Archive

As the end of Environment Week approaches cynicism creeps in 6/10/2011 Environmental education and programs like the Government of Alberta’s One Simple Act are great…for what they are. I will generalize and say they are window dressing to a dire and economically costly discussion that should be occurring in...

Grass, sky, gone. 4/4/2011 The latest ecosystem status and trends report for Canada, released last fall, indicates rapid decline of native grasslands.  Grasslands are among the most endangered ecologies in the world and in Canada. Many grassland species are endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). 77%, of the...

“Water worlds” and nutrient management policies: recent isotope hydrology studies may have significant policy implications 2/18/2011 Jeffrey McDonell, a hydrologist from Oregon State University and this year’s Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, was recently in Alberta presenting on recent research in isotope hydrology.   It quickly became apparent...

Alberta’s coal fired power debacle 1/18/2011 In all the talk about GHGs and contaminants from oilsands, it is often overlooked how significant the known impacts of Alberta’s heavy reliance on coal fired power are, or how urgently we need to switch to other forms of electricity generation. Impacts...

AUC not GHG 1/8/2011 The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has denied an application by Capital Power to amend greenhouse gas emission conditions for the Genesee 3 coal-fired power plant.  These were voluntary commitments to offset emissions that were made before the enactment of provincial reduction regulations.  The AUC heard...

RSC Report: Science, regulation and the precautionary principle 12/18/2010 Earlier this week the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) released a lengthy report on the state of oilsands science and regulation in Alberta.  The report rightly notes the lack of data on such important issues as water quality, air...

Killer whale judgment released – Canada still has responsible government 12/10/2010 The Federal Court released a very important decision earlier this week on the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales and the protection of their habitat under federal Species At Risk Act (SARA). The Southern Resident Killer Whales are...

The cumulative impacts of liquor stores and oilsands 11/26/2010 A recent Alberta Court of Appeal “leave to appeal” decision deals with the cumulative impacts of development…well the cumulative impact of having another liquor store in the Town of High River that is. The case involved an application by the Town...

How a change of plans can jeopardize environmental goals: The trouble with results-based environmental management 11/10/2010 Published in Alberta Oil Magazine, November 2010  By Jason Unger, Staff Counsel, Environmental Law Centre An application has recently been made to Alberta Environment to divert water from the Clearwater River, a Canadian Heritage...

Time to apply ‘polluter pays’ principle 11/8/2010 Edmonton Journal November 7, 2010 Re: “Good call on carbon-capture liability,” Opinion, Nov. 3. The Journal editorial fails to consider a core principle regarding how we should treat our environment. That is: a polluter should pay for management of waste streams...