Negligent Engineers – is the Public Protected?
Who should the public trust to do environmental site assessments? The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) proposes to sharply cut down the list of “Qualified Persons”, on the assumption that only Professional Engineers and Geoscientists have both qualifications and professional reg…Continue reading the post titled Negligent Engineers – is the Public Protected?
Crown appeals landmark ruling in Berendsen
To no one’s surprise, the Ontario government is appealing their loss in Berendsen v. the Queen. This is the case that ordered the Crown to pay $1.7 million in damages for contaminating a dairy farm, 40 years ago, with waste asphalt from road construction. Road waste is still deposited …Continue reading the post titled Crown appeals landmark ruling in Berendsen
Is it Enough to Meet MOE Standards?
Two Ontario cases in the last year decided that it’s not enough to meet MOE standards. One is Berendsen v. the Queen (see February 1). The other is Dawber v. Director, Ministry of the Environment. In Dawber, Lafarge obtained MOE approval to burn waste tires as fuel in its cement kiln. Lafarg…Continue reading the post titled Is it Enough to Meet MOE Standards?
Is it better to pay taxes on income or on pollution?
For forty years, Canadian environmental law has tried to defeat economics. That is, we have forbidden people and businesses from doing things that save them money, and commanded them to do things that cost money. In the circumstances, it’s amazing that we’ve accomplished so much: air is clea…Continue reading the post titled Is it better to pay taxes on income or on pollution?
Three Cheers for BC!
It is basic economics and good common sense: to discourage something, make it more expensive. And vice versa. So why does Canada put heavy taxes on things we do want (like employment) and no taxes on things we don’t want (like pollution)? For years, economists and environmentalists hav…Continue reading the post titled Three Cheers for BC!
Berendsen Changes the Rules for Contaminated Sites
Every so often, a court decision changes the rules. Everyone interested in contaminated sites needs to understand what Berendsen v. Ontario has changed.At first glance, there is nothing unusual about the facts. Farmer buys land for dream dairy farm. The cows become sick; he loses money. He b…Continue reading the post titled Berendsen Changes the Rules for Contaminated Sites
Community Right to Know – Will it Work?
Toronto Public Health still has some questions to answer about its proposed, precedent-setting Environmental Reporting and Disclosure Bylaw. For example:1. The City needs to deal explicitly with the fact that many sources of local ambient air pollution are located outside the City, and there…Continue reading the post titled Community Right to Know – Will it Work?
10 Things You Need to Know About Contaminated Sites
A frightening amount of money is spent every year in litigation and other anguish over contaminated sites. In terms of harm to human health and the environment, contaminated sites are far less important than clean air, clean water, climate change and urban sprawl. But because of the regulato…Continue reading the post titled 10 Things You Need to Know About Contaminated Sites
Investigation v. Inspection
An appeal court has confirmed it again: an inspection can continue while an investigation is underway, but investigators must be able to prove that they did not use any information from such an inspection. In R. v. Crown Cork and Seal, the Ministry of the Environment investigator met with a…Continue reading the post titled Investigation v. Inspection
Ontario Moving Towards Ban on Cosmetic Use of Pesticides
Following the lead blazed by the City of Toronto and other municipalities, the Ontario government has promised to adopt “New legislation [to] ban the cosmetic use of pesticides in cities and towns.” Now, until February 17, 2008, it is seeking public comments on how the ban should work.…Continue reading the post titled Ontario Moving Towards Ban on Cosmetic Use of Pesticides