Documents excluded after illegal seizure
Environmental investigators are not allowed to seize private documents unless they have prior judicial authorization (i.e., a search warrant) or the consent of the owner of the documents. However, this does not always stop them.Continue reading the post titled Documents excluded after illegal seizure
Everyone liable for PCB-contaminated oil
A British Columbia used oil company has successfully sued the owner of a PCB transformer, and everyone down a contractual chain, for failing to warn them that the oil was almost pure PCBs. It was awarded $776,033.75.Continue reading the post titled Everyone liable for PCB-contaminated oil
Environmental fines in Canada
Nimonik has posted an interesting and original survey of environmental fines imposed in Canada from 1990 to 2009. According to the reports provided by each jurisdiction, only $26-million dollars worth of environmental fines have been levied against polluters by both provincial and federal l…Continue reading the post titled Environmental fines in Canada
Hazardous waste nonsuit decision
As mentioned last week, we won a rare non-suit motion in the Ontario Court of Justice on three counts, each against three defendants charged with improperly managing hazardous waste at a transfer site, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act. In each case, the Ministry of the Environme…Continue reading the post titled Hazardous waste nonsuit decision
Syncrude pays $3M for dead ducks
On Friday, Syncrude was ordered to pay $3 million in penalties for the 1,600 ducks killed in its tailings ponds four years ago. This is the highest total penalty ever imposed in Canada for an environmental offence. Syncrude was fined the maximum for a single incident: $300,000 for the feder…Continue reading the post titled Syncrude pays $3M for dead ducks
The dirty side of "clean fill"
Consumers and businesses frequently purchase or accept “clean fill” for use on their properties, without requiring environmental testing. But if the fill is contaminated, the ultimate costs can be very high.Continue reading the post titled The dirty side of "clean fill"
Model contract for engineers and their clients
We are frequently consulted on disputes over the wording of contracts between environmental engineers and their clients. Some contracts are just badly drafted, so it’s hard to know what they mean. Others are clearly drafted, but don’t describe what the client was promised. Some …Continue reading the post titled Model contract for engineers and their clients
Successful nonsuits- hazardous waste
Successful non-suits of environmental prosecutions are rare. A non-suit is granted only when the Crown has failed to offer any evidence, no matter how manifestly unreliable, of the essential elements of the offences charged. I was therefore particularly pleased to achieve three non-suits o…Continue reading the post titled Successful nonsuits- hazardous waste
Should government get away with defying the law?
I don’t think so. See my column in today’s SLAW, (Canada’s top legal blog) on the Federal Court of Appeal’s weak and unwise decision on the federal government’s defiance of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. The Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to appe…Continue reading the post titled Should government get away with defying the law?
Factory farms- who controls the pollution?
Who is responsible for pollution from contract farms: the family farm, or the multi-national food company who controls everything that they do? A US case has set an important precedent on the liability of the food companies. In Assateague Coastkeeper v Hudson et al, an environmental group su…Continue reading the post titled Factory farms- who controls the pollution?