monthly environmental compliance tips are typically focused on daily compliance issues for the regulated community.  However, it’s also important to monitor the bigger-picture environmental issues as well.  Before we look at some of those larger issues we want to mention the change at Ontario Ministry of the Environment.  As of June 29, 2018, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has been renamed to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP).  We have already seen policy changes (below) and...

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Managing Excess Soils in Ontario

Posted by on 1:49 pm in Blog | 0 comments

How you manage excess soils is increasingly important to the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP). The MECP might be more recognizable under its former name, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).  If it’s important to the MECP, it’s important to the regulated community. Concerns about managing excess soils was mentioned as one of the top environmental management priorities for the regulated community in our recent survey.  That’s not surprising, as much has changed since our April 2016 article in...

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Soil Vapour Intrusion: A Complex and Challenging Process

Posted by on 12:28 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Last year, my colleagues “set out” to compile vapour intrusion (VI) standards in each Canadian Province, as well as in each US State.  This effort, we soon found out, was not as easy as we had envisioned.  More on these findings later. Understanding Vapour Intrusion Let’s begin by establishing the VI framework.  Vapour intrusion is a process by which chemicals from soil and groundwater volatilize and migrate into buildings.  These underlying vapours can find their way into buildings through cracks, sump pumps, and utility corridors. VI was...

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Insurance Companies Targeted by Environmentalists

Posted by on 4:46 pm in Blog | 0 comments

For 30 years, Dragun has provided litigation support on a variety of environmental issues, so we always keep an eye on what is happening with potential environmental litigation activity.  Environmental Groups have long targeted various industries or industry groups for their perceived violations of the public trust, specifically the environment. Historical Environmental Issues Early grass root efforts focused on mismanagement of waste by-products that led to the severely-polluted Cuyahoga River in Ohio, the Sydney Tar Ponds in Nova Scotia, or...

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Environmental Issues Most Important to You

Posted by on 1:11 pm in Blog | 0 comments

What’s the most important environmental issue to you?  This is the question we have asked the last two years while attending the CANECT Environmental Compliance and Due Diligence Training Conference in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Just as last year, the entire survey consisted of one question:  “What is the most important environmental issue facing the regulated community in Ontario or Canada wide?”  We offered no explanation beyond this. We spoke with people from a wide range of industry groups, municipal governments, lawyers, consultants...

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Canadian Oil Refineries Focus of Articles

Posted by on 5:08 pm in Blog | 0 comments

To say that our economy is dependent on “black gold” or fossil fuels is an understatement.  The energy from fossil fuels, as well as the myriad of other natural resources, support our highly mobile, communicative, and knowledge-based economy.  As we refine our various natural resources for “consumption,” there are environmental management considerations. While our consumer-based society certainly enjoys the end products (gasoline/diesel fuel, mobile phones, computers, flat-screen, high-definition televisions, medical advancements, clothing,...

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Solving Groundwater Contamination: Another Piece of the Puzzle

Posted by on 1:41 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In explaining how you go about solving complex soil and groundwater problems, we’ve used various analogies over the years, including putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and assembling building blocks to develop a robust conceptual site model. The point being, soil and groundwater assessment and remediation can be complex, and in order to find the best solution, you will often need more than one tool and/or one discipline to get you to your end point. Dr. Fatemeh Vakili, who joined Dragun in December 2017, talked about one of the...

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Port Hope, Ontario, Cleanup and New Concerns

Posted by on 4:38 pm in Blog | 0 comments

As progress is reported on Canada’s largest environmental cleanup at the site in Port Hope, Ontario, more questions are arising. Canada’s Largest Environmental Cleanup Some indication of the level of effort associated with this site is that there is a website devoted to the Port Hope Area Initiative, or PHAI.  This massive project is complicated by the fact that the historical contamination affects many residents in the area.  According to the website, “The Port Hope Project involves the cleanup of historic (sic) low-level radioactive waste...

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Changes to Canadian Federal Environmental Legislation

Posted by on 5:12 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Just last week we mentioned developments on the federal level that the regulated community is monitoring (see Supreme Court of Canada Considers Environmental Liability Case). This isn’t the only federal legislative activity that is being considered and getting attention from many groups across Canada. The recent proposed legislation was “pledged” in the 2015 election campaign.  Specifically, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “undoing” several legislative changes from the former (Harper) administration.  These changes are set out in Bill 69,...

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Supreme Court of Canada Considers Environmental Liability Case

Posted by on 1:33 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Several years ago, my colleague and I wrote an article with respect to how the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) viewed environmental liability in an incident in Kawartha Lakes.  We were certainly not the only one to express concern about this case.  There is another environmental liability case that is getting plenty of attention. The case, which has been forwarded to the Supreme Court of Canada, is a relatively-small bankruptcy case in Alberta.  However, it is being watched by the Canadian environmental...

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