Environmental Blog

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Environmental Issues on Land and Sea

Posted by on 1:48 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Environmental issues on land and sea were recently in the news.  While releases to the surface are pretty familiar territory for most environmental professionals, environmental issues involving the seas are fairly rare, at least for us landlubbers. Disposal at Sea It may not be widely known that there are materials that may be legally disposed at sea, including: dredged material (e.g., from dredging operations in shipping channels), fish waste (common on the east coast), vessels, rocks, and inert/inorganic geologic matter.  No toxic or...

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How Well do You Understand Groundwater and How Contaminants Move in Groundwater?

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

Contaminated groundwater can be a significant environmental challenge.  How contaminants move in the groundwater and how to address or remediate groundwater is a common topic of seminars, webinars, and articles (you can view our series of webinars on assessment and remediation of groundwater). While not an uncommon issue, few environmental professionals are fluent in their knowledge of groundwater.  Personally, my environmental undergraduate degree barely touched on groundwater, let alone groundwater contamination.  Many of my colleagues, on...

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Will This Make Hazardous Waste Reporting Easier in Ontario?

Posted by on 6:39 pm in Blog | 0 comments

If you are among those who have expressed your displeasure about Ontario’s Hazardous Waste Information System, or HWIN, this may be good news.  The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is proposing to change this with a new “digital reporting service.” Hazardous Waste Reporting in Ontario The MECP has issued (June 19, 2020) a discussion paper, Modernizing Hazardous Waste Reporting in Ontario.  In this document, they state, “We have heard that the current reporting service (HWIN) is difficult to use, resulting in most reports...

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U.S. Pipelines Shut Down: Will This Impact Canada?

Posted by on 12:54 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Recent decisions in the United States (U.S.) regarding transporting petroleum via pipelines have again opened the debate on pipelines and their potential environmental impact.  These decisions are also a reminder that legal and regulatory decisions in either country can affect their neighbours. Enbridge Line 5 For years, “Line 5” (owned by Enbridge and runs under the Straits of Mackinac) has been targeted by environmental groups as posing too great a risk to the Great Lakes.  The nearly-70-year old petroleum pipeline runs 645 miles (1,038...

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Federal Environmental Enforcement Concerns and Recent Enforcement

Posted by on 8:07 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In an article in early January 2020 by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), they wrote, “As the New Year approaches there are numerous environmental issues that will continue to command the attention of litigators and legislators across Canada.”  The article then lays out why it will be a busy year for environmental issues in Canada.  In closing, they state, “For these and other reasons, 2020 is shaping up to be a busy (if not intriguing) year for environmental lawyers and their clients across Canada.” While it was only written...

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The Environment, The Economy, Reporting Deadlines, and Delays

Posted by on 5:00 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic is a challenge on many fronts, not the least of which are economic recovery and environmental protection. First, an important reminder on an upcoming deadline:  the Environmental Emergency (E2) regulations. As we shared about a year ago, “In August 2019, the updated Environmental Emergency (E2 Regulations) will officially repeal and replace the existing Environmental Emergency Regulations.”  We also said that the regulations affect about 3,000 facilities across Canada. At the time we are writing this blog,...

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Businesses Start the Process of Recovery from COVID-19

Posted by on 3:24 pm in Blog | 0 comments

  Many people have commented on how quiet it was as we were  in lockdown due to COVID-19.  In some places, wildlife found once-busy urban environments now very appealing as traffic all but disappeared. The lack of cars, trucks, air traffic, and industrial activity did lend itself to peaceful evening walks and allowed us to, at least for the moment, forget about the tragic situation across the globe. Reopening the Economy We are now in the slow process of carefully and cautiously bringing the economy back into production.  We have had...

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Canadian Provincial Environmental Policies During COVID-19

Posted by on 3:18 pm in Blog | 0 comments

There have been many policy changes during this COVID-19 pandemic. These changes affect many aspects of our personal and professional lives.  As it relates to provincial environmental policies, there is a wide-range of responses. The summary below is very brief, and we suggest that you evaluate how changes in provincial policies may affect your environmental obligations. Ontario:  The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks announced changes under the Environmental Bill of Rights.  See “Temporary Exemptions Relating to...

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Lingering Environmental Issues and Some Remediation Progress

Posted by on 2:34 pm in Blog | 0 comments

While environmental headlines may tend to focus on the issue du jour (PFAS, plastics, microbeads, etc.), we still have plenty of older, unresolved environmental issues that require our attention.  However, we have made some significant progress along the way. Old Sewer Systems There was another reminder about the problems we continue to have with infrastructure, specifically our aging sewers and outdated combined sewer overflows (CSOs). 24-Billion-Litre Spill over Four Years According to the CBC, “A new report says Hamilton doesn’t have...

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Maintaining Your Environmental Obligations During Difficult Times

Posted by on 2:16 pm in Blog | 0 comments

What are Canadians concerned about as we are dealing with COIVD-19?  According to Statistics Canada, 84% of us are concerned about overloading the healthcare system and 54% are concerned about the health of a loved one.  However, we are being proactive.  92% of us are washing our hands more frequently and 87% are maintaining social-distancing requirements. Environmental Obligations Remain If you are in charge of environmental compliance/management, you may have other concerns as well, including maintaining compliance.   Based on our...

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