CELA Bulletin

CELA Bulletin 5-November-2003This "E-Bulletin" (arriving via the "CELA Bulletin" listserve) to the media and members and friends of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) provides brief updates on current environmental issues in which CELA is involved. Contact information and relevant website links are also noted. Subscribe on-line at E-Bulletin Sign-up.In this issue:1. CELA SEEKS REVIEW OF ONTARIO WATER WELL REGULATION 2. CELA CO-SPONSORS WATER WORKSHOPS3. SIX CONSERVATION GROUPS CALL FOR SOURCE PROTECTION4. CELA CALLS ON NEW ONTARIO GOVERNMENT TO OPPPOSE "ITER"5. CELA CASE UPDATESRichmond Landfill City of Kingston Fisheries Act appeal - Precautionary Principle Legal Challenge of Toronto Pesticide By-law Melanchton Township Biosolids By-law6. STAFF CONTACT INFORMATION1. CELA Files EBR Request for Review of Ontario's Water Well Regulation CELA has filed an application under Part IV of Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights seeking a formal review of Ontario's water well regulation (Regulation 309 - Wells). Amended last spring by the previous government, CELA contends that the revised regulation is inadequate to protect public health and the environment from harm caused by improper well construction.For more information: Richard Lindgren or Paul Muldoon (see contact information below).On-line:November 5, 2003 Media Release: Environmentalists Call Upon McGuinty Government To Fix Deficient Water Well Regulation  CELA's EBR Request for Review (18 pages) EBR Registry posting: http://www.gpfiberglass.com/proposal.html2. CELA Co-Sponsors Water Workshops CELA and Great Lakes United are co-sponsoring a series of workshops with community partners throughout Ontario. These workshops will explore the questions and challenges remaining from the events in Walkerton and address how Ontario can ensure the permanent protection of drinking water supplies. The first of these meetings was held in Parry Sound in August with the Georgian Bay Association. Upcoming meetings will be in: Meeting ScheduleOwen Sound, Ontario (November 6th with the Grey Association for Better Planning)Timmins, Ontario (November 8th with Northwatch) London, Ontario (November 20th with the Urban League of London)King City, Ontario (January 17th, 2004 with Save the Oak Ridges Moraine - STORM)Cornwall, Ontario (Spring, 2004, details to be announced)For more information: Sarah Miller or Theresa McClenaghan (see contact information below).3. Six Conservation Groups Call for Source Protection CELA and five major conservation organizations have called upon Premier McGuinty to ensure drinking water source protection. The letter, signed by CELA, Ducks Unlimited, Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Soil and Water Conservation Society and Conservation Ontario, reminds Mr. McGuinty of election commitments to complete the implementation of the Walkerton Inquiry recommendations. Representatives of three of these organizations participated in the Advisory Committee on Watershed Based Source Protection Planning established by the previous government on the recommendation of the Walkerton Inquiry. Decisions still need to be made on the most critical step in protecting Ontario's drinking water - source protection.For more information:Theresa McClenaghan (contact info, below).On-line: View the joint letter on-line  See also : Source Protection Action Alert 4. CELA Calls on new Ontario Government to Oppose Proposed ITER ReactorCELA has called upon Premier Dalton McGuinty to renounce his ill-considered support for, and plan to subsidize, the proposed $19 billion fusion reactor known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). CELA urged the Premier to recognize that taking 50 years and a billion dollars of public funds to run a dubiously useful experiment is energy policy that is absurd, irresponsible and unethical. Ontario's energy future should include coal and nuclear phase-out and a switch to sustainable energy sources.For more information: Paul Muldoon or Theresa McClenaghan (contact info below).On-line:Letter to the Premier See also: www.iter.ca 5. Case Updatesa) Richmond LandfillCELA represents residents living near the Richmond Landfill in Napanee, Ontario. As reported in the July 8, 2003 CELA Bulletin, CELA's clients won an important judicial review application regarding Ontario's amended Environmental Assessment Act. Last June, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled that the Minister of Environment has no jurisdiction to exclude key environmental planning issues - such as "need" and alternatives - from EA planning processes under the Act. Both the Ontario government and Canadian Waste Services sought leave to appeal the decision. On November 4, 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal. In the meantime, CELA's clients have reminded Ontario's new Premier, Dalton McGuinty and their local MPP, Leona Dombrowsky (now Minister of Environment) of repeated election promises to withdraw Ontario's appeal if leave was granted.For more information: Richard Lindgren (contact info below).On-line:July 8, 2003 CELA Bulletin, "SPECIAL REPORT - CELA Wins Landmark Legal Challenge: Court Upholds Ontario's Environmental Assessment Process" (and related links) b) Kingston, Fisheries Act Appeal - Interpretation of the Precautionary PrincipleCELA's client, Pollution Probe, was recently granted leave to intervene in an appeal of a prosecution against the City of Kingston for violations of the Fisheries Act by a local landfill. The intervention will specifically concern the interpretation of the precautionary principle under the Fisheries Act. The Ontario Court of Appeal will begin hearing the case on December 2, 2003. Three days of the Court's time have been booked. For more information: Theresa McClenaghan or Paul Muldoon (contact info below). For the lower court decision see: The Corporation of the City of Kingston and Mirka Januszkiewicz, appellants, and Her Majesty the Queen and Janet Fletcher, respondents [2002] O.J. No. 2324, Court File No. 2188/99 c) Legal Challenge of Toronto Pesticide By-law CropLife Canada, the association representing manufacturers and distributors of pesticides, has mounted a legal challenge of the recent Toronto pesticide By-law. CELA is co-counsel with Sierra Legal Defense Fund in this matter and has been granted leave to intervene. The case will be heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Monday, November 10, 2003. CELA and SLDF are representing the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club of Canada, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and CELA. For more information: Theresa McClenaghan or Paul Muldoon (contact info below).On-line:City of Toronto website: "Reports and Publications - Pesticides" Text of Toronto Pesticide By-law d) Melancthon Township Biosolids By-lawCELA is representing Sierra Club of Canada in an application seeking leave to intervene as a friend of the court in a legal challenge of the Melancthon Township bylaw controlling the application of biosolids. Melancthon Township (in the headwaters of Ontario's Grand River watershed) passed its By-law to protect groundwater for municipal supplies. The by-law has been challenged by Terratecc, one of Ontario's major biosolid haulers. Like the Toronto pesticide By-law challenge, in this case, CELA will be arguing that municipalities have the power under Ontario's Municipal Act to make laws for the general benefit and welfare of their inhabitants.For more information: Theresa McClenaghan (contact info below).6. Staff contact information:  Contact Us page on this site.