Environmental Law Centre

Event

Webinar: Aggregate Resources - Gravel can be the pits!

Sep 22 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Are you dealing with an Aggregate resources project in your community? Want to know more about what your options are?

On September 22nd from noon to 1:00 pm join Laura Bowman, Staff Counsel at the Environmental Law Centre, to find out more about how Aggregate is regulated in Alberta and what the important processes and legal issues in Aggregate extraction are. Read more about Webinar: Aggregate Resources - Gravel can be the pits!

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ELC Submission regarding Nexen Inc. Water Act Notice of Application

The Environmental Law Centre has posted its statement of concern to Alberta Environment regarding the applications of Nexen under the Water Act to build a water pipeline to the Long Lake Project from the Clearwater River.  

The project proposed by Nexen at this time significantly differs from the original project. Accordingly, this is an important opportunity for the Minister to re-consider, using the powers under the Water Act whether the project is still in the public interest.  Moreover, this is an important opportunity for the Director to consider whether there is sufficient information on environmental effects, and whether the potential environmental impact merits rejection of the application in light of the difference between this proposal and the original application made to the ERCB.

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National pollutant data finally released, sort of

Following the recent release of new mining pollution data — compelled by a lawsuit by MiningWatch Canada & Great Lakes United — the Environmental Law Centre's Laura Bowman posts on the "sorry state of access to pollution data in Canada":

The question remains, does anyone even know the environmental impact from spills and routine releases from industry and municipalities in Canada? Is it even possible for anyone to find out if there are reporting and access to information barriers?

Read more about National pollutant data finally released, sort of
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Accountability & Transparency in Managing Alberta's Environment

Accountability and transparency are essential principles of democracy, but when it comes to managing Alberta's environment they can sometimes be in short supply. The Environmental Law Centre's Jason Unger discusses accountability in the regulatory approval process, the lack of a legal remedy to address broken promises, and proposes two legislative changes to address the issue.

The word “accountable”, meaning “responsible; answerable” (Black’s Law dictionary 9th ed.), evokes the idea that we must pay the piper for unmet promises…

 

…It seems, however, that accountability for environmental impacts and decisions related to them are becoming increasingly elusive.

The Pembina Institute's Nathan Lemphers goes on a quest in search of emergency preparedness plans in case of a oil sands tailings lake breach, and finds only secrecy and a lack of transparency.

Communities downstream of the oil sands are already skeptical about whether the Government of Alberta and oil sands operators are diligently managing the impacts and risks associated with oil sands development…

…A lack of transparency around tailings management is only adding to the skepticism and concerns.

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Story

Senate Passes Budget Bill Weakening Canadian Environmental Assessment

Despite the opposition of public interest groups, including AEN members Ecojustice, Sierra Club Canada, and the Environmental Law Centre, and a recommendation from the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate voted to pass the budget bill (C-9) including provisions to weaken the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Environmental Law Centre's Adam Driedzic weighs in on the impacts on the environmental assessment process and the "exclusion of the public from decision-making on matters of public interest."

You don’t have to be an environmentalist to be concerned with this one.  For the second straight year, the federal budget bill passed with Trojan horse provisions unrelated to the budget.   The perennial target is the federal environmental assessment regime, but the real victim is the public.

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Media Release

Senate Finance Committee Protects the Environment

Edmonton, AB – In the past few months, the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been actively involved in campaigning against amendments that could render the environmental assessment process ineffectual, needlessly exposing the environment, the Canadian public, and future generations to unknown and potentially irreversible risks by providing the Minister of Environment with discretion to reduce the scope of activities for which an assessment is conducted. Read more about Senate Finance Committee Protects the Environment

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