Energy, Environmental & Regulatory

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.

For more information, please see our blog, Assessing the Impact, here.


Sean Parker  
Michael Barbero  


Eric Appelt   780.482.9302
Stuart Chambers   780.482.9113
Corbin Devlin   780.482.9261
Doug Evanchuk   780.482.9106
Ainslie Fowler   780.482.9189
Ron Kruhlak, Q.C.   780.482.9226
Sean Parker   780.482.9309
Lydia Roseman   780.482.9246
Peter Taschuk, Q.C.   780.482.9203


Marco Baldasaro   403.303.9101
Michael Barbero   403.444.4079
Marika Cherkawsky   403.543.9120
Gavin Fitch, Q.C.   403.303.9120
Peter Major, Q.C., Q. Arb   403.303.9104


Stuart Chambers   780.482.9113
Corbin Devlin   780.482.9261
Jeremy Dixon   867.766.7692
Doug Evanchuk   780.482.9106
Peter Taschuk, Q.C.   780.482.9203
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Jul 13, 2021
Grassy Mountain and the Limits of Adaptive Management

Jun 17, 2021
Bill 48 and the Land and Property Rights Tribunal

May 10, 2021
Blog Post: Announcement of New Policies and Recent Decisions by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board

Apr 29, 2021
Blog Post: Spot the Trend: Increasing Environmental Penalties in Canada

Apr 09, 2021
Blog Post: Cost Awards and Funding for Environmental Hearings in Alberta

Apr 07, 2021
Blog Post: The GGPPA Reference and the National Concern Doctrine

Feb 16, 2021
Blog Post: Bill 48: The Province’s New Land and Property Rights Tribunal & Other “Red Tape Reduction” Measures

Feb 04, 2021
Blog Post: Alberta Streamlines Regulatory Process for Wetland Replacement Works

Feb 02, 2021
Blog Post: Smile, You’re on Camera: Alberta Environmental and Regulatory Hearings During COVID

Dec 15, 2020
Blog Post: Alberta Court of Appeal Rules on the new “NORM” for Standing Before the Environmental Appeals Board

Dec 03, 2020
Blog Post: AER to Consider Honour of the Crown in Redetermination Hearing

Nov 19, 2020
Blog Post: Micro-Generation in Alberta – Watt It’s All About

Jun 16, 2020
Blog: Potential Implications of Alberta's Recession of the Coal Policy

Jun 09, 2020
Blog: Update on Site Rehabilitation Programs in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan

May 28, 2020
Blog: Bill 7: Alberta Government Aims to Set Deadlines for AER Project Approvals

May 25, 2020
Blog: Alberta Energy Regulator Suspends Environmental Monitoring Due to COVID-19

May 12, 2020
Blog: Alberta Court of Appeal Finds the ‘Big Molly’ Project Triggered a Full Environmental Impact Assessment

May 08, 2020
Blog: Cost Consequences - Considerations in the Context of Surface Rights Act APpeals

Apr 29, 2020
Blog: Trudeau Announces Federal Government Spending to Support Canada's Energy Sector

Apr 13, 2020
Alberta Utilities Commission Revises Participation Involvement Program

Apr 08, 2020
Blog; COVID-19 - Compliance with Federal Environmental Requirements

Apr 03, 2020
Blog: Environmental Reporting Suspended in Alberta Due to COVID-19

Apr 02, 2020
Blog: Bill 12: The Effects on Pipelines and Orphan Wells amid COVID-19

Mar 24, 2020
COVID-19 Alberta Government Issues Direction for 90-day Deferred Payment of Utility Accounts

Jan 20, 2020
Blog: New Indian Oil and Gas Regulations to Modernize On-Reserve Regime

Jan 07, 2020
Blog: Litigating Climate Change: An Update on a Strengthening Trend

Dec 19, 2019
Blog: Supreme Court of Canada Revisits Standard of Review Applicable to Administrative Agencies

Dec 09, 2019
Blog: The Supreme Court of Canada Overturns Ontario's Interpretation fo the Great Lakes Indemnity Clause

Dec 06, 2019
Blog: Federal Government Accepts Alberta’s New Carbon Pricing Program

May 06, 2019
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Makes Carbon Tax Decision

Feb 07, 2019
Blog: Court of Appeal Rules on Extending Limitation Periods in Contaminated Site Litigation

Jan 31, 2019
Redwater Decision Overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada

Jan 10, 2019
Blog: Group of Young Quebecers Launch Climate Change Lawsuit Against Federal Government

Jul 27, 2018
A Newly Reinvigorated Alberta Remediation Certificate Regime

Aug 01, 2017
Disgorgement of Economic Benefit and Increasing Penalties for Environmental Contraventions

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.

By combining extensive litigation experience with broad substantive experience in the evolving arena of federal, provincial and local environmental laws, the environmental litigation team at McLennan Ross has earned a reputation for handling high-stakes, complex environmental matters spanning the landscape of environmental law.

The firm has also negotiated disputes through alternate dispute resolution and innovative settlements and has specific litigation experience in matters involving:

  • Contaminated sites
  • Air, water, wetlands and permitting litigation;
  • Judicial review and appellate litigation; and
  • Administrative hearings and proceedings involving chemicals, land use and development. 

We also have extensive experience working with clients on voluntary disclosures, internal investigations, compliance and audit programs, and other strategies to minimize the risk of being an enforcement target. When needed, we advise clients on how best to deal with surprise site inspections and search warrants, seek settlements when appropriate or take cases through trial to successful outcomes.

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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