Energy, Environmental & Regulatory



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Your energy, environmental & regulatory issues require experience. Whatever your business, we can provide you with practical advice, when you need it, and at a reasonable cost. You can rely on our diverse experience and strong track record.

Our energy, environmental and regulatory lawyers have earned an exceptional reputation in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut for offering responsive, creative and cost effective solutions to important energy, resources and environment related transactions, hearings and disputes.

Should your company’s activities lead to civil lawsuits, our seasoned litigation team is capable of handling any dispute. Our reputation in the litigation arena is second to none, and our lawyers are supported by an array of experienced litigation paralegals using the latest litigation management software. All of this litigation support infrastructure can be brought to bear in civil litigation relating to environmental disputes, allowing us to efficiently manage your dispute whether through the Courts, arbitration, and mediation.

Whatever the dispute, whatever the forum, McLennan Ross environmental litigators have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the process and help you achieve a reasonable and cost-effective resolution.

 

CALGARY
Gavin Fitch, Q.C.  
403.303.9120   gfitch@mross.com
 
EDMONTON
Ron Kruhlak, Q.C.  
780.482.9226   rkruhlak@mross.com
 

EDMONTON

Stuart Chambers   780.482.9113   schambers@mross.com
 
Corbin Devlin   780.482.9261   cdevlin@mross.com
 
Doug Evanchuk   780.482.9106   devanchuk@mross.com
 
Ron Kruhlak, Q.C.   780.482.9226   rkruhlak@mross.com
 
Sarah Levine   780.482.9110   slevine@mross.com
 
Sean Parker   780.482.9309   sparker@mross.com
 
Jessica Proudfoot   780.482.9209   jproudfoot@mross.com
 
Peter Taschuk, Q.C.   780.482.9203   ptaschuk@mross.com
 

CALGARY

Marco Baldasaro   403.303.9101   mbaldasaro@mross.com
 
Michael Barbero   403.444.4079   mbarbero@mross.com
 
Gavin Fitch, Q.C.   403.303.9120   gfitch@mross.com
 
JoAnn P. Jamieson   403.303.1705   jjamieson@mross.com
 
Steve Schott   403.303.0153   sschott@mross.com
 
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Apr 28, 2017
Redwater Decision Upheld by Alberta Court of Appeal

Jan 25, 2017
New Year, New Carbon Costs: The Implications of the Carbon Levy

Nov 04, 2016
Climate Leadership Regulation Released

Jul 25, 2016
Bill 20: The Climate Leadership Implementation Act - Now What?

Jun 14, 2016
Court Extends Limitation Period in Contamination Case

Mar 11, 2016
Supreme Court of Canada to Consider the Duty to Consult in the Context of NEB Proceedings

Feb 08, 2016
McLennan Ross Environmental Release Reporting Series Part 3: What To Expect After You Report A Release

Jan 21, 2016
Province Cannot Abdicate its Decision-Making Powers to the NEB

Nov 24, 2015
Alberta’s Climate Change Panel Report - Addendum

Nov 23, 2015
Alberta’s Climate Change Panel Report

Nov 04, 2015
Phase What? Understanding Environmental Reports In Real Estate Transactions

Nov 04, 2015
McLennan Ross Environmental Release Reporting Series Part 2: Best Practices for Pre-Release Planning

Oct 09, 2015
Climate change rethink

Sep 10, 2015
Ecuadorian Plaintiffs Can Seek to Enforce $9 Billion Judgment in Ontario

Aug 28, 2015
Royalty Regime - Here we go... again

Aug 24, 2015
Legal precedents in Alberta could mean Flames’ arena site gets cleaned up by a third party

Aug 24, 2015
Alberta "Re-Thinking" Climate Policy - Part 2

Aug 01, 2015
McLennan Ross Environmental Release Reporting Series Part 1: An Overview of Your Release Reporting Obligations

Jun 26, 2015
Alberta Takes First Step in "Re-thinking" Climate Policy

May 01, 2015
Supreme Court of Canada Grants Leave to Fracking "Crusader"

Apr 01, 2015
NWT Hydraulic Fracturing Filing Regulations

Feb 23, 2015
Environmental Privacy

Dec 05, 2014
Court of Appeal Confirms the AUC's Authority to Award Costs

Nov 27, 2014
Provincial Regulator May Owe Private Duty of Care

Sep 24, 2014
Court of Appeal Rejects Private Law Duty of Care Owed by Regulators

Sep 22, 2014
New Energy & Environmental Ministry Mandates

Jul 31, 2014
South Saskatchewan Regional Plan Summary

Jun 26, 2014
AUC Reviews the Need to Qualify Expert Witnesses

Oct 28, 2013
Fort McKay First Nation Granted Leave to Appeal Decision of the Alberta Energy Regulator Approving Brion Energy Oilsands Project

Sep 20, 2013
Significant Federal and Provincial Government Actions to Protect Vulnerable Species

Jun 13, 2013
Government Releases Rules and Regulations for New Alberta Energy Regulator

Apr 12, 2013
ERCB Sends Well Licence Applicant Back to the Drawing Board… Again

Dec 07, 2012
Provinces as Creditors for Remediation Costs

Nov 29, 2012
E&MJ Canada's Territories Mining Report

Nov 13, 2012
Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act (Bill C-47)

Oct 29, 2012
Government of Alberta Proposes Single Energy Regulator

Oct 18, 2012
Another Layer to the Environmental Cake

Aug 23, 2012
Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Approved

Jul 20, 2012
Framework for Federal Environmental Assessments Comes Into Force

Jun 12, 2012
Oil and Water

May 02, 2012
Stop the Smelter

Apr 30, 2012
Major Federal Changes: Bill C-38

Mar 30, 2012
Budget To Speed Up Approval of Resource Development Projects

Mar 21, 2012
CEAA - Faster, Easier...Better?

Mar 09, 2012
ERCB Approves Well in Vicinity of Gas Storage Reservoir

Dec 08, 2011
AltaLink Powerline for Southern Alberta Rejected

Nov 30, 2011
The Importance of Assessing Alternative Sites

Nov 02, 2011
Heartland Transmission Project

Oct 11, 2011
Judgment Overturned in Major Ontario Environmental Class Action

Sep 16, 2011
APPL Relocation Decision

Aug 30, 2011
New Federal Carbon Emission Standards for Coal-Fired Power Plants

Jul 22, 2011
Integrated Oilsands Environmental Monitoring Plan

Apr 13, 2011
Energy May be Gold Mine for Young Lawyers

Mar 07, 2011
Proposed Amendments to Alberta's Land Stewardship Act

Feb 10, 2011
ERCB Reverses Panel Decision on Standing

Oct 25, 2010
Not Just Nickels and Dimes - Inco Ordered to Pay $36M for Effects of Historic Contamination

Jul 26, 2010
Ontario Superior Court of Justice Decision in Port Colborne Class Action

Jul 23, 2010
Beyond Reporting: The Secondary Effects of Disclosing GHG Emissions Data

Jun 29, 2010
Ripple Effect of BP Oil Spill Likely to Lead to Increased Regulatory Scrutiny in Alberta

Apr 30, 2010
Federal Government Responds to Supreme Court of Canada Decision

Apr 28, 2010
NAFTA Complaint Against Canada

Apr 12, 2010
Carbon Capture and Storage in Alberta

Mar 19, 2010
Supreme Court of Canada Restricts Federal Discretion in Environmental Assessments

Feb 08, 2010
McLennan Ross Joins The Climate Registry

Feb 03, 2010
Supreme Court of Canada Restricts Federal Discretion in Environmental Assessments

Feb 01, 2010
SCC Curtails Federal Ministries ''Discretion" in Environmental Assessment Process

Through active involvement in licensing and permitting of energy projects, McLennan Ross regulatory lawyers are well versed in Aboriginal law issues:

  • Actively involved in providing legal opinions on Aboriginal claims, providing strategic advice to industry, and involved in direct negotiations with Aboriginal consultants and their legal counsel in negotiating and completing impact benefit agreements for projects in Alberta and the NWT.
  • Involved in regulatory approval disputes regarding claimed impacts by First Nations and have made submissions to various regulators in the province of Alberta to challenge the standing of Aboriginal and Metis interventions.
  • Involved in litigation between First Nations and the Government of Alberta, where we assisted Alberta Justice with a number of actions.
  • Associate commission counsel in the public inquiry into “Policing of the Blood Indian Band”.
  • Negotiated with aboriginal groups in the course of project approvals for a variety of projects to ensure the concerns of the community were addressed while allowing the project to proceed in a cost-effective and timely manner.
  • Developed benefit agreement with First Nations.

This collective experience provides us with unique insight into the workings of the various First Nations groups, the attributes they all share, and the resources, expectations and legal counsel that differ among them.

Members of the McLennan Ross energy, environment, and regulatory team have extensive experience handling issues surrounding contaminated sites. Our lawyers routinely handle issues regarding regulatory compliance and enforcement, and civil liability pertaining to contaminated sites. We act for a wide range of clients including major industrial facilities, municipalities, and small independent operators.

McLennan Ross has developed strong working relationships with both provincial and federal regulators and many environmental consultants. Our lawyers regularly appear before various administrative tribunals, such as the Environmental Appeals Board, and Courts when handling contaminated site matters. We are committed to achieving practical and cost-effective solutions to our clients’ legal issues surrounding contaminated sites. In appropriate circumstances, we explore creative cost-sharing arrangements to remediate the site and fix the problem, rather than needlessly expend resources fighting with other parties. Our experience in this practice area and understanding of our clients’ business needs sets McLennan Ross apart as an industry leader.

Representative Experience

  • Imperial Oil Ltd. and Devon Estates Ltd. v. Director, Enforcement and Monitoring, Bow Region, Regional Services, Alberta Environment re: Imperial Oil Ltd., Alberta Environmental Appeals Board 01-062-R McLennan Ross represented a municipality the largest contaminated site dispute in Alberta to date. We successfully defended the municipality against allegations by an oil company that the municipality shared responsibility for the continuing contamination of a former refinery site re-developed into residential housing.
  • McLennan Ross represented an owner-operator of a retail gas station facing enforcement actions from government regulators and civil liability from neighbouring landowners. We worked with the regulators to develop and implement reasonable remediation and risk management plans, and we managed civil liability to obtain the best possible result for our client.
  • We have successfully defended and negotiated multiple contaminated site claims on behalf of a major oil company to achieve cost-efficient settlement.
  • Our lawyers represented an energy company facing liability for contamination discovered after a Reclamation Certificate was issued by the regulators. We used creative and practical solutions to bring closure to the matter. We invoked a novel regulatory provision to obtain contribution from other energy companies, and negotiated with regulators and land owners to achieve a favourable result for our client.
  • McLennan Ross acted for the owner of a chemical plant and facilitated the sale of the facility to another operator. We assisted with completing the transaction by establishing a security fund only to be used for remediation purposes, as part of the deal.
  • Our lawyers worked in conjunction with commercial lawyers in successfully acquiring lands which have been impacted by contamination for a purchaser seeking to make use of the existing infrastructure and manage the potential liability of residual contamination.
  • Our expertise in identifying and assessing environmental issues allows us to effectively manage environmental liabilities in real estate and other commercial transactions.
  • Played a key role in the defence team on behalf of an oilsands operator responding to an investigation by federal Fisheries officials in connection with alleged deposits of sediment into fish-bearing waters. Charges were laid and the matter proceeded to prosecution, but was resolved prior to trial.
  • Part of the defence team representing an oilsands operator in the response to an investigation, and the defence of a prosecution, relating to failure to install pollution abatement equipment. The matter was resolved prior to trial.
  • Part of the defence team acting as sentencing counsel, representing an oilsands operator, which led to a negotiated resolution to various federal and provincial environmental convictions.
  • Part of the defence team in connection with the defence of federal Fisheries charges arising from the redevelopment of a river shoreline and associated vegetation, which matter was resolved prior to trial.
  • Played a lead role in a client’s investigative team in responding to information surrounding a potential environmental release and, after investigating the release, formed part of the response team dealing with the regulator. The internal investigative process resulted in the regulator electing not to lay charges as a result of the client’s own investigative and remedial steps.
  • Involved in the defence of an agricultural operator charged under the Water Act with using unallocated water for irrigation purposes. This matter was resolved prior to trial.
  • Involved in the defence of an individual charged with criminal and environmental regulatory offenses in connection with alleged breaches of reporting obligations to the provincial regulator. The matter was resolved prior to trial.
  • Formed part of the defence team in responding to Environmental Appeal Board and subsequent Court of Queen’s Bench proceedings, in which other parties sought to bring our client into a regulator-ordered remediation of residential properties. The matter was successfully concluded.
  • Represented a local landowner group seeking to intervene in regulatory proceedings, in opposition to construction of a mine haul road. The matter was resolved with negotiation of a settlement that provided for the financing of a water and sewage system for the affected municipality.

Our group of dedicated regulatory lawyers has been involved in some of the most significant energy and utilities related transactions, hearings, and disputes in the North, both as individuals and as a team.
We have specific expertise in the areas of: environmental licensing and regulatory affairs; effluent and air emission issues; contaminated sites; public utilities and oil and gas issues. McLennan Ross has developed strong working relationships with all levels of government and has been actively involved in environmental tribunals.

  • Appear before the Nunavut Impact Review Board and Nunavut Water Board on behalf of both Inuit organizations and developers.
  • Act as counsel to several panels under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in hearings regarding the potential environmental impacts of projects throughout the North.
  • Secured water license and land use permit approvals for the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the Northwest Territories.
  • Secured approvals to renew water licenses for the operation of hydroelectric facilities in the Northwest Territories.
  • Acted for the applicant in an environmental assessment approval for a hydroelectric generation and transmission project in the Northwest Territories.
     

 

McLennan Ross has extensive experience representing project proponents, interveners and regulatory tribunals in the permitting and licensing of energy projects in Western Canada. Our lawyers have appeared before the:

  • National Energy Board
  • (Former) Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB)
  • Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
  • Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC)
  • Alberta Environmental Appeals Board
  • Alberta Surface Rights Board
  • Alberta Natural Resources Conservation Board
  • Public Lands Appeals Board

They have also appeared before joint federal review panels under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) and related tribunals in the Northwest Territories.

We have extensive experience representing clients in oil and gas permitting hearings before the AER and its predecessor, including wells, pipelines and gas plants.

We have appeared before the AUC in several major hearings for the permitting of transmission lines, power plants and other electric energy facilities.

Our lawyers have also been involved in hearings related to major mining projects, including a gold-copper mine in B.C., coal mines in Alberta and a diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

McLennan Ross has the expertise and experience you need to successful guide you through permitting processes in Western Canada and the North.

Representative Experience

  • Acted for the proponent of a large hydroelectric generation and transmission facility in the Northwest Territories. We assisted the proponent with obtaining water licenses, land use permits, and the environmental assessment approval necessary for construction and operation of the facility.
  • Appeared before joint federal review panels under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Assessment Board and related tribunals in the Northwest Territories.
  • Extensive experience representing clients in oil and gas permitting hearings before the AER, including wells, pipelines and gas plants.
  • Appeared before the AUC in several major hearings for the permitting of transmission lines, power plants and other electric energy facilities.
  • Involved in hearings related to major mining projects, including a gold-copper mine in B.C., coal mines in Alberta and a diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

 

McLennan Ross is involved in many aspects of gas and electric utility law in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. We act for public utilities, consumers, municipalities and land owners in various capacities.

Members of our regulatory team frequently appear before the Alberta Utilities Commission, other administrative tribunals and Appeal Courts.

Our regulatory lawyers handle rate applications and rate hearings for both gas and electric utilities. Our team possesses the experience, understanding and skill necessary for effectively representing our clients in this highly technical area of law.

Public utility regulation features many complex issues involving legal, economic, financial and operating aspects, often requiring expert evidence and extended oral public hearings. Our lawyers have extensive experience acting for parties directly involved in the utility regulation process in Alberta.

McLennan Ross also acts for landowners and other parties engaged in utility siting processes and hearings.

Representative Experience

  • We are the long time regulatory counsel to a major Alberta municipality in hearings before the Alberta Utilities Commission, and its predecessor, regarding consumer rates for electric and natural gas distribution and transmission. We appear at public hearings on a regular basis and also provide legal and policy advice for our clients on utility regulatory matters.
  • Our lawyers also act for several rural electrification associations as corporate and regulatory counsel, including representation at proceedings before Alberta Utilities Commission concerning rates and terms for the transmission and distribution of electricity in Alberta.
  • We acted for the lead intervener in proceedings before the Alberta Utilities Commission to improve major contracts involving inter-affiliate transactions among related entities of utility providers.
  • McLennan Ross has acted for landowners, across the Province, who are potentially affected by the routing and citing of high voltage electrical transmission lines, incluing the Heartland Transmission Project (in the Edmonton area), and the Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) Project in southern Alberta.
  • Represented a local landowner group seeking to intervene in regulatory proceedings, in opposition to construction of a mine haul road. The matter was resolved with negotiation of a settlement that provided for the financing of a water and sewage system for the affected municipality.
  • We acted for the proponent of a large hydroelectric generation and transmission facility in the Northwest Territories. We assisted the proponent with obtaining water licenses, land use permits, and the environmental assessment approval necessary for construction and operation of the facility.
  • McLennan Ross regularly advises a government transportation agency about environmental legislation applicable to its operations. Our lawyers routinely review all pertinent environmental legislation, note any updates, explain the practical implications that may affect our client, and advise appropriate courses of action.
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