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Fisheries Act convictions for discharging drinking water

Two Alberta construction companies have been convicted under the Fisheries Act for rupturing municipal water mains, discharging chlorinated drinking water into storm sewers and fish habitat. Treated municipal drinking water is harmful to fish, which is why it cannot be used as is in aquariums. So is it a breach of the Fisheries Act to [...]

Enbridge Kalamazoo oil spill: State consent order

How are major oil spill claims handled in the US? For a fascinating glimpse across the border, Enbridge-consent-judgment is a copy of the multimillion dollar consent order between the State of Michigan and Enbridge over the billion dollar, three-million-litre oil spill into wetlands and the Kalamazoo River in 2010. The State and Enbridge agreed to [...]

Liability for delays in issuing environmental permits?

Can the government be liable for financial damages, when they refuse environmental permits for unreasonable reasons, or cause an unreasonable delay in issuing a permit? Yes

Creative sentence for Ontario concrete company

A Sudbury ready mix concrete company, Rainbow Concrete Industries Ltd., pleaded guilty to one count under s. 30 of the Ontario Water Resources Act, for discharging concrete waste water into a Sudbury creek, and received a creative sentence plus a fine. This is good news. Creative sentences, i.e. looking for remedial action, not just a fine, [...]

Anti-fracking and Great Lakes Bills to Committee

The Ontario Legislature rose for the summer on June 4, with two environmental proposed environmental laws having received second reading, but awaiting Committee review and public hearings. The third environmental law, Bill 52, Protection of Public Participation Act, 2015 (anti-SLAPP) has been debated but has not yet received second reading. Bill 82, the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources [...]

Weird loophole in Toronto sewer bylaw

Toronto seems to have a weird and expensive loophole in its sewer bylaw. Virtually every municipal sewer bylaw prohibits the discharge of non-municipal water, such as storm water or groundwater, into its sanitary sewers. Stormwater are groundwater are permitted only in storm or combined sewers, because putting them into sanitary sewers drives up municipal sewage management costs, reduces [...]