Essay on A Brief Note On Ontario 's Environmental Protection Act

1028 Words Nov 16th, 2015 null Page
I have been asked to provide my legal opinion on the event where sand was discharged from Elmira Aggregate Ltd. (EAL) stockpiles onto Jennifer Shantz’s adjacent property and into a small waterway. More specifically, on weather EAL has breached section 15(1) of the Environmental Protection Act (“EPA”) by failing to notify the Ministry of a discharge of a contaminant. As rationalized below, I believe that EAL has breached its legal obligation to comply with s.15 of the EPA as they did not immediately report the incident, where a contaminant was discharged into the natural environment, to the Ministry of Environment.

Duty to Notify

Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O 1990, c. E.19 (“EPA”), requires the Ministry of the Environment to be notified immediately in an event where a contaminant is discharged into the natural environment. The basic requirements and conditions that govern the duty to notify the Ministry is described in Castonguay Blasting Ltd. v. Ontario., [2007] SSC 34816 (C.A). This requires two pre-conditions to report to the Ministry, the discharge must be out of normal course of events and the potential for adverse environmental impacts. The Court goes to note that the interpretation of contaminant, discharge and natural environment in s.15 must align with the case.

Interpretation

“Discharge”, in the Environmental Protection Act s.1, is referred to as a noun and a verb when “deposit” occurs. In regards to sand being blown from EAL’s property to…

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