Environmental Blog

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Proposed Changes to Penalties for Environmental Violations in Ontario

Posted by on 2:15 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In our blog on October 30th, “Enforcement of Environmental Laws in Canada,” we discussed what appears to be an increased cost of not complying with environmental laws across Canada. As we said then, environmental protection laws and the penalties associated with non-compliance are constantly changing.  And, indeed, more (proposed) changes are upon us. Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 (Posted October 28, 2019) “…aims to modernize regulatory requirements that are...

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Enforcement of Environmental Laws in Canada

Posted by on 6:26 pm in Blog | 0 comments

It was about ten months ago in our first blog of 2019 that we shared news of two environmental fines: A pulp and paper company was ordered to pay $3.5 million for violations of the Fisheries Act. A seafood company was fined $115,000 for contravening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. It was just the next month in our February 28th blog where we again shared more enforcement news:  Syncrude paid $3 million for violating the Migratory Birds Act, and Green For Life (GFL) paid $300,000 – not for an actual release, but for an...

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A Fine From a Release, A “Scary” Release, and Potential Regulation of Releases

Posted by on 2:36 pm in Blog | 0 comments

If you are in charge of environmental management, then no one needs to tell you that it can be complex and even frustrating. It requires knowing which regulations apply to your facilities, training your employees so they don’t unknowingly violate the regulations, and keeping a watchful eye on developing regulations. The three updates below provide us with a reminder of why environmental managers must not only develop and implement good internal policies, but why they also need to keep a good pulse on developing regulations. $50,000 Fine in...

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Finding Solutions to Pervasive Environmental Contamination Issues

Posted by on 8:45 pm in Blog | 0 comments

By nearly every measure, Canadians today live, work, and play in a cleaner and safer environment than in past generations.  From required environmental permitting and limiting various discharges to assessing and tracking chemical use and the growth of less-toxic alternatives for personal products and manufacturing processes…we have made tremendous progress.  But, and you knew a “but” was coming, there are still no shortages of issues that require our attention. Age-Old Problem of Sewage Still Plagues Canada One of the most important...

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Recent Environmental Problems and Using a “Multitude of Counsel” to Avoid Future Problems

Posted by on 2:10 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The law of unintended consequences says actions of people, and especially of government, always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.  This may aptly describe the first of two recent environmental-related news stories below. These unintended consequences can, at times, be avoided, or at least limited, by careful planning and by full consideration in the multitude of counsel.  At a minimum, we are reminded to thoroughly consider that next project before moving forward. Green Energy Blamed for Black Water It appears that the case...

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Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances: What We Know and Don’t Know

Posted by on 4:58 pm in Blog | 0 comments

If you do a Google search (on google.ca) for PFAS, in about a half a second, you’ll have more than 60 million hits.  Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are potentially an important issue for human health, the environment, and the regulated community. What exactly are PFAS?  Should you be concerned about them? PFAS have been linked to a variety of health effects from developmental issues to cancer.  They are also persistent and can bioaccumulate (build up in the body) in mammals and piscivorous (meat-eating) birds. The Widespread Use...

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Use and Environmental Management of Natural Resources in Canada

Posted by on 5:43 pm in Blog | 0 comments

When it comes to natural resources in Canada, we’ve made the most of our abundant resources.  So much so that our natural resources account for 17% of the Gross Domestic Product, and nearly two million people in Canada are employed (directly or indirectly) getting these resources to market. The mining, use, and management of various natural resources is often lauded and vilified in the same sentence.  Some of these natural resources are essential for life. Improper uses or releases of these same resources also carry human health and...

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Do You Know if You Need a Permit to Take Water?

Posted by on 6:29 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Do you need a permit to take water (PTTW)?  You might be surprised.  This regulation may apply to your current business activities.  To avoid a potential violation, make sure you understand the PTTW permitting requirements.  Also, as we point out below, document your activities. When am I required to apply for a PTTW? In Ontario, under the Ontario Water Resources Act and Ontario Regulation 387/04, you are generally required to have a permit if you are taking 50,000 litres (L) or more of water per day from the environment (including...

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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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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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