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Category Archives: Environmental

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Canada Releases Discussion Paper on Proposed Changes to Federal Environmental and Regulatory Reviews

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental, Project Permitting, Public Law, Regulatory
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In 2016, the Government of Canada began reviews of federal environmental legislation and the National Energy Board (NEB).  At the same time, Parliamentary standing committees undertook reviews of changes to federal fisheries and navigable waters laws.  Reports from those four processes were released earlier in 2017.[1] The Government of Canada has now released a discussion… Continue Reading

The Seven Year Itch: The SCC Returns to Address an Unresolved Question regarding the Crown’s Duty to Consult Aboriginal People and the Legislative Process

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Project Permitting, Public Law, Regulatory
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On May 18, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an appeal in an important case that could further define the nature and extent of the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people, including the previously unresolved question as to whether the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people can be triggered by legislative action…. Continue Reading

Federal Environmental Assessment – What’s Next – A Tiered Approach

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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This is the most recent blog in a series of posts which discuss the proposed recommendations set out by the Expert Panel in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of the Environmental Assessment Processes (the “Report”),… Continue Reading

Federal Environmental Assessment – What’s Next – Stages of Project Impact Assessment

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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This is the most recent in a series of posts which discuss the proposed recommendations set out by the Expert Panel in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the “Report”). This entry… Continue Reading

Federal Environmental Assessment – What’s Next – A Single Impact Assessment Authority

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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Over the past week, the Project Law Blog has been discussing the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the “Report”). We have provided an… Continue Reading

Federal Environmental Assessment – What’s Next? – Proposed New Triggers

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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Last week we summarized the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the “Report”). One of… Continue Reading

Indigenous Considerations in the Expert Panel Report on Federal Environmental Assessment Processes

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Law, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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Our April 7 post on the report of the Expert Panel reviewing federal environmental assessment processes noted that the report contains recommendations for greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples in federal environmental assessment processes. This post looks in more detail at the report’s key recommendations and commentary on that subject. Overall, the Expert Panel report envisions a… Continue Reading

Federal Environmental Assessment – What’s Next? – Expert Panel Releases Report

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
Comment

On April 5, 2017, an Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the “Panel”) released its report, Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the “Report”). Our post of June 26, 2016 discussed… Continue Reading

B.C. Court of Appeal review of the BC Environmental Assessment Process – Case Comment on Fort Nelson First Nation v. British Columbia

Posted in Aboriginal, Environmental
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Introduction In Fort Nelson First Nation v. British Columbia (Environmental Assessment Office), 2016 BCCA 500, the B.C. Court of Appeal recently considered three issues involving the Reviewable Projects Regulation under B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Act: whether a letter from the Environmental Assessment Office (“EAO”) confirming a proponent’s interpretation of the Regulation is a judicially reviewable “decision”;… Continue Reading

Federal Government Announces Review of Key Environmental and Regulatory Legislation and Processes

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On June 20, 2016 the Government of Canada announced its review of several environmental and regulatory processes. The review will focus on three areas: the federal Environmental Assessment process, which was revised in 2012 by the Conservative government, modernization of the National Energy Board, and the federal Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act, both of… Continue Reading

Government of Canada Proposes Methodology for Estimating Upstream GHG Emissions in Major Project Review

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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Late last week, the Government of Canada released a proposed methodology for estimating upstream GHG emissions from proposed oil and gas projects undergoing federal environmental assessment. This comes on the heels of the Government’s announcement in late January of its new guiding principles for project review, one of which included assessment of “direct and upstream… Continue Reading

BC Supreme Court Revisits Issue of Federal Paramountcy

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On January 14, the Supreme Court of British Columbia found that the Province had improperly abdicated its decision making authority with respect to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project by entering into an Equivalency Agreement with the federal government. Furthermore, the Court found that the Province had breached its duty to consult with First Nations by… Continue Reading

Federal Government Releases Guiding Principles for Project Review

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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In a set of press releases issued today (here and here), the Government of Canada announced 5 principles that it says will guide its discretionary decision-making for projects being reviewed in environmental assessment, along with a set of interim measures it says will be implemented in two existing pipeline reviews. While today’s announcements will likely have… Continue Reading

Bulletin 2015-28: The AER Will Be Publishing Participation and Procedural Decisions

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On September 23, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator released Bulletin 2015-28: “Posting of Participation and Procedural Decisions” a significant change in the AER’s practice with respect to the publishing of its decisions. Until now, relatively few AER decisions were directly available on the AER’s website. To date, only five AER decisions from 2015 have been… Continue Reading

“Free, Prior and Informed Consent” to become part of Alberta law?

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On July 7, 2015, Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley directed her Cabinet Ministers to review their Ministries’ policies, programs and legislation that may require changes based on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration). Premier Notley tasked her Ministers to “engage directly with Indigenous people to find a… Continue Reading

Bulletin 2015-20: Release of Revised Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory
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On June 9, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) and the Aboriginal Consultation Office (“ACO”) released revised Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resources Activities (the “Revised Operating Procedures”).  Bulletin 2015-20, detailing the revisions, was released by the AER on June 10, 2015.  The Revised Operating Procedures explain how the AER and ACO… Continue Reading

Canada Throws Hat into the Emissions Reduction Ring

Posted in Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On May 15, 2015, the federal government announced that it will commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.  New regulations for Canada’s oil and gas sector, as well as regulations on natural gas electrical plants, will be introduced.  Canada’s Environment Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, stated that she… Continue Reading

It’s “Buyer Beware” for Resource Developers When it Comes to Crown Consultation

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting
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The duty to consult is a Crown responsibility. But what happens when the Crown’s consultation is inadequate? Can a company that suffers losses as a result claim compensation from the Crown? A recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 89 indicates that it will… Continue Reading

Court suspends implementation of Mackenzie Valley “Superboard”

Posted in Aboriginal, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Regulatory
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The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories has granted an injunction to the Tlicho Government suspending the implementation of the Mackenzie Valley “Superboard” legislation. Creation of the Mackenzie Valley “Superboard” is contemplated in amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) contained in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, whose effect would be to collapse… Continue Reading

Alberta Energy Regulator and Aboriginal Consultation Office Release Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities

Posted in Aboriginal, Environmental, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting
Comment

On February 4, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) and the Aboriginal Consultation Office (“ACO”) released the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resources Activities (the “Operating Procedures”). The Operating Procedures set out a framework to administer and coordinate the operations of the ACO and AER on matters relating to First Nations… Continue Reading

Federal Government Approves Meliadine Gold Mine

Posted in Environmental, Mining, Project Development, Project Permitting
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On January 27, 2015, the federal government accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB)’s recommendation — submitted in October 2014 and supported  by 127 terms and conditions — to approve Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine planned gold mine in the territory’s Kivalliq region. “It is evident that the board met its primary objectives … to protect and… Continue Reading

Water Use in BC: Recurrent short-term water use approvals are lawful

Posted in Administrative Law, Environmental, Oil & Gas Law, Project Permitting, Regulatory
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In yet another indication of the increasing prominence of water use issues in BC, the Supreme Court of British Columbia recently upheld the practice of the BC Oil and Gas Commission to grant recurrent short-term water approvals for oil and gas activities under the Water Act. In Western Canada Wilderness Committee v British Columbia (Oil… Continue Reading

New Regulations Issued by BC OGC for LNG Facilities

Posted in Aboriginal, Environmental, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Regulatory
Comment

On July 21, 2014, the new Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulation, BC Reg 146/2014, was enacted by the BC Oil and Gas Commission (“OGC”). As the name suggests, the regulation is intended to address regulation of LNG facilities, and also updates LNG-related provisions previously in the Pipeline and Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulation, BC Reg… Continue Reading

Province Releases Kitimat Airshed Study

Posted in Environmental, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting
Comment

On July 18, 2014 the Province of British Columbia released the long-awaited Kitimat Airshed Study (though completed on April 25, 2014, the study was not previously released pending review). The study is an independent assessment intended to assist the Province’s regulatory decision-making process by providing information that will be used to ultimately determine how many… Continue Reading