Pesticides, Pollution and Protecting Waterways

CELA Bulletin 53: 13-May-2005 Periodic E-News from the Canadian Environmental Law Association In this issue:

  1. Court of Appeal Upholds Toronto Pesticide Bylaw
  2. Pollution Spills Growing Crisis Groups Say
  3. Transboundary Water Dispute - Devil's Lake Needs IJC Reference
  4. Recent Publications - Drinking Water Protection

1. Court of Appeal Upholds Toronto Pesticide BylawThe Ontario Court of Appeal, in a unanimous decision, has rejected a legal challenge of the Toronto pesticide bylaw from the pesticide industry association, CropLife. The court reconfirmed the Supreme Court of Canada ruling (with respect to the Hudson, Quebec pesticide bylaw) that Canadian municipalities must be able to govern based on the health, welfare and interests of their communities.For more information: Theresa McClenaghan or Paul Muldoon (CELA) 416-960-2284 ext. 218 and 219On-line: May 13, 2005 Media Release Ontario Court of Appeal Decision On-line collection of information about the Hudson, Quebec Pesticide Bylaw Toronto's Go-Natural campaign and by-law information 2. Pollution Spills to Environment a Growing CrisisIndustrial spills of pollutants to the environment are a growing crisis, according to data released by the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Environmental Defence and Sierra Legal Defence Fund. Reported spills from large industrial facilities increased by 13% from 2003 to 2004 and ranged in volume from less than 1 litre to over 18,000,000 litres (equivalent to 900 tanker trucks). Average volumes of liquid industrial spills increased by 250% while average weight of solid industrial spills increased by about 400%. The groups reported these data concurrent with Bill 133 going to committee hearings in the Ontario Legislature. Bill 133, the Environmental Enforcement Statute Law Amendment Act (or the ‘Spills Bill') is a step in the right direction but needs to be extended and strengthened. Lobbying against the bill is expected from some of the province's worst polluters. For more information:Paul Muldoon, Canadian Environmental Law Association, (416) 960-2284 ext. 219; (416) 371-3219 (cell) Rick Smith, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 225; (416) 670-9521 (cell) Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell) Rob Wright, Sierra Legal Defence Fund, (416) 368-7533 ext. 31 Dr. Elaine MacDonald, Sierra Legal Defence Fund, (416) 368-7533 ext. 27 On-line: May 11, 2005 Media Release Backgrounder to Media Release 3. CELA Urges US Secretarty of State, Condoleeza Rice to Intervene in Devil's Lake ControversyA controversial plan to drain Devil's Lake, an isolated and contaminated waterbody in North Dakota, into the Hudson Bay drainage basin, has created a serious transboundary water dispute. CELA has joined the Canadian government, learned scientists and other concerned groups in calling for a reference to the International Joint Commission to evaluate this plan. In a letter this week to the US Secretary of State, CELA has urged her to do the same.For more information:May 9, 2005 letter to US Secretary of State Canadian Embassy,Washington D.C. (multiple interventions in support of IJC reference) Canada's statement to the International Joint Commission "Hell From High Water" - Ambassador Frank McKenna's Op Ed in the New York Times 4. Recent Postings - Drinking Water ProtectionCELA has continued to conduct research, present papers, convene workshops and respond to ongoing consultations as Ontario works towards implementing the source protection recommendations arising from the Walkerton Inquiry and report. Recent webpostings include:Tapwater on Trial: overview of Ontario's Drinking Water Regime (May5-6, 2005 presentation to Insight's Third Annual Conference on Water and Wastewater in Ontario) Improving Small Drinking Water Systems (April 13, 2005, response to consultation) Submissions in Response to Source Protection Reports by the Implementation Committee and the Technical Experts Committee (response to consultation, Feb. 2005) Source Protection Reports: ENGO Briefing and Assessment (being a collection of materials created for a forum hosted by CELA and Environmental Defence in January, 2004) Full on-line collection of CELA's materials on water source protection     - 30 -