|A roundup of important new legislation, regulations, government announcements and court cases that we covered in the Environmental Compliance Insider in 2013.
LAW OF THE YEAR
In June, the government announced plans to reduce exposure to synthetic chemical lawn pesticides with a law that would allow only federally approved bio-pesticides for sale and use on lawns, driveways, sidewalks and patios as well as school grounds, playing fields and playgrounds used predominantly by children and on healthcare institution grounds.
CASE OF THE YEAR
Passive Maintenance of Illegal Trenches Enough for Conviction
After a neighbour complained that a man was draining water onto the neighbour’s land, the man got a water licence that barred him from draining a wetland on his property. An inspection revealed that the man had drained two wetlands with trenches and cultivated the wetlands area. He was convicted of constructing, establishing or maintaining two illegal trenches in violation of his license and appealed. The court upheld his conviction. It explained that passive maintenance of the trenches was enough for conviction under the environmental law. Here, the man knew about the trenches but did nothing about them. In fact, there was no evidence that he’d exercised due diligence or took any steps to avoid committing the offence [R. v. Dickson,  M.J. No. 185, June 17, 2013].
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