1 July 2016 | West Coast Environmental Law

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July 2016

Government charges (finally) laid in Lemon Creek jet fuel spill – thanks to private prosecution

29 July, 2016

In 2013 a jet fuel truck operated by Executive Flight Centre, and servicing BC Ministry of Forests firefighting efforts, plunged off a road in the Slocan Valley, crashing into the pristine Lemon Creek and dumping 33,000 litres into the river, compromising drinking water and killing fish. The province investigated, concluding that no charges were warranted. The case would have been closed, but for the efforts of Marilyn Burgoon, a resident of the Slocan Valley. Last Friday (July 22nd) a federally appointed prosecutor laid new charges against both Executive Flight Centre and the BC Government.

Photo courtesy of Valley Voice

In 2013 a jet fuel truck operated by Executive Flight Centre, and servicing BC Ministry of Forests firefighting efforts,

#LovetheGreatBearSea: Put laws in place to protect it

28 July, 2016

Earlier this year the BC government approved the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order, grounding the region’s land and forest protection into law. Now it’s time to anchor the Great Bear Sea solution – comprehensive ecosystem-based marine spatial plans – into law as well. It’s time to achieve lasting protection for this precious area.

We’re taking this message to IMCC4 in St. John’s, Newfoundland this week, with a presentation on “Getting legal traction for BC’s science-based marine spatial plans.”

Prince Rupert

Will BC’s climate plan be BC’s latest fudge-it budget?

28 July, 2016

BC’s Climate Leadership Plan is missing in action.  Originally planned for release in December 2015, at the Paris Climate Talks, its release has been repeatedly delayed, with recent speculation pointing towards a dead-of-summer, don’t look now, release.

BC’s Climate Leadership Plan is missing in action.  Originally planned for release in December 2015, at the Paris Climate Talks, its release has been repeatedly delayed, with recent speculation pointing towards a dead-of-summer, don’t look now, release.

a hazy day in kelowna

How will we build the next generation of environmental assessment for Canada?

14 July, 2016

This June, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that she will establish an independent expert panel to review Canada’s environmental assessment processes under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), and opened up a 30-day public comment period on the Panel’s draft Terms of Reference. ather than tweak at the edges of a fundamentally broken and outdated system, Canada needs a next-generation environmental assessment law that works for nature and communities, and upholds Canada’s international commitments, including the Paris Agreement and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

 

 

Does Kenya’s Climate Change Act lead the way for climate lawsuits?

14 July, 2016

It might seem a bit odd for Environmental Law Alert (based in BC, Canada) to be reporting on developments in Kenyan environmental law, but Kenya’s new Climate Change Act, 2014, brought into force in May 2016, contains a provision that is worth talking about around the world – one which provides for lawsuits against greenhouse gas polluters.

It might seem a bit odd for Environmental Law Alert (based in BC, Canada) to be reporting on developments in Kenyan environmental law, but Kenya’s new Climate Change Act, 2014, brought into force in May 2016, contains a provision that is worth talking about around the world – one which provides for lawsuits against greenhouse gas polluters.

Kinder Morgan’s Salad Days of Summer

12 July, 2016

The warmth and relative freedom of summer creates an atmosphere of spontaneity and often last-minute plans come together: “Let’s drive to that pow-wow this weekend!” “Who wants to go to the beach for a picnic this afternoon?” “Come to the Vancouver Folk Festival and visit our WCEL table!”

Summer 2016 is no different. For those following the fate of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, there are some spontaneous and brief, summer-camp-inspired public meetings coming up. But the season really started when the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) released its much anticipated Enbridge Decision on June 30.  Learn more about the process and pledge to attend the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines and tankers summer meetings.

Summer lovin', had me a blaaaaaasst!

Summer can be a time of renewal and relaxation. Kids have a break from school. Teachers get a break from kids. Families go on vacation – camping, fishing and swimming in lakes, rivers or oceans. People test their will against the sun (and the sun always wins).

Northern Gateway’s federal approval has been overturned – now what?

8 July, 2016

Recently we witnessed a major legal victory for First Nations opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal, as well as all the communities, groups and individuals supporting them. After nearly two years of litigation, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the federal Cabinet’s approval of Northern Gateway. In this blog post, Staff Counsel Gavin Smith, who acted as legal counsel for two of the First Nations in court, considers a new question: what happens now?


Crowds rallied outside the courtroom during the first day of hearings on October 1, 2016.

Why navigation protection is also environmental protection

5 July, 2016

The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act.

Unfortunately, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, in announcing the review, downplayed expectations that the government would restore lost environmental protections to a wide range of rivers and endorsed the previous government’s views that the purpose of the act is to protect navigation, and not navigable waters. That’s contrary to what the Liberal Party of Canada promised in the last election.

Canadians who were expecting better protection for the 99% of lakes and rivers that lost their legal protection in 2012 will want to let the government know their views.

 

The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act.