New report on the intersection of the Polluter Pays Principle and insolvency laws

At the Environmental Law Centre blog, Jason Unger writes about the "polluter pays principle" and its intersection with the economic challenges Alberta faces resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and low energy prices.

…it remains unclear how our society will uphold and promote the polluter pays principle, not only today and tomorrow but well into the future.

In particular, Unger focuses on the oil and gas sector and the environmental liabilities from abandoned and unreclaimed well sites which far exceed the financial securities that operators have been required to provide under the provincial regulatory regime.

…there is a need to have greater clarity in how liabilities are assessed and paid for, as well as how the system provides accountability to abandonment and reclamation standards.

Finally, given the large number of insolvent or near insolvent firms in the oil and gas sector, Unger touches on the interaction between the provincial reclamtion regime and federal insolvency laws. The report Clean Slate, Contaminated Land: The “untidy intersection” of Insolvency and the Polluter Pays Principle and Recommended reforms to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act reviews the legal landscape and makes recommendations to reform the federal insolvency legislation.

Read the full post and download the report