Environmental Blog

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Two Current Environmental Issues and Identifying the Source of Pollution

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

Environmental or legislative issues, and any level of approval they may enjoy, will vary based on geography, industry, and a variety of other factors.  Cases in point, Bill C-69 and algal blooms. Officially, Bill C-69 goes by the not-so-short title, “An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.” Opposition to Bill C-69 Not everyone is “a fan” of Bill C-69, especially in Alberta.  Despite its passage through the House...

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Do I Need to Register with the MECP’s Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR)?

Posted by on 8:03 pm in Blog | 0 comments

It’s been almost two years since the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) finalized regulation requiring facilities with air, noise, and odour emissions to register with the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR). This regulation, entitled Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 1/17 of the Environmental Protection Act, dated January 2017, applies to all Ontario facilities not explicitly excluded in the regulation.  These excluded facilities, which are regulated elsewhere, are listed in Tables 1 and 2 below. Though it...

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The Court of Public Perception

Posted by on 12:14 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Environmental management issues go beyond a cut-and-dried reading and application of the regulations. Often there is more than just “scientific facts” and a strict reading of the regulations.  Sometimes perceptions and sentiment trump facts, and sometimes the regulations have not caught up with the science. This extra-regulatory approach to environmental management is often lumped under what is referred to as a social licence. Defining Social Licence The idea of a social licence is imprecise at best.  It’s not based on hard science or...

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Limiting Environmental Events and More Fines

Posted by on 12:44 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The Professor of my graduate class in Principles of Pollution Control stated if we can eliminate preliminary events (e.g., long working hours, poor maintenance, etc.), initiating or triggering events never occur; nice concept, but not so easy to execute. In an earlier blog, we said that, more often than not, human error (including communications) plays a key role in mishaps.  These errors can be dangerous, costly, and can pose public relations challenges to the companies when the violation occurs. While we don’t have any unique insight with...

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Environmental Liability: Communities, Buyers, Sellers, and Consultants

Posted by on 4:49 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Environmental liability protection seems to be nothing more than paperwork … until it’s not. Who Pays for Environmental Damages? We often discuss issues surrounding environmental liability, because every time a property changes hands, this is, potentially, a very big deal.  Earlier this year, my colleague Allan Clifford Lawton, discussed the Redwater Energy Case and who will pay for abandoned oil wells when an oil company goes bankrupt. The Redwater Decision has potentially far-reaching consequences across Canada.  Provincial and local...

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Water Quality Concerns

Posted by on 3:27 pm in Press | 0 comments

Aside from maintaining environmental compliance, dealing with a spill, evaluating long-term remediation efforts, or assessing the environmental liability at a commercial property before your company commits, there are the big-picture environmental issues that may eventually affect you (or your client’s) business. Environmental Impacts to Water Bodies One of the big-picture issues that is important to everyone is the health of water bodies, small and large.  More specifically, what future solutions may be implemented to address the issue of...

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Environmental Enforcement News Across Canada

Posted by on 6:37 pm in Blog | 0 comments

We are taking a break from news regarding vapour intrusion, managing excess soils, and the hot button issue of PFAS to provide a brief update on environmental enforcement activity. Below are just a few of our environmental enforcement observations. Pipeline Release How we move natural resources from their point of extraction to refinement and then to actual distribution is an important issue.  Mishandling these products can affect human health and the environment. We move a lot of product by way of pipeline in Canada.  According to Natural...

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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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