News & Publications

Environmental & Regulatory Matters

Ontario’s First Cap and Trade Program Auction

Written by on April 07, 2017.

On April 3, 2017 Ontario announced the results of its first auction of greenhouse gas emissions allowances (GHG Auction) that was held March 22, 2017. The cap and trade program has a market cycle consisting of compliance periods. In each compliance period there are emission allowance distributions, auctions, emissions reporting deadlines, and one single “true-up” (this is where the Capped Participant submits the required number of its emission allowances and credits for the compliance per...

Validity of the Renewable Fuels Regulations under CEPA upheld

Written by on June 29, 2016.

The Federal Court of Appeal has recently rendered a decision in another judicial review involving the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). Syncrude, which produces diesel fuel at its tar sands operations, commenced an application challenging the validity of federal regulations made under CEPA requiring that all diesel fuel produced, imported, or sold in Canada contain a minimum of 2% renewable fuel (the Renewable Fuels Regulations). In Syncrude v Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FCA 1...

Energy and Water 2016 Symposium and Industry Summit

Written by on June 21, 2016.

Environmental Law Practice Group Leader, Paula Lombardi will be speaking at the upcoming Energy and Water 2016 Symposium and Industry Summit. See below for details on the event and click here to register. Energy and Water 2016 Symposium and Industry Summit Sustainable energy and water use will be the focus of an annual symposium and industry summit hosted by the University of Windsor on June 22-23, 2016. Nearly 100 local and international scientists, engineers, policy makers, cap...

$8,000 Fine and $10,950 Restitution Payment for Diesel Fuel Spill

Written by on May 20, 2016.

Earlier this month, a truck driver pleaded guilty to failing to provide notice of a diesel fuel spill to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (“MOECC”). He was fined $8,000 (plus the 25% victim fine surcharge of $1,250) for the offence, and ordered to pay $10,950.07 in restitution to the fuel station that cleaned up the spill. The individual charged was employed as a truck driver by a Stoney Creek company. On an overnight stop in Dryden Ontario, between 100 and 200 litres of die...

$21,000 fine and restitution for road salt damage to trees

Written by on April 29, 2016.

On April 6, 2016, Jaret Bousfield was convicted under the Environmental Protection Act for permitting the discharge of road salt that caused or was likely to cause damage to a neighbour’s mature cedar trees. Bousfield pleaded guilty to the charge, and was fined $5,000, plus the 25% victim fine surcharge. In addition, he also paid $16,000 in restitution to his neighbour for the damaged trees. Mr. Bousfield was storing road salt at his property within a non-waterproof structure, next to his n...

Priestly Demolition fined $70,000 for Spill and Failure to Report to MOECC

Written by on April 13, 2016.

The defendant, Priestly Demolition Inc. caused chlorine gas to be discharged into the environment when an employee operating a magnetic grapple attempted to move old pressurized gas cylinders. During the move, a valve snapped releasing the gas. The employee experienced a burning sensation and was taken to the hospital where he received treatment and stayed overnight. The employee has suffered no known long-term harm to his health. The chlorine cloud released from the gas cylinder drifted acr...

Teck Metals: $3 Million in Fisheries Act fines

Written by on April 04, 2016.

On February 29, 2016, Teck Metals Ltd. plead guilty to three offences under the Fisheries Act for the release of substances deleterious to fish in the Columbia River. The total fine was $3,000,000 for the Fisheries Act offences. Teck Metals also paid $400,000 in fines under BC legislation. All of the $3,000,000 fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund for fish habitat and fisheries restoration projects in the Kootenay River or Columbia River watersheds. Teck Metals released a...

Shell fined $500,000, pays $200,000 to First Nation following 2013 spill

Written by on March 30, 2016.

In case you missed it, nearly 3 years following the event, Shell Canada Ltd has been sentenced for a spill of “flare knock-out liquids” at a Sarnia-area refinery. The January 2013 spill affected members of the nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation, who experienced a variety of adverse health effects (including sore eyes and throats, vomiting, nausea, headaches, and anxiety) and were forced to respond to a “shelter-in-place” advisory. Late last fall, Shell pled guilty to one charge under sec...

First Imprisonment under CEPA for dry cleaner

Written by on March 18, 2016.

At the end of February, Environment and Climate Change Canada posted a notice about its “first-ever imprisonment” of a dry cleaner under the tetrachloroethylene regulations. For improper storage and handling practices, the dry-cleaner will face a four-month conditional sentence in the form of 75 days house arrest followed by a curfew and an additional 60 hours of community service. We’ve noticed a trend of higher enforcement activity against dry cleaners in recent years. In October 201...

PMRA Failing To Fulfill Its Mandate

Written by on March 11, 2016.

The Federal Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development (“Commissioner”) tabled heraudit findings on January 26, 2016 of the management of pesticides by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulator Agency (“PMRA”). The Commissioner reviewed PMRA’s efforts to protect Canadians and the Environment from the unacceptable risks associated with the use of pesticides. The report concluded With respect to conditional registrations, re-evaluations, special reviews, and canc...