Waste Diversion Woes
Municipalities are often squeezed between the imperative of waste diversion, and the immense practical and legal obstacles that can plague it. Last week, waste diversion pioneer, the City of Guelph, was fined $40,000, plus a 25% Victim Fine Surcharge. Charges against the waste manager, perso…Continue reading the post titled Waste Diversion Woes
Final Report: IPCC 4
The Science Now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has formally released its Fourth Assessment Report, the pressure is on governments everywhere to actually do something. This report synthesizes the three component reports released earlier in the year, in which world governme…Continue reading the post titled Final Report: IPCC 4
Toxic Soil in Vanier?
Homeowners in part of Vanier, Ontario (now part of the City of Ottawa), want the City to investigate and help remediate the contamination of their properties: lead, arsenic, mercury. The homes were built in the 1940’s, on the site of an old landfill. Is the City legally liable? Or is t…Continue reading the post titled Toxic Soil in Vanier?
Giving the MOE False Information?
An environmental consultant and his firm have been heavily penalized for the serious offence of giving false information to the Ministry of the Environment. The consultant, Ron Carter, was hired to sample the notorious Bakelite site for PCBs. While some of his samples did detect PCBs, he tol…Continue reading the post titled Giving the MOE False Information?
Does the covenant to leave the property “in a clean and neat condition” at the end of a long term lease require the tenant to clean up all its contamination? Or only the contamination that has occurred since the last renewal of the lease? And does the tenant have to pay rent unti…Continue reading the post titled Tenant's Contamination
Lead, Children and Crime
This summer’s flurry of concern about lead in Ontario drinking water gets extra power from a growing body of research linking preschool blood lead and subsequent crime rates. Rick Nevin, for example, has tracked blood lead levels and violent crime over several decades in the USA, Brita…Continue reading the post titled Lead, Children and Crime
New Minister of the Environment
The new Ontario Minister of Environment is John Gerretsen, MPP Kingston and The Islands. This is an encouraging appointment for anyone interested in brownfields development, as Mr. Gerretsen has been Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for the last several years. During this time, the …Continue reading the post titled New Minister of the Environment
Bicycle Commuting in London
In the federal Throne speech, Canada again claims to be leading the world on climate change, when in fact we are an international embarrassment. My recent trip to London, England, drove home again how far we are behind. Climate change is a matter of frequent public and private discourse in t…Continue reading the post titled Bicycle Commuting in London
Who’s responsible for reducing local air pollution?
Air pollution is wide-spread across Ontario, coming from many sources and moving with large air masses from one region to the next. It’s resulting in health effects, including cancer and respiratory illnesses like asthma. Last year, more than 5000 premature deaths were attributed to poor a…Continue reading the post titled Who’s responsible for reducing local air pollution?
Contaminated soil from home heating fuel oil
Many older homes that were once heated with oil, or still are, had big tanks by the side of the house, buried underground or in the basement. These tanks held enough oil to keep families warm throughout the winter. But whether an old tank is still there, or was removed long ago, escaped home…Continue reading the post titled Contaminated soil from home heating fuel oil