Summary

Environmental regulation in Canada is a complex, multi-jurisdictional field.  At BLG we can help your business navigate this framework, whether you deal directly in environmental matters, you need assistance to comply with regulations, you develop environmental management systems, are considering a major investment, or are completing soil and groundwater remediation projects. BLG’s Environmental Law Group can provide you with advice relating to real estate development, oil and gas, petrochemicals, pipelines, public and private power projects, water, natural gas, energy, oil sands, forestry, fisheries, municipal law, land expropriation, emissions, commercial transactions, resource development and applicable environmental protection and compliance law.

Our Environmental Law Group has extensive experience in matters relating to:

  • complex insurance and civil matters triggered by environmental claims;
  • drafting and interpretation of environmental policies;
  • obtaining approvals for projects subject to federal and provincial environmental assessment legislation; and
  • structuring and management of environmental due diligence exercises.

With the strength of a full-service law firm behind them, lawyers in the Environmental Law Group frequently work with their colleagues in other specialized areas, including energy, real estate, bankruptcy and litigation. Together, we can handle your complex commercial transactions, such as negotiation of brownfields acquisitions, divestitures, leasing, financings and re-development, as well as any litigation over contamination, environmental charges or compliance issues.

Publications & Presentations

Presentations

  • “Market Valuation: The Relationship Between Climate and Real Estate Valuation,” OEA Annual Fall Conference, October 24, 2008.
  • “Market Valuation: The Relationship Between Climate Change and Real Estate Valuation,” Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, June 6, 2008.

Rankings & Recognitions

The Environmental Law Group or its members are recognized in:

  • The 2016 edition of Chambers Global - The World's Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • The 2017 edition of Chambers Canada - Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • The 2017 edition of The Legal 500 Canada.
  • The 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • The 2016 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • The 2016 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Canada.

Representative Work

  • Project-based environmental approvals for major construction and energy projects, including commercial in situ oil sands SAGD and other oil & gas projects, and transmission and other electricity facility builds.
  • Regina v. Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories, 2011 NWTTC 03. Counsel for NWTPC on charges of violating the Fisheries Act. One of the most significant environmental enforcement cases in northern Canada.
  • Environmental due diligence for mine acquisition and financing.
  • Advising project proponents on environmental assessment process requirements, timelines and mechanisms for process efficiency.
  • Environmental issues on regional land-use planning and counsel for permitting issues.
  • Counsel on environmental matters, including contaminated site issues, for one of Canada’s major integrated oil companies.
  • Contaminated sites litigation for owners, prior owners, operators and neighbours, including for both plaintiffs and defendants.
  • Environmental insurance coverage issues, including dispute resolution.
  • Advice to excess insurer of Enbridge in the Michigan Oil Spill.
  • 9250 Oak Street, one of BC’s largest contaminated sites matters: counsel to neighbouring landowner impacted by migrating coal tar contamination. Included multiple litigation actions and numerous Ministry Orders, a rare emergency order, and many appeals to the Environmental Appeal Board. Various aspects went to the Supreme Court of BC.
  • Counsel to renewable energy developers (wind and solar) on environmental assessments and related appeals.
  • Counsel to Government of Nunavut for environmental assessment hearings related to mine development in Nunavut.
  • Counsel on Fisheries Act charges: acquittal of all charges following a 20-day trial.
  • Regulatory compliance and defence of environmental prosecutions for a wide variety of industries.
  • Sale, purchase and redevelopment of brownfield sites.
  • Transaction advice on environmental due diligence, agreement terms and conditions, and risk-management strategies.
  • Counsel to the property owner in a significant and historical contaminated site in Whitehorse, Yukon. Assisting on applications to regulatory authorities (Yukon Water Board, Yukon Environment, Environment Canada, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans) dealing with site remediation.
  • Counsel on CN Railway v. A.B.C. Recycling Ltd., 2005 BCSC 647 and 1559, and 2006 BCCA 429:  a precedent-setting case on the reasonably incurred costs of remediation under BC’s environmental legislation.
  • Advised the Government of Alberta on regulatory, consultation and classification issues related to carbon dioxide and carbon capture and storage (CSS) project development.