Canada: Environment @ Gowlings: December 12, 2008

Last Updated: December 23 2008

Edited by Harry Dahme



  • Chemicals Management Plan Update
  • Bisphenol A



  • Brownfields Regulation Amendment
  • Waste Diversion Act
  • Getting to K(No)w - 2007/2008 Annual Report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
  • Safe Drinking Water Act

  • New General Regulation to Implement the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act

British Columbia:

  • Compliance and Enforcement Summary, 2008


  • Climate Change and Emissions Management Amendment Act, 2008
  • Alberta's New Planning Strategy for Land Use in the Province


  • Regulation Respecting the Mandatory Declaration of Water Withdrawals

What's Happening


Chemicals Management Plan Update

Summaries of the Screening Assessment Reports for various substances identified as a high priority for screening assessment continue to be released in the Canada Gazette. While certain substances were identified as not being a high priority for assessment of potential risks to human health or the environment, certain substances have been identified as constituting a danger to the environment as well as human health or safety. Where there has been a risk of danger to environmental, human health or safety, proposed risk management measures have been identified. For example in the case of Naphthalene, which was identified as meeting one or more of the criteria set out in Section 64 of the Act, notice was given of the intention to add it to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

A proposed risk management approach document was released for a public comment period of 60 days and comments have been received. This will be followed by the requirement for implementation to risk management measures to prevent exposure to critical receptors. Readers are well advised to check the Chemicals Management Plan website of Environment Canada for the most recent information on the issuance of the screening assessments and for decisions on whether or not there are any restrictions to be placed on importation, manufacture or use of those particular substances.

For further information please see:

Bisphenol A

The results of the screening assessments conducted by the Ministers of the Environment and of Health pursuant to Section 74 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, for Bisphenol A was published in the Canada Gazette Part I on October 18, 2008.

In 2006, Bisphenol A was used in Canada in the range of 100,000 to 1000,000 kilograms and approximately half a million kilograms was imported into Canada, either alone, in a product, in a mixture or in a manufactured item, The screening assessment concluded that Bisphenol A has been found not to degrade slowly under low oxygen or no oxygen conditions. It has been detected in surface waters, sediment, groundwater and soil. While Bisphenol A has low bioaccumulation potential, the studies have confirmed that it is bio-available and can accumulate in tissues, to some degree. The screening assessment concluded that it is acutely toxic to aquatic organisms and has been shown to adversely effect growth and development in both aquatic a terrestrial species.

Human exposure to Bisphenol A is primarily through dietary intake. A critical effect for characterization of risk to human is reproductive and developmental toxicity. Limited human studies have indicated potential sensitivity of pregnant woman. The screening assessment concluded that as a result of the potential for long-term adverse to organisms and humans within the range of concentrations currently being experienced, the application of the precautionary principle suggest that it may constitute a danger in Canada to organisms as well as human life or health.

In response to the screening assessment, the Government of Canada announced that it would immediately proceed with drafting regulations to prohibit the importation, sale and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles that contain Bisphenol A and would take action to limit the amount of Bisphenol A that is being released into the environment. Proposed regulations are expected to come into effect in 2009.

For further information please see: and



Brownfields Regulation Amendment

A Proposal for Amendments to Ontario Regulation 153/04, Brownfields: Record of Site Condition Regulation was filed on the Environmental Registry on October 6, 2008. The comment period expires on February 3, 2009.

The Notice states that the amendments include a package of interconnected elements including changes to provide for enhanced Record of Site Condition (RSC) integrity, liability protection for off-site migration from the RSC property, a streamlined risk assessment approach and strengthening of Soil and Groundwater Site Condition Standards.

The proposed amendments relating to RSC integrity provide for a third (30) business day notice period during which the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) would conduct an administrative check and then either provide written notice that the RSC could not be filed because it was incomplete, provide notice that the Director intends to conduct a review prior to the RSC being filed on the Registry or provide a written acknowledgement specifying the date that the RSC has been filed.

In addition, substantial amendments have been made to the requirements for a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA). Those items which are new include the requirement for identification of recognized environmental conditions by a Qualified Person and the preparation of a preliminary conceptual site model which includes a site plan, a description of contaminants likely to be present, surface and subsurface structures, geological and hydrogeological conditions, contaminant transport pathways and possible receptors. The requirements for a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (Phase II ESA) have also been enhanced so as to require collection and analysis of groundwater samples from all locations where a contaminant may be present at a concentration greater than the applicable Standard and where a property was previously used for a specified use, such as a gas station. A refined conceptual site model is a mandatory requirement of the Phase II ESA.

Amendments have been proposed to deal with which concentration of contaminants migrating off-site would result in loss of liability protection for a property owner. The Proposal provides for a streamlined risk assessment approach. The MOE is proposing to provide proponents with a Ministry approved model which would enable a Qualified Person for a Risk Assessment to modify generic assumptions and remove generic exposure pathways to reflect property-specific conditions. The model would yield property specific standards while ensuring the same level of protection as generic standard. The intent is to increase the applicability of the modified generic risk assessment approach.

Last, the Soil and Ground Water Site Condition Standards have been substantially modified. In many cases, the Standards have been revised downwards substantially, although in some cases there have been increases in the Standards.

Considerable controversy has already greeted the release of the Proposal and it is expected that a large number of stakeholders will be providing comments.

For further information please see:

Waste Diversion Act

A Discussion Paper for public consultation related to the review of the Waste Diversion Act 2002 was posted on the Environmental Registry on October 16, 2008. The comment period ends on January 15, 2009.

The purpose of the paper is to facilitate consultation on the Waste Diversion Act.

Getting to K(No)w - 2007/2008 Annual Report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

The Annual Report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) deals with a number of significant issues, Ministry of Environment decisions, applications for review and investigation, and assesses Ministry progress, as well as identifying developing issues.

One significant issue considered was Ontario's Action Plan on Climate Change. The ECO examined the provincial climate change strategy in order to assess the reduction measures identified, the reliability of the measures to meet Ontario stated GHG production targets and to investigate the likelihood of the province meeting its major reduction targets for 2014, 2020 and 2050 based on the measures identified. Overall, the ECO commended the province for having a plan. It concluded that as of early 2008, the 2014 target of 6% reduction of GHG emissions below 1990 levels is achievable. The ECO concluded that there is less certainty regarding the 15% reduction target for 2020 and that it was unable to reach any conclusions as to the ability to achieve the 80% reduction target for 2050.

The second issue examined was the current status of matters subject to the Environmental Assessment Act. The ECO concluded that many of Ontario's most important decisions are not subject to an integrated evaluation under the EAA. While the screening level assessment or individual EAs may be conducted for individual projects, the ECO concluded that what was missing was an overarching review of the major policy decisions. In examining EAs, the ECO concluded that the EA process seems to lead an inexorably towards the approval of projects. The ECO was critical of the class EA approach, which has had the effect of breaking up major regional infrastructure initiatives into multiple small projects, each proceeding on its own approval without leading to a consideration of the broader regional and cumulative impacts. The ECO was also critical of the setting of narrow Terms of Reference as permitted under the Act thereby shielding the need for projects from scrutiny.

Third, the ECO focused on water. Climate change, water withdrawals and other forces have the potential to profoundly impact on Ontario's water environment. The ECO commented on a number of recent positive changes such as the creation of water budgets pursuant to the Clean Water Act, the monitoring of water quantities taken pursuant to Permits to Take Water and, the conducting of studies to examine groundwater and surface water interaction in order to better inform water permitting. At the same time the ECO remained concerned regarding the absence of appropriate water management practices to address low flow and drought conditions.

The ECO assessed whether Ontario's air quality monitoring reporting process was adequate. Particular concern was expressed regarding the absence of air quality monitoring at street level and the absence of the consideration of cumulative effects. The ECO strongly urged the Ontario Government to build on its existing air quality monitoring network in order to allow for informed decisions to be made regarding activities that may adversely affect air quality.

Emerging issues that were discussed briefly include the need for a more comprehensive assessment of the impact of roads on the natural environment, particularly as it relates to the impact on wildlife, and the corresponding need to have better informed decision-making regarding wildlife management.

For more information please see:


Safe Drinking Water Act

Sections 14 and 19 of the Safe Drinking Water Act deal with the contents of an agreement between an accredited operating authority and the owner of a system as well, the standard of care of the owner of a municipal drinking water system as well as of those persons who oversee an accredited operating authority. These Sections have been proclaimed in force as of January 1, 20013.

For further information please see:

The Regulation Decision Notice on Consequential Amendments to Regulations made under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 which effect the transfer of regulatory authority for small drinking water systems as defined in the Health Protection and Promotion Act to the Ministry of the Health and Long-Term Care was posted on the Environmental Registry on April 18, 2008. The effect of the amendment to the Regulation is to transfer the regulatory authority for small drinking water systems from the Ministry of the Environment.

For further information please see:

New General Regulation to Implement the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act

A proposal for a new Regulation to implement the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 was posted on the Environmental Registry on November 7, 2008 for a 45 day comment period.

The Regulation is intended to replace Ontario Regulation 914. It contains additional proposed provisions for implementing the cosmetic pesticides ban. The draft Regulation includes a list of pesticides to be banned for cosmetic use, a list of pesticides to be banned for sale and a list of domestic pesticide products to be restricted for sale. These latter products include those with cosmetic and non-cosmetic uses.

The draft Regulation provides for exceptions from the bans where the pest control product may be necessary for the control of plants that are poisonous or where the banned pesticides were required to meet safe conditions for public works including roads and railways. Golf courses are exempted subject to the requirement that they follow tough new rules including the requirement that they maintain an Integrated Pest Management Accreditation and file an annual report. Other exemptions apply for sports fields, and for the protection of natural resources where the pest control products are necessary to control and eradicate an invasive species.

For further information please see: and

British Columbia:

Compliance and Enforcement Summary, 2008

On October 17, 2008, the British Columbia Administrative Environment released the second Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement Summary for 2008. The summary reports on compliance and enforcement actions taken between April 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008. During that time, 8 orders were issued to prevent or stop impacts to the environment, human health and safety. 42 administrative licensing sanctions were taken against individual commercial hunters, 462 tickets were issued and there were 10 court convictions. In total, there were more than $147,900.00 in fines resulting in a total of more than $235,990 in fines during the first 6 months of 2008.

For further information please see:


Climate Change and Emissions Management Amendment Act, 2008

The Climate Change and Emissions Management Amendment Act, 2008 came into force on November 4, 2008.

The Act largely implements administrative changes such as permitting the use of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Funds to pay for expenses incurred by a delegated authority in carrying out the duty or function of the Ministry with respect to the fund, and clarifying the regulation making authority.

For further information please see:

Alberta's New Planning Strategy for Land Use in the Province

The Alberta government released its Land Use Framework in its final form on December 3, 2008 after an extensive period of public comment and consultation. It includes 7 strategies for improving the use and planning of Alberta's landscapes. These are:

  1. To develop seven regional land-use plans based on seven new land-use regions.

  2. To create a Land-Use Secretariat and establish a Regional Advisory Council for each region.

  3. To implement a cumulative effects management system on a regional basis that will manage impacts of development on air, water and land.

  4. To develop a strategy for conservation and stewardship on private and public lands.

  5. To promote efficient use of land to reduce the footprint of human activities on Alberta's landscape.

  6. To establish an information, monitoring and knowledge system to contribute to continuous improvement of land-use planning and decision making.

  7. To include aboriginal peoples in land-use planning.

One of the key changes that the Land-Use Framework seeks to implement is the movement away from a project-by-project cumulative effects assessment to an assessment of such effects on a regional basis. This could result in key changes to project approvals in the Province depending on the type of project and how heavily the particular region is already being developed.

The Province has expressed its intention to immediately address five priorities to ensure swift implementation of the new Land-Use Framework. This includes the creation of legislation to support the framework, metropolitan plans for the Capital and Calgary regions, the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. The Province has also changed the names of the regions to correspond with the major watersheds in the areas to express their intention to reflect the integration of the land-use strategies with the Alberta Water for Life water management approach.

To read a full copy of the Land-Use Framework and the news release of the Alberta Department of Sustainable Resource Development, you can access it at:


Regulation Respecting the Mandatory Declaration of Water Withdrawals

Notice of the draft Regualtion was published in the Gazette Officielle Du Québec, November 5, 2008. The draft Regulation deals with the mandatory declaration of water withdrawals pursuant to Section 124 of the Environmental Quality Act.

The draft Regulation requires the main water withdrawers in Quebec such as industries, business, institutions that are not supplied by water supply works in municipalities to send to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks a declaration on their withdrawal activities. Specifically they are required to identify the number of withdrawal sites that are operated, and the specific location of the nature of withdrawals. Those subject to the regulation will be required to measure volume of withdrawals. The purpose of the Regulation is to seek to achieve more responsible water use through withdrawal accountability mechanisms.

For further information please see: Gazette Officelle du Quebec, November 5, 2008, Vol. 140, No. 45, page 5079.

What's Happening

Harry Dahme spoke on Water Law in Canada at the 52nd Congress of the Union Internationale Des Avocats, Bucharest, Romania. He and Ian Richler also spoke at the Understanding Environmental Regulations Conference of Educational Programs Innovation Center ("EPIC"). On December 3, 2008 Harry Dahme spoke on Managing Risks: Overcoming the Public Perception Challenge Facing Waste Management Options at the Waste-Based Energy Conference put on by the Canadian Institute.

Mark Madras gave a presentation on Spills and Emergencies: Understanding the Legal Framework on November 25, 2008 at the Envirogate Conference. On that same date he spoke on The Potential of Carbon Finance in P3 Projects for the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
8 Nov 2016, Seminar, Ottawa, Canada

The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.

22 Nov 2016, Seminar, Ottawa, Canada

From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.

7 Dec 2016, Seminar, Ottawa, Canada

Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.