The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) recently issued its
first major decision of a renewable energy approval appeal related
to human health concerns since Erickson v Director, Ministry of
Environment (see our post on that decision here). In Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc v Director,
Ministry of the Environment, the
ERT found that there was no evidence before it that the South Kent
Wind Project (Project) will, cause serious harm to human
The appeal challenged the Minister of the Environment's
(MOE) approval of the planned 270 megawatt wind generation farm in
the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. The MOE issued the Project's
Renewable Energy Approval on June 15, 2012, which prompted
Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc. to launch the appeal. One individual
was granted status to participate and another individual to make a
The ERT found that the decision in Erickson has settled
the evidentiary test that appellants must meet to demonstrate that
a project will cause serious harm to human health. A participant in
the appeal challenged the test because of the difficulty in
demonstrating some alleged harm from wind turbines, such as harm to
emotional and mental health. The ERT rejected this challenge and
found that there was "no evidentiary basis whatsoever"
presented to find that the Project will adversely affect human
Also at issue was the methodology that the MOE requires REA
applicants to use to predict noise from a planned wind project. A
presenter argued that the MOE's guidelines led to inaccurate
results. However, the ERT was clear that it requires evidence of
what the impact of a project could be and that the project would
harm human health. A challenge of the testing approach in the
absence of evidence is insufficient on an appeal.
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It is relatively common knowledge that the government has a "duty to consult" aboriginal groups when undertaking actions or making decisions that could adversely affect aboriginal rights, aboriginal title and treaty rights.
On April 5, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the report of an external Expert Panel that was established in August 2016 to review the scope and process of federal environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers LP) v Imperial Oil Limited, 2017 ABQB 218 [Brookfield].
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.
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.
On April 5, 2017 the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change received her report from an expert panel of four, comprised of three lawyers with significant environmental and aboriginal law experience as well as a retired senior executive of a resource company.
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").
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.
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