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B.C. Court: No Abuse of Water Approvals for Fracking

Because fracking consumes a huge amount of water, Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) and the Sierra Club of B.C. recently challenged how the B.C. government grants water use approvals to oil and gas companies. The government gives a series of short term approvals for fracking, frequently renewed, without regulating the cumulative water taking of an entire project. Does this violate [...]

Should Energy Board consider climate before approving pipelines?

Can, and should, the National Energy Board consider climate impacts before approving oil pipelines? The federal government says no, objectors say yes. Now the courts must decide. The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion would increase the capacity of the current 1,150 km pipeline between Strathcona County (near Edmonton), Alberta and Burnaby, British Columbia from 300,000 barrels/day to 890,000 [...]

Wind opponents lose health challenges around the world

A recent report  by the Energy and Policy Institute documents the rejection of anti-wind health claims by 48 courts and tribunals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the US. In one anomalous US case,  two turbines which had had a known problem were ordered to be shut down 12 hours a day, four hours [...]

Experts permitted to testify via telephone… sometimes

The Environmental Review Tribunal has granted a request to have expert witnesses testify via telephone conference call when the appellants argued that it would be too costly to have them attend in person, and that videoconferencing was also costly, as well as prone to technological failure. In Pitt v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, 2014 [...]

Municipal Energy Consumption Reports due

An important Green Energy Act deadline arrives next week. Under O. Reg. 397/11, municipalities are required to submit their annual municipal energy consumption reports to the Ministry of Energy by July 1, 2014. Municipal Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Plans must also be publicly posted by July 1, 2014. The Ministry will be holding webinars [...]

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 [...]