Environmental Law & Policy

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Update on federal Environmental Bill of Rights

The Environmental Law Centre has posted an update on the progress of the federal Environmental Bill of Rights.

On Thursday, May 6th, a private members’ bill, C-469, An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental of Rights, will have its first hour of debate in the House of Commons. The Bill would provide Canadians with access to environmental information, substantive environmental rights and rights to appeal federal decisions that might harm the environment.  It also enshrines the concept of public trust.  The Bill is comparable to, but goes further than, many provincial environmental rights laws. For more information see our previous post: Environmental Bill of Rights Enters Parliament.

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Event

Get the Real Dirt on Remediation Certificates (Webinar)

May 12 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

 

When contaminated land is remediated and re-used, one of the biggest concerns for owners and developers is whether the government will hold them liable in the future for the land’s condition, especially if remediation standards change.  In 2009, Alberta Environment introduced the remediation certificate as a voluntary tool that could address some of those concerns.

On May 12, 2010, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, join Cindy Chiasson, Executive Director of the Environmental Law Centre, to learn more about remediation certificates.  Topics will include:

  • What is a remediation certificate?
  • Do I need one?
  • How do I get one?
  • What protection will it give me?
  • Where can I get more information about remediation certificates?

Click here to register for this event. Read more about Get the Real Dirt on Remediation Certificates (Webinar)

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Environmental Law Centre on the Syncrude duck death trial

If you've been following the Syncrude duck death trial, check out this post by the Environmental Law Centre's Adam Driedzic. In it he answers common questions about the trial, and helps to clarify the implications of the pending verdict.

The prosecution has delivered its closing arguments in the case of R. v. Syncrude.  Syncrude’s non-suit application was dismissed, and it will be forced to plead a defence against evidence that could see it convicted.   The public interest this case has generated is warranted, but after two months of tar and feathers it can be hard to distinguish political debate about the oil sands from the actual legal issues.

Muddy Water II: Syncrude Ducks The Issue Read more about Environmental Law Centre on the Syncrude duck death trial

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Auditor General Looks at the Management of Alberta's Water Supply

The Environmental Law Centre's Laura Bowman posts a brief on the Auditor General of Albera's recently released review of Alberta Environment's managment of the water supply.

Among other items, the Auditor General concluded in the April 2010 report that one of Alberta Environment’s weaknesses is compliance. It was noted that although there are many known cases of non-compliance with Water Act authorizations, these are not acted upon by approval authorities. The report also noted that without adequate monitoring of activities in the field, Environment cannot assess the level of non-compliance with Water Act authorizations.
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Media Release

Water Transfers Require Due Process

Edmonton, AB – Last month a public notice appeared on the Alberta Environment website that indicated that the Eastern Irrigation District (EID) had proposed changes to the purpose of its water license from irrigation only to a variety of purposes including “municipal, agriculture, commercial, industrial, habitat enhancement and recreation.”

The Environmental Law Centre (ELC), upon considering the application and relevant legislation, found several issues that need attention and – for the first time in over 25 years of operation – issued a Statement of Concern to Alberta Environment. Read more about Water Transfers Require Due Process

Media Release

Albertans, not industry, will pay for lost wetlands — leaked policy document

CALGARY — A leaked draft wetlands policy appears to betray the finding of a consensus of stakeholders invited by Alberta Environment to develop wetlands policy recommendations. "This leaked document seems to reflect the views of a couple of hold outs in the AWC process instead of the broad consensus," says Joe Obad, Water Matters' Interim Executive Director, "It's hard to believe the government would dismiss the Alberta Water Council team that provided strong consensus recommendations for a robust wetlands policy, for a couple of players who were happy to undermine the Read more about Albertans, not industry, will pay for lost wetlands — leaked policy document

Event

Webinar: Greenhouse Gas Roundup — Part II: Agriculture

Apr 14 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

If you're like many Albertans, you're probably asking yourself some pretty important questions about climate change.  The most overdue questions may be about soil not oil. For example:

  • How can agricultural producers participate in the carbon market?
  • Will international climate change agreements influence land use activities?
  • Could more land users be regulated for emissions reduction as seen in the energy sector?

Whether you're a producer, a regulated emitter, or just a concerned citizen, you will find value in this second installment of Greenhouse Gas Roundup — a three-part webinar series led by ELC Staff Counsel Adam Driedzic. No legal training is required and there are no dumb questions. Read more about Webinar: Greenhouse Gas Roundup — Part II: Agriculture

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