Air pollution

Air Pollution. For greenhouse gases, see Climate Change

Powerful reports by environmental commissioners

Congratulations to both the federal and provincial environmental commissioners, who continue to strenuously remind our governments how far they fall short on environmental stewardship, and who both issued powerful reports this week. Bees, Algonquin Park, “Chemical Alley”, urban sprawl, climate change, weak environmental assessment, inadequate commitment to environmental monitoring in the oil sands: there is no…

Environment Minister Murray’s mandate letter

Every Cabinet minister gets his or her marching orders from the Premier or Prime Minister. These “mandates” used to be top secret, but Ontario now makes them public. Here is the mandate letter for the new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, with our emphasis added. On environmental legislation, note the commitment to reintroducing the…

Urban Forests Across Canada Valued at $51B

TD Bank issued a report on September 24, 2014, providing an economic valuation of urban forests in the greater Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver areas, estimating that these forests contain more than 100 million trees which carry an estimated worth of $51 billion (Halifax: $11.5B; Montreal: $4.5B; Vancouver: $35B). TD claims that for each dollar spent…

Herbicide Spray Drift a “Normal” Farm Practice?

Organic farmers in Nova Scotia filed a lawsuit against a neighbouring farm for damages allegedly caused by a herbicide which drifted onto their property. In particular, the plaintiffs claimed that the herbicide caused damage to their crops, the miscarriage of four horses, and personal injury. The defendant farmer claimed immunity under section 10(1) of Nova…

Toronto Public Health Reveals Local Air Pollution Sources

Local air pollution from small sources like autobody shops and corner laundries cause the deaths of at least 120 city residents each year, according to the Toronto Star  citing a Toronto Public Health study called ChemTRAC.

Toronto Trees: $7B in health and environment

Toronto trees are worth an estimated $7 Billion, or about $700 per tree, according to a June 9, 2014, report from TD Economics. Toronto trees provide residents with over $80 million, or about $8 per tree, of environmental benefits and savings a year, as they are a critical factor in environmental conditions, human health and the overall quality of urban health.…

Bee-killing pesticides: Prince Edward County seeks moratorium

On May 27, 2o14, Prince Edward County passed a resolution asking the provincial and federal governments to declare a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid (neonics) crop treatments, as soon as possible, pending further study. These pesticides are thought to seriously affect bee health. Bees, which are essential to most forms of agriculture, have been dying at unprecedented rates.

Federal govt proposes new air pollution regulations

The federal government has proposed a major set of new air pollution regulations to reduce industrial-source air pollution, starting with performance standards for the cement sector and two equipment types: gaseous-fuel-fired non-utility boilers/ heaters and stationary spark-ignition gaseous-fuel-fired engines. The regulations would also achieve modest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama to slash emissions from power plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its long awaited proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards to slash carbon emissions from existing power plants, the largest industrial source of GHG emissions in the US. The rule, if upheld by the Supreme Court, will require existing power plants to reduce GHG emissions by an average of 30…

Clean Air court win for US Environmental Protection Agency

The US Environmental Protection Agency has won an important court victory that may help clean the air in Ontario. About half of the air pollution in southern Ontario blows in from the US, mostly from coal-fired power generation stations. The EPA has been trying, for many years, to force those stations to reduce their pollution,…

Environment Ministry to loosen law for waste-based “alternative fuels” that displace coal

Kudos to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for finally coming to grips, at least a little, with the adverse environmental and environmental effects of labelling too many productive activities as “waste disposal”. The ministry’s proposed regulatory changes will remove the “waste disposal” label from energy-intensive and trade-exposed heavy industry (such as the cement, lime, iron and steel…

MacQueen class action struck out re Sydney Tar Ponds

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has struck out the groundbreaking class action that had been certified relating to contamination from the Sydney Tar Ponds and the associated steel and coke plants: MacQueen v. Ispat Sidbec Inc. This is another major setback to plaintiffs in contaminated land cases, following the lead of the Supreme Court of…

Public access to approvals documents at Environmental Tribunal – Part 2

As mentioned in our previous post, there is a limited right of public access to approvals documents that are part of an application for an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), or are part of the ECA itself, during an application for leave to appeal that ECA to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).