Planning / environmental assessment

Environmental assessment and other planning efforts to avoid creating new environmental problems

Energy East Pipeline v Belugas, Part 2

The threatened white beluga whales of the St. Lawrence or high-noise pipeline work? Earlier this month we blogged about Justice Claudine Roy’s decision granting a temporary injunction to environmental groups, blocking Energy East Pipeline Ltd. and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. from conducting exploratory work in the St. Lawrence River near Cacouna, QC until October 15, when a…

U.S. Pentagon: Climate Change an Immediate Security Threat

The U.S. Pentagon’s latest report, the 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, calls climate change an immediate threat to national security. The forward, by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, sets the tone: “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will…

Can municipal bylaw stop Hydro One Transformer Station?

Can the Municipality of Clarington, Ontario, by bylaw, force Hydro One to submit a groundwater study in order to build a $296 million transformer station, that has been directed to be built by the Ontario Power Authority, and approved by the Ministry of the Environment?

Port Authority biased in approving coal port?

This month, Ecojustice filed an application for judicial review of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s decision to permit a coal transfer facility. They claim that the Port Authority failed to consider some environmental effects, including climate change, and that the decision of the Port and its officers and staff was affected by bias. Bias is a serious…

Federal Court sends new nuclear reactor back to environmental assessment panel

In a decision released May 14, 2014, the Federal Court of Canada concluded that aspects of a Joint Panel Review (JPR) decision under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for a new nuclear reactor in Ontario were “unreasonable”.

Anti-fracking bylaws: US Lawyer wins green Nobel prize

Helen Slottje, a lawyer in Ithaca, New York, was recently awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work “helping towns across New York defend themselves from oil and gas companies by passing local bans on fracking” (the US equivalent of anti-fracking bylaws).  Her legal research concluded that individual townships could use zoning laws, through “home rule”, to…

Climate change: yes, it’s getting worse fast and it matters

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its Summary for Policy Makers. Based on thousands of scientific studies since 2005 into the growing impacts of climate change, it concludes that key dangerous changes are already underway around the world, and will hurt the poor the most. You should read it, click here. Then demand…

Quebec court strikes down municipal anti-fracking bylaw

A Quebec court has struck down a Gaspe municipal bylaw that tried to prevent exploratory oil wells being drilled and fracked uncomfortably close to its drinking water supply. The court ruled that the bylaw was invalid because it prevented Petrolia Inc. from carrying out drilling specifically authorized by the province. 

Bicycling Law – Past and Future

In “The Rebirth of Bicycling Law“, Professor Christopher Waters provides a fascinating review of the history of bicycling law, dating back to the time when it was called “the law of the wheelman”, as well as a  look forward to the future of the “cycling bar”.

Ecojustice launches Northern Gateway lawsuit

Ecojustice has filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to force the Joint Review Panel to go back to the drawing board and remedy flaws in its final environmental assessment report on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.

MOE explains its new Noise Guideline, NPC 300

Last month, the Ministry of the Environment’s new noise guideline came into force: NPC 300 – the new Environmental Noise Guideline: Stationary and Transportation Sources – Approval and Planning. It replaces the three old guidelines, LU-131, NPC-205, and NPC-232. NPC 300 includes new mitigation options, definitions, and a new land use class. Last week we had the opportunity to attend…

Northern Gateway pipeline doomed by BC and aboriginal opposition?

For an interesting take on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, and the likely impact of the British Columbia government’s public rejection of the proposal, check out the excellent US environmental news program, Living on Earth. Like many other observers, Living on Earth concludes that the federal government might find it hard to override BC’s opposition to…