ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURAL RESOURCES
Led by nationally recognized counsel, we advise in all areas of environmental law.
We are among a select group of lawyers in BC who regularly advise in all areas of contaminated sites, including:
the purchase and sale of contaminated property
cost recovery actions under the Environmental Management Act
risk management of contaminated property
regulatory requirements including the reporting and management of high risk sites and off-site migration.
We acted as counsel in a leading cost recovery action in which the client recovered $4.75M in remediation costs.
FISHERIES AND WATER
We have extensive experience advising under the Fisheries Act, including the duty to report a deposit of a deleterious substance and responding to inspections and investigations by Environment Canada. We also have acted in major prosecutions for alleged violations of the Fisheries Act.
We advise citizens, industry and Indigenous governments on water law rights and responsibilities, including under the Water Sustainability Act and in relation to Indigenous title. We have acted in disputes among water users (access to land, water and water infrastructure), and advise on water licensing issues and applications.
LICENSING & PERMITTING
We regularly assist clients in obtaining the necessary permits (or permit amendments) for such activities as waste disposal, air emissions and water use. We offer experience under such legislation as the BC's Environmental Management Act, Water Sustainability Act and Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
We also assist industrial clients in satisfying the requirements of their existing permits, including reporting and managing potential permit violations. We have experience with site inspections, investigations and annual audits of industrial operations.
We advise panels that conduct environmental assessments, whether it be a federal, provincial or Indigenous-led process. Procedural fairness and evidentiary decisions frequently arise in this context.
We also have advised Indigenous people and interested parties who wish to engage in the environmental assessments of major projects, or challenge the outcome in court.
FORESTRY AND MINING
We have experience advising in such areas as the permitting of forestry and mining activities and ongoing regulatory compliance by operators.
We also have acted in challenges to such resource extraction activities when they improperly impact Indigenous rights and title. We have advised forestry companies, mining companies and Indigenous governments on these issues.
SPECIES AT RISK
Species-at-risk legislation can have real consequences for development plans and, in some cases, ongoing operations. We advise industrial operators on federal and provisional species-at-risk laws, assisting clients with compliance and risk management.
EMISSIONS & NUISANCE
We have experience advising on the statutory regimes and civil liability in these areas, including the rights and responsibilities of industrial operators, neighbours and interested parties. Our past experience includes defending nuisance suits against a forestry company and a transporter of waste.
Damages for environmental harm is an evolving area of law. We regularly assist clients in evaluating allegations of harm, whether it be pursuing damages or defending erroneous claims. We believe assessing that risk early is important in order to manage, mitigate and move beyond such disputes.
Have an environmental issue that you'd like to discuss? Get in touch.