Archive

Castle logging tests public land law 2/27/2012   Regulated access to public land in Alberta has undergone a major overhaul.  As of September 2011, the Public Lands Administration Regulation is in force under the Public Lands Act.  The new Regulation consolidates a patchwork of existing access regulations and provides sweeping...

The times, are they a-changin’? Standing and the ERCB 2/17/2012   For many years, one of the most troublesome points in environmental law in Alberta has been the very narrow scope of standing, the right to participate in court, regulatory or other legal proceedings. This has been particularly...

EPA finds fracking causes water contamination 2/16/2012   A draft report from the US Environmental Protection Agency on fracking for natural gas in Wyoming found that disposal pits caused shallow groundwater contamination.  The report also found some evidence of substance release into the Wind River drinking water aquifer from production...

Core Environmental Principles for Environmental Laws, Policies and Legal Processes 2/14/2012   The Environmental Law Centre recognizes that the environment is a public good that must be protected. The Environmental Law Centre’s Strategic Plan 2012-2015 references several core environmental principles that are required for strong and effective environmental...

Pipelines and participation: Radical rhetoric, planning and public interest 1/24/2012   There has been significant ink devoted to the recent pipeline proposals in the United States and Canada linking oilsands production to world markets.  There has also been some interesting rhetoric being thrown around by the federal government...

Will Statoil’s “creative sentence” prevent illegal water use? 12/9/2011   Norwegian giant Statoil has pled guilty to breaching the terms of a Water Actlicense, joining Suncor and Syncrude as the third oil sands operator to be convicted under provincial legislation in the last three years.  Statoil’s $190,000 fine  is...

Court directs precaution in pesticide review case 12/2/2011   A recent decision from the Federal Court of Canada is notable for its interpretation of the how the precautionary principle must guide government decisions when dealing with scientific uncertainty.  The case revolved around a “special review” request made by an individual...

What does the future hold for the Alberta Land Stewardship Act? 10/18/2011   Two weeks have passed since Alison Redford became Alberta’s newest premier. One of her first statements as premier was that she would “immediately suspend” the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA), intending to hold consultations and make any needed amendments. ALSA,...

Cumulative environmental defects 10/5/2011   The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development released a report yesterday covering the federal government’s climate change plans and cumulative environmental effects assessment of oil sands projects. The Commissioner identifies several significant deficiencies in federal environmental management.   On the climate change side the Commissioner notes...

Lower Athabasca Regional Plan: Conservation areas mean something 9/2/2011   A Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan has barely been public for a week and already the criticisms sound familiar: Conservation areas are based more on low value energy resources than high value wildlife habitat. Even then existing energy leases can be renewed. ...

The one-two punch for Alberta’s Caribou 9/2/2011   Within the past 7 days the federal and provincial governments published documents that may result in Alberta’s Woodland Caribou going down for the count.   These documents include the proposed federal Recovery Strategy for Woodland Caribou, Boreal population and the Draft Lower Athabasca Regional...