Archive

Core principles for environmental assessment 3/12/2012 Following on the heels of a disappointing process for the seven-year review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”), core principles for environmental assessment laws have been endorsed by numerous environmental groups across Canada. The core principles for environmental assessment are: 1. adopt sustainability as the...

Is basic science taking a back seat in policy development? 3/2/2012 There is a mantra that I hear all too often in reference to environmental management. “We can’t manage what we don’t measure.” While I agree, it seems to be me that we rarely measure enough to...

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,...