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Spills

Kawartha oil spill cost recovery litigation drags on

City of Kawartha Lakes taxpayers continue to pay heavily for the Ministry of the Environment’s 2009 order, which required the City to cleanup an oil spill that it did not cause. While everyone agreed that the City was an innocent victim of the spill, the Ministry saddled the City with $471,691 in cleanup costs, arguing that [...]

Another court refuses to impose minimum environmental fines

I’m glad to see the courts making more use of s. 59(2) to offset the unreasonable harshness that the minimum environmental fine regime can create.

Shell Canada charged for Chemical Valley spill

In January of 2013, Shell Canada allegedly spilled "flare liquids", similar to gasoline, from its refinery in Sarnia. People in a nearby First Nation (often affected by Chemical Valley spills) experienced odours, irritation and illness. After waiting until the end of the two year limitation period, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has charged Shell with [...]

Supreme Court hears Chevron Ecuador pollution appeal

Can foreign pollution judgments be enforced in Canada? The Supreme Court of Canada has heard arguments on the attempt by Ecuador pollution plaintiffs to enforce their $9 plus billion Ecuador judgment against Chevron's Canadian assets, in Chevron Corporation, et al. v. Daniel Carlos Lusitande Yaiguaje, et al., Supreme Court of Canada File No. 35682. Although substantial pollution [...]

Less environmental enforcement = more private prosecutions?

When governments do little to enforce environmental laws, generally or in particular areas, private citizens and environmental groups sometimes try to fill the gaps with private prosecutions. These cases are burdensome and expensive to handle, but can make a significant difference, as Ecojustice's light pollution case did to make mirrored buildings safer for birds. But [...]

Largest Canadian environmental penalty: $7.5 MM

Environment Canada obtained the largest environmental penalty ever imposed in Canada for breaches of the Fisheries Act and Metal Mining Effluent Regulations by a mining company: $7,500,000. The breaches occurred in 2011 and earlier under the old Fisheries Act, before massive changes to the law in 2012. Bloom Lake General Partner Limited pleaded guilty to 45 charges, resulting [...]