|A roundup of important new legislation, regulations, government announcements and court cases that we covered in the Environmental Compliance Insider in 2012.
LAW OF THE YEAR
In Jan., the Ministry of Environment released the draft Saskatchewan Environmental Code for public review. The Code, the first of its kind in Canada, will provide guidance on the design of environmental systems and facilities. It has chapters describing the acceptable results and standards for particular activities associated with development.
OTHER NOTABLE REGULATORY CHANGES
In June, the federal and provincial governments announced that they’re working on an equivalency agreement on coal-fired electricity GHG regulations to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that industry doesn’t face two sets of regulations.
CASE OF THE YEAR
Corporate Director Could be Personally Subject to Environmental Order
The government issued an environmental protection order, requiring a company and its director to take certain steps to address contamination on property where their hazardous waste transfer station used to operate. The director argued that he couldn’t be subject to such an order in his personal capacity. The court disagreed. In some cases, environmental law permitted officers and directors to be held liable for violations committed by their corporations. Here, the order was specifically directed to both the company and the director for failing to meet the requirements of “their” approval. And the director failed to provide any evidence to refute the conclusion that he was the sole shareholder and directing mind of the company. So the court dismissed the appeal [EnviroGun Ltd. v. Saskatchewan (Environment),  SKCA 73 (CanLII), July 24, 2012].
Burning Tires Costs Salvage Company Almost $60,000
A person called the Ministry of Environment’s tip line to report a fire producing a lot of heavy, black smoke. Conservation officers investigated and found a scrap metal salvage company burning a number of vehicle tires. The company pleaded guilty to one violation of The Clean Air Act. The court fined it $50,000 and ordered it to make an $8,000 donation to SaskTip [Steelhead Salvage & Demolition Inc., Govt. News Release, July 20, 2012].
Clearing Land Without Permit Costs Company $47,000
The MOE got a call that a company had cleared a new area for a road to access their processing site at a lake. The cleared area was approximately 2.5 kilometres long and 20 metres wide. The company didn’t have a permit for this work. It was found guilty of violating The Forest Resources Management Act by illegally harvesting forest products without a licence. The court fined it $42,000 and ordered it to donate $5,000 to an environmental program or fund [Winn Bay Sand Ltd., Govt. News Release, Aug. 14, 2012].
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