CELA Bulletin

CELA Bulletin  47: 30-June-2004 Periodic E-News from the Canadian Environmental Law Association In this issue:

  1. Children’s lungs and brains at greatest risk from toxics: new report
  2. Ontario Court of Appeal Hears Landmark Landfill Case
  3. CELA Appointed to Ontario Environmental Assessment Review Panel
  4. More Water Reforms for Ontario
  5. Celebrating Michelle Swenarchuk – Law Society Medal for Lifetime Achievement

1.  Children’s lungs and brains at greatest risk from toxics: new report released today Today, CELA and Pollution Probe released Toxic Substances – Focus on Children. The report results from a 14-month study that reviews the literature and gathers and analyzes dozens of lists containing thousands of chemical substances. These lists are created by regulatory agencies and other organizations around the world, but they are rarely collated and coordinated. A key finding is that children appear to be at greatest risk from toxins suspected of causing effects in the respiratory system and nervous system.For more information:Kathleen Cooper, Senior Researcher, 416-960-2284 ext. 221 On-line:June 30/04 Media Release: Children’s lung and brain development most at risk from toxic substances, report finds Backgrounder to June 30/04 Media Release: Toxic chemicals affecting children’s lungs, brain development. Air, food and consumer goods appear to be key exposure sources. Full Report: Toxic Substances – Focus on Children Executive Summary 2.  Ontario Court of Appeal Hears Landmark Landfill Case On Monday, June 28, 2004, Ontario’s highest court heard a precedent-setting case involving landfill approvals and the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act).The appeal was brought by Canadian Waste Services Inc. (CWS) against a 2003 decision of the Ontario Divisional Court that the Environment Minister does not have jurisdiction under the EA Act to exclude fundamental environmental planning issues (i.e. “need” or “alternatives to”) from EA processes.  This ruling applies not only to the CWS proposal to expand the Richmond Landfill near Napanee, but also to every other public and private sector undertaking subject to the EA Act.Nine parties and intervenors participated in the CWS appeal.  CELA counsel represented one of the parties who won the Divisional Court case (i.e. Tyendinaga Township residents).After hearing a full day of legal argument, the Court of Appeal reserved its decision in this important matter.For more information:Richard Lindgren, CELA counsel: 613-385-1686On-line: June 23/04 Media Advisory: Ontario Court of Appeal to Hear Landmark Landfill CaseBackgrounder to June 23/04 Media ReleaseCELA Website Collection: Richmond Land Fill – Upholding Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Process 3.  CELA Appointed to Ontario Environmental Assessment Review PanelOn June 24, 2004, Ontario’s Environment Minister announced the formation of an expert advisory panel to identify opportunities to improve the province’s environmental assessment (EA) process. CELA counsel Richard Lindgren has been appointed to the Executive of the EA panel, expected to commence its work in the summer of 2004.  Sectoral sub-committees will be established to assist the EA panel in reviewing issues and developing recommendations in relation to waste management, transportation, and clean energy undertakings.For more information: Richard Lindgren, CELA counsel: 613-385-1686On-line:MOE June 24th Media Release: Panel to Review Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Process and Recommend ImprovementsMembers of the Minister’s Advisory Panel on Environmental Assessment in Ontario 4.  More Water Reforms Proposed for OntarioOntario is proposing new legislation for drinking water source protection with public consultations this summer to prepare for the introducing of draft legislation in the fall. In a second announcement, a new regulation under the Ontario Water Resources Act is proposed to establish Ontario’s new water-taking regime. CELA will be commenting on both of these proposals and encourages public input.For more information:Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel, 416-960-2284 ext. 218Darryl Finnigan, CELA Water Campaigner, ext. 224 Ramani Nadarajah, Counsel, ext. 217Sarah Miller, Researcher, ext. 213On-line: June 23/04 Media Release: Ontario Proposes Badly Needed Source Protection LegislationThe proposed new law, related documents, and instructions on responding to these consultations are posted to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry. Deadline for comments is August 22, 2004.The proposed new water-taking regulation and related documents are also posted to the EBR Registry. Deadline for comments is August 17, 2004.See also:CELA Website Collection on Water Source Protection CELA Website Collection on Water Quantity – Takings, Bottling, Conservation5.  Michelle Swenarchuk, CELA Counsel, Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award CELA is celebrating our own Michelle Swenarchuk, awarded last week with the Law Society Medal for lifetime achievement, the highest honour bestowed by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Michelle has practiced law for 28 years, working for CELA since 1986. She received the Law Society Medal in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the field of public policy law. She is currently counsel and director of International Programmes at CELA and was Executive Director from 1991 to 1998. She is a senior practitioner in the fields of environmental protection, trade, aboriginal rights, labour, and administrative law. Specifically, she is an international leader in identifying the effects of trade agreements on environmental and health policies. In 2002, she was counsel for the intervenors in the Harvard Mouse case, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on whether medical researchers can patent higher life forms.On-line: Law Society of Upper Canada Media Release, June 24, 2004See also: Collections of CELA’s international work in the Acting Globally area of the website CELA Website Collection on Life Patents – The Oncomouse Case- 30 -