2013 Northwest Territories Environmental Compliance Year in Review

A roundup of important new legislation, regulations, government announcements and court cases that we covered in the Environmental Compliance Insider in 2013.

Northwest Territories

LAW OF THE YEAR

Wildlife

In Nov. 2013, the new Wildlife Act was passed in the NWT Legislative Assembly. The new law reflects a collaborative drafting process that started with the Species at Risk Act in 2006 and was led by the Wildlife Act Working Group, which included representatives from Aboriginal governments and wildlife co-management boards.

OTHER NOTABLE REGULATORY CHANGES

Energy

In Nov. 2012, the government presented two new energy strategies for the Northwest Territories:

  • The Biomass Energy Strategy 2012-2015 supports the development of sustainable local forest industries and expansion of biomass energy systems
  • The Solar Energy Strategy 2012-2017 outlines the steps and actions needed to help residents, communities and business and industry take advantage of solar energy opportunities.

Mining

A report released in June by environmental experts says northern mining companies should put up more significant performance bonds, so that taxpayers aren’t left footing the bill if a company goes bankrupt or fails to remediate a contaminated site. The Report of the Rosenberg International Forum’s  Workshop on Transboundary Relations in the MacKenzie River Basin, which highlights the taxpayer costs related to the Giant Mine remediation, explores the idea of a dedicated performance bond program.

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