But can we trust the sampling data?

But can we trust the sampling data?

George Duncan has kindly passed on a copy of his presentation to the MOE lab staff on the inherent uncertainty in the current Reg 153/04 sampling protocols for contaminated sites. He concludes that they make a lot of current analysis results meaningless. And of course the Lacombe decision allowing MOE to take biased samples of hotspots makes things much worse. Do you agree? Please post a comment and let us know.  

Read more

Stadacona: Do employees know what samples to take?

Stadacona: Do employees know what samples to take?

Last fall, Stadacona was convicted under the (former) Fisheries Act and the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations. According to Environment Canada, "Stadacona General Partner Inc. pleaded guilty to having released one million litres of untreated process water into the Saint-Charles River, in Québec, and of having used a non-standard sampling method." The spill part of the case was rather obvious: The effluent was acutely toxic to fish, and was spilled when poorly-maintained pumping equipment  

Read more

Legal wastewater samples

Legal wastewater samples

Samples that are not properly taken, recorded, handled and analyzed are useless in court, and can lead to unjustified enforcement proceedings. The Canadian Water and Wastewater Association has released a useful Guideline on Sampling, Handling, Transporting, and Analyzing Legal Wastewater Samples. Failing to comply with authoritative guidance documents, such as this, can provide strong evidence that a sample is unreliable.  

Read more

Thoughts about sampling

Thoughts about sampling

Accurate sampling, or the lack of it, is a frequent pitfall in environmental litigation, both civil and criminal. Here is a brief summary of a seminar I gave on sampling to the Mexican judiciary last November. It will be distributed by the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation, and by a Mexican law institute. Please let us know if you have any comments.  

Read more

What can go wrong with sampling?

What can go wrong with sampling?

Dianne was an honoured speaker at an environmental enforcement capacity building workshop in Mexico City, put on last month by the Commission on Environmental Cooperation. This workshop is the fruit of a year of work by the CEC. One of its objectives is to improve environmental enforcement in all three countries: Canada, the US and Mexico. Mexico continues to have many barriers to better enforcement, one of which is the lack of environmental expertise among lawyers and judges. In fact, the  

Read more