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Environmental Assessment & Approvals

Environmental Assessment & Approvals
Environmental Assessment & Approvals

Major Project Development and Environmental Assessments
We advise on major projects with an environmental impact, including renewable energy, mining, oil and gas, nuclear power, manufacturing, pulp and paper, forestry, transportation, waste-management, and infrastructure projects.
Our role is to support clients by leading permitting, environmental assessments and approvals and to assist with strategies that protect the environment, comply with environmental regulations and minimize the potential impact on the timing and business objectives of the project.

Environmental Regulation and Approvals
Our knowledge of existing Canadian regulations and strong relationships with federal, provincial and municipal regulators help us anticipate requirements and strategically guide clients on environmental obligations, project time-frames, costs, financing and insurance coverage to keep projects on track and within budget.
Municipal and Planning
As the role of municipalities expands in Canada, new opportunities for investment arise, along with novel municipal licensing and regulation issues. Our team is well-equipped to assist municipalities, private developers, industry associations, energy projects and others in their environmental law challenges. We frequently represent clients in municipal hearings, appeals, judicial reviews and tribunals, and negotiate for successful resolutions with regulatory bodies. Blakes lawyers routinely act both for and opposite municipal governments in a range of planning, regulatory and licensing matters.

Recent Experience
Major Project Development and Environmental Assessments
  • One of Canada’s largest aggregate producers in public hearings and appeals related to the expansion of two of Ontario’s largest quarries, both in the Greater Toronto Area.

  • British Columbia Hydro & Power Authority (BC Hydro) on the construction of the C$700-million Interior to Lower Mainland (ILM) electricity transmission line, the largest transmission line built in B.C. in the last 30 years. Advised in relation to environmental due diligence and the conditions contained in the environmental assessment certificate and on a compliance agreement between BC Hydro and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office concerning non-compliance with the aspects of the environmental assessment certificate.

  • An international mining company in the federal environmental assessment of a mining project in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

  • A power producer with respect to regulatory advice regarding three projects: a large wind project in northern B.C., including Indigenous and environmental assessment advice; a smaller wind project that awaits final approval; and a small heritage hydro project.

  • Enel Alberta Wind Inc. with respect to environmental and regulatory advice for the applications and amendment applications to the Alberta Utilities Commission on the 115 MW Riverview wind project and phase two of the 30.6 MW Castle Rock Ridge project located near Pincher Creek, Alberta.

  • A regional municipality on a new major wastewater treatment facility.

  • ENMAX Power Corporation in a hearing before the Alberta Utilities Commission for approval of a transmission line replacement project.

Environmental Regulation and Approvals
  • Clients on environmental requirements and approvals for various gas processing plants.

  • A mining company on the environmental assessment, transboundary water issues and environmental permitting for a new major northern Canadian mine.

  • A power producer on environmental requirements and regulatory approvals for more than 3,000 MW of wind power and more than 600 MW of solar power, including Canada’s largest proposed solar farm.

  • An energy company in negotiating with the Government of Canada (Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans) regarding land rights and environmental conditions for a pipeline through islands owned by the federal government.

  • Potentia Renewables Inc., in partnership with Greengate Power Corporation, with regard to providing environmental and regulatory advice for applications to the Alberta Utilities Commission on three projects in the province: the 113 MW Stirling wind project located near Stirling; the 120 MW Wheatland wind project located near Drumheller; and the 150 MW Paintearth wind project located near Stettler.

  • A transportation company on permitting for a new service facility located at an international airport, including negotiating with municipal and provisional regulators, the local airport authority and considerations or constitutional jurisdiction on Crown owned lands.

  • A pulp and paper company in appealing approval conditions to the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board, including filing appeals, obtaining interim stay of approval conditions and conducting mediation.

Municipal and Planning
  • A major B.C. regional municipality on a range of environmental issues.

  • A major federal undertaking in a dispute with an Ontario municipality over the applicability of municipal bylaws over federal undertakings.

  • Various clients on the redevelopment of contaminated sites that require municipal approvals and agreements.

  • Commercial development companies regarding municipal permits for properties with works impacting streams and wetlands in Fraser Valley.

  • A port-based industrial operation in Local Planning Appeal Board hearings relating to the Toronto Official Plan amendments for the redevelopment of the Toronto Port Lands.

  • An industry association in Ontario Municipal Board appeals relating to the Halton Region Official Plan.