Tag Archives: energy law

Update on BC IPP Supply

Last week, BC Hydro released updated information with respect to its supply of electricity from independent power producers (IPPs). IPPs include power production companies, First Nations, municipalities and BC Hydro customers.

There are a wide variety of IPP projects located across the province and include renewables such as hydro, wind, biomass and biogas, thermal (natural gas), waste heat recovery and municipal solid waste.

The current total BC IPP capacity is 3,914 MW which generates 16,585 GWh of energy per year. The largest “IPP” project listed is Rio Tinto  Alcan’s hydro project (896 MW / 3,307 GWh/year).

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Comply, Offset or Pay: BC To Regulate LNG Export Facilities on CO2 Emissions

Today, the BC Government introduced new legislation aimed to help BC meet its greenhouse gas emission targets by imposing environmental standards on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities operating within the province.

Under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act, natural gas cooling facilities must meet a benchmark of 0.16 carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) tonnes per tonne of LNG produced. Per the BC Government background statement,  leading global LNG facilities have emissions intensities between 0.18 and .027 tonnes of CO2e per tonne of LNG produced.

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COURT RULES MUNICIPAL BY-LAWS FRUSTRATE REA

On August 14, 2014, in East Durham Wind, Inc. v. The Municipality of West Grey, 2014 ONSC 4669 (“East Durham”), Ontario’s Divisional Court found that the Municipality of West Grey’s entrance permit policy and oversize/overweight vehicle by-law (collectively referred to as “permitting by-laws”) frustrated, pursuant to section 14(2) of the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, c.15 (“Municipal Act”), the purpose of East Durham Wind, Inc.’s Renewable Energy Approval (“REA”) issued for the construction of a 14 turbine wind farm. As a result, the Court ruled that the permitting by-laws must be held inoperable to the extent of their conflict with the REA pursuant to section 14(2) of the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, c.15 (“Municipal Act”). More…

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ENVIRONMENTAL & ENERGY LAW

On May 23, 2014, in Suncor Energy Products v. Town of Plympton-Wyoming, 2014 ONSC 2934 (“Suncor”), Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice confirmed that the provisions of any municipal by-law that purport to prohibit the construction and operation of wind turbines at provincially approved locations will be of no force and effect, and cannot interfere with the issuance of building permits for such turbines. In doing so, the court expanded upon the decision in Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc. v Wainfleet (Township), 2013 ONSC 2194, where an identical municipal by-law that
attempted to impose 2km setbacks and 32dB sound level limits on provincially approved wind farms, in contrast to 550m and 40dBA provincial standards, was found to be “invalid and without force and effect as a result of vagueness and uncertainty.” More…

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ENVIRONMENTAL & ENERGY LAW

VENDORS BEWARE-SALES OF PROPERTY MAY BE VOIDED BY PURCHASERS WHO WEREN’T PROVIDED COPIES OF ORDERS RELATING TO THE PROPERTY Stanley D. Berger, B.C.L.,L.L.B, Certified Specialist Environmental Law Albert M. Engel, B.Sc., LL.B., M.E.S.

Thinking of selling your property? Make sure every person who will acquire an interest in the property gets a copy of any relevant Ministry of the Environment (“MOE”) order. Failure to do so may result in the transaction being void pursuant to subsection 197(4) of the Environmental Protection Act. More…

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COURT OF APPEAL SUSPENDS FURTHER WORK ON WIND ENERGY PROJECT PENDING DISPOSITION OF APPEAL

Stanley D. Berger B.C.L.,L.L.B, Certified Specialist Environmental Law

In the continuing saga of the Blanding’s turtle, the Ontario Court of Appeal on March 25, 2014 ONCA 227 granted a stay to the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN). The stay prevents any further work on Ostrander Point Wind Energy Project at least until the motion by the PECFN for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal is determined. Should the Court grant leave to appeal, the stay suspending future work will likely continue until the appeal is finally decided on its merits. More…

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ENVIRONMENTAL & ENERGY LAW

FEDERAL INITIATIVES STREAMLINE REGULATION OF INDUSTRY
IMPACTS ON FISHERIES

Stanley D. Berger B.C.L.,L.L.B, Certified Specialist Environmental Law

Why this Initiative is Important Companies which negotiate in good faith with regulators on licence conditions should be entitled to conduct their affairs with reasonable reliance on the concluded conditions. However, the objectives of some regulators are not always consistent with each other and this has led to confusion and uncertainty. For example, historically, Environment Canada unlike some of the provincial authorities, did not accept mixing zones but determined a deleterious substance at the end of the pipe. See e.g. R. v Suncor (1985) 4 F.P.R.409 (Alberta Provincial Court). More recently, we have seen the Ontario Ministry of the Environment aggressively pursue prosecution in areas which would normally come within the purview of another department, in that case the Ministry of Labour. See Ontario v. Castonguay Blasting Ltd. 2013 SCC 52. Assurances by Environment Canada through regulation that deleterious substances can be deposited if they are otherwise authorized by other regulatory authorities, the addition of a more expeditious process to deliver those assurances and increased coordination between the CNSC and the DFO should help to make a crowded regulatory field more manageable. More…

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NEW MNR POLICY ON ACCESS TO CROWN LANDS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS

On February 10, 2014 Policy PL4.10.06 Renewable Energy on Crown Land was issued by the Ontario government:

www.mnr.gov.on.ca/groups/lr/@mnr/@renewable/documents/document/stdprod_095543.pdf

The Policy establishes a number of requirements that must be met to gain access to Crown land to advance a renewable energy development proposal for water, onshore wind and solar power development. More…

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PRESERVING CLAIMS FOR FUTURE DAMAGES AFTER AN OIL SPILL

Those injured by an oil spill may risk losing their maximum recovery if their lawyers don’t correctly analyze future liability. Oil spill claims are unique: Damages are large and difficult to discern, and they occur over a long period of time. Regardless of the methods used to recover incurred damages, an injured party’s lawyer quickly should develop a strategy to protect against future damages – both first-party damages and liability to third parties and government entities. More…

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RING OF FIRE UPDATE

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.’s decision in November 2013 to cease all development activities in connection with its Black Thor chromite project in the Ring of Fire came on the heels of a Government of Ontario announcement regarding the creation of a crown corporation to develop the Ring of Fire infrastructure.

In retrospect, Cliffs’ decision represented a wake up call to the Provincial and Federal governments to produce a viable business plan to develop the necessary infrastructure to allow for the commercial exploitation of the vast mineral resources located in the Ring of Fire area. Cliffs’ decision was a clear signal to both the Provincial and Federal governments that it was simply not prepared to spend its resources without a clearer understanding of how the infrastructure will be developed. Cliffs was really saying “you need this project more than we do” and appears prepared to sit on the sidelines until a political solution can be reached. More…

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