1 energy | West Coast Environmental Law



Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal leaves taxpayers liable for 90 percent of marine-based spill response cost

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kinder Morgan proposal increases risk of major oil spill without adequate insurance, report warns

For Immediate Release 

In court: Communities take on Metro Vancouver coal port project

15 June, 2017

At the end of May, as a summer law student at West Coast Environmental Law, I attended Federal Court as an observer at the hearing where the Communities and Coal Society and Voters Taking Action on Climate Change called into question the legality of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s approval of Fraser Surrey Docks LP’s plans to construct a four million tonne direct transfer coal facility in Surrey, BC. 

Communities and Coal Sign protesting proposed Coal Port - Don Pitcairn

Communities and Coal sign protesting proposed coal port. Photo by: Don Pitcairn, South Surrey

Environmental lawyers release legal toolkit for provincial action on Kinder Morgan

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories – A new backgrounder released today by West Coast Environmental Law Association outlines concrete legal strategies that British Columbia could employ to stand up to Kinder Morgan and defend the environment, communities and the climate from the risks associated with the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project.

Kinder Morgan’s IPO: Risk > Reward

1 June, 2017

Kinder Morgan’s risky Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion just got a whole lot riskier, just as the company was taking steps to offload some of that risk onto Canadian investors.

That is why this week, we released a new legal brief outlining the legal risk for the project.

Kinder Morgan a "risky investment" warns First Nation ahead of Tuesday IPO

Monday, May 29, 2017

VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories – The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has launched a new campaign targeting potential investors in the Kinder Morgan pipeline highlighting the legal and political risks of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline ahead of the company's IPO.

Why the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is worth celebrating

17 May, 2017

On May 12, 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, for first reading in Parliament. You could say that the Act has been almost half a century in the making. So, is it a win? Keeping in mind the old adage, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” we say yes, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is definitely worth supporting, and celebrating.

This law cements the court victory against Enbridge Northern Gateway and the federal government’s reversal of the project approval last year. With that said, Bill C-48 could be strengthened and there are still opportunities to engage with the Bill through the Parliamentary process.

NEB Modernization Panel report: The good, the workable and the ugly

Monday, May 15, 2017

VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories - The report released today by the Expert Panel on the Modernization of the National Energy Board (

West Coast reacts to introduction of federal Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

Friday, May 12, 2017

VANCOUVER – Environmental lawyers are congratulating the federal government on the introduction in Parliament today of the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which marks a critical step forward in efforts to protect the north Pacific coast from the risk of oil spills.

“West Coast Environmental Law Association has spent decades advocating for a strong, legislated oil tanker ban, and we applaud the federal government for following through on its commitments to entrench this moratorium in law,” said Gavin Smith, Staff Counsel.

Wresting authority from the regulators: The proper role of the National Energy Board in environmental assessments

31 March, 2017

It is not every day that we have an opportunity to effect transformative legal change. It is natural, then, that when last summer a number of cabinet ministers announced the review of four key federal environmental laws, West Coast Environmental Law – along with other lawyers, academics, environmental groups, Indigenous peoples and the general public – took a keen interest. Through these reviews we have an opportunity to not only strengthen environmental processes and substantive legal protections, but to also transform the governance of environmental planning and decision-making.

This opportunity is perhaps most pronounced in the reviews of federal environmental assessment processes and the National Energy Board (NEB). Currently, two out of the three federal bodies who are responsible authorities for environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 – the NEB and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) – are regulators.

This column was originally published on Slaw – Canada's online legal magazine.

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