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Managing Environmental Liabilities: Legal Updates
Matthew Gardner, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
The objective of this presentation is to provide an update on the latest environmental regulatory and civil cases across Canada to provide an understanding of these growing environmental exposures and obligations and discuss the various ways to manage environmental liabilities. 

Environmental liabilities continue to evolve and impact contaminated properties across Canada. Courts and tribunals are setting the bar for how and when environmental liabilities will apply to contaminated sites.

What is the potential environmental liability exposure to current and/or prior owners, occupiers, managers and controllers of contaminated property? What are the implications of environmental liability? What can be done to manage environmental liability exposure?

Matthew Gardner will provide an update on the latest environmental regulatory and civil cases across Canada to provide an understanding of these growing environmental exposures and obligations and discuss the various ways to manage environmental liabilities.

Matthew Gardner, Partner, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
Matthew Gardner, B.Sc. (Hons.), LL.B., is a Partner at Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP. Matthew practices environmental law and environmental litigation. He provides advice and solutions about environmental due diligence and compliance to a wide range of clients including industrial corporations, the construction and land development sectors and municipalities. Matthew also provides advice and solutions about contaminated land issues, environmental risk management, environmental transactional due diligence and regulatory compliance. Matthew regularly appears before the Courts and administrative tribunals. He represents plaintiffs and defendants involved in environmental civil disputes and negotiates settlements before and in the early stages of civil litigation, where possible. He also assists clients under inspection or investigation by federal, provincial and municipal environmental regulators, and defends clients against environmental regulatory prosecutions. Matthew is called to the Bar in Ontario and Alberta.

Tackling Regulatory, Technical and Emerging Contaminant Challenges in Drinking Water Source Protection within the Federal Family
David Wilson1, Darin Burr2, Debbie Nicholls3
1SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd.
2Dillon Consulting
3Department of National Defence
The objective of this presentation is to outline the lessons learned to-date while undertaking drinking water vulnerability source protection studies across a diverse set of DND sites in Canada, as challenges like assessing the threat of emerging contaminants and adapting provincial statutory approaches to the federal context have been encountered and overcome. 

In the nearly 20 years since the Walkerton tragedy, assessments of the vulnerability of drinking water sources in provinces and territories across Canada have been completed to varying degrees. Within the federal family, vulnerability assessments have also been completed by numerous departments, with consideration of Health Canada’s Guidance for Providing Safe Drinking Water in Areas of Federal Jurisdiction (Health Canada, 2013). Recognizing the somewhat general nature of this guidance, the Department of National Defence (DND) included specific reference to the Technical Rules under Ontario’s Clean Water Act for undertaking drinking water vulnerability source protection studies across its Bases starting in 2017. With over 11 sites now in various stages of completion, a number of challenges have been encountered and overcome, or are still being worked on, including application of the Rules to ocean intakes, assessment of singular and multiple small systems not contemplated by the Rules, assessment of surface water systems in areas where annual precipitation inputs can at times fall short of losses, assessment of the chemical risk associated with emerging contaminants and energetics that were not considered by the Rules, and expansion of the list of activity threats to encompass DND locations and activities. The significance of these challenges is only expected to increase over time as a result of climate change and the growing public awareness of federal properties as potential sources of emerging contaminants. Drawing from the experience and knowledge gained from the first two years of studies within DND, these challenges and lessons learned (both good and bad) will be outlined, to help guide future studies both within DND and within the broader federal family.

David Wilson, Principal Engineer, SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd.
David Wilson, CD, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., is a Principal Engineer with SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. in Ottawa, and is a specialist for integrated risk management services, including drinking water vulnerability source protection studies. He has over 28 years’ experience managing teams: unit leadership positions in the Canadian Army, project team positions in National Defence Headquarters and national and international consulting firms, and service team positions in national consulting firms. David has early experience in systems engineering and project/program management, which was reinforced through his first Master’s degree in Defence Technology at the Royal Military College of Science in the UK. David continued his education through an engineering Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa, with a thesis titled Systems Analysis of Decision Support Systems for Water Resource Users and Planners. David practices in three areas: integrated risk management, water resources/water quality, and environmental site assessment and remediation. David has managed and worked on several major drinking water vulnerability projects for federal, provincial and municipal government clients, including Department of National Defence, Canada Border Services Agency, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and the City of Ottawa.

When the Past Meets Current Legislation
Maryse Dubois and Fabien Pitre
Stantec Consulting Limited
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the barriers and challenges that may cause a project to deviate from its initial trajectory and to present lessons learned. 

Conducting a soil infrastructure and environmental rehabilitation project for Parks Canada on federal heritage land containing archaeological remains and on municipal land can lead to challenges involving coordination and legal compliance.

The Lachine Canal Machine Shop buildings are part of Canada’s historic places. These buildings were designed and built by the Ministry of Railways and Canals in the early 20th century to support the operations of the Lachine Canal.

The area surrounding the Lachine Canal has historically been affected by the deposit of contaminated sediments dredged from the canal itself. The site’s building were built on these embankments. In addition, a neighbouring property historically contained tanks of petroleum products that are no longer there today. There was also hydrocarbon contamination on a portion of the site.

The site’s underground infrastructure was outdated, and the sanitary sewers were not functional. Replacing the sanitary sewers, culverts and drinking water inlets required municipal approvals in the context of negotiations between Parks Canada and the City. The contaminated soil and residual materials were disposed of in accordance with provincial regulations. Archaeological and heritage aspects had to be addressed, taking municipal and federal requirements into account.

This project highlighted the work and efforts required to engage municipal, provincial and federal stakeholders to complete a technically simple yet multi-faceted rehabilitation project.

Fabien Pitre, Stantec Consulting Limited
Fabien Pitre is a member of the Ordre des géologues du Québec. He has chaired the OGQ Review Committee since 2019. Mr. Pitre is recognized by Stantec Consulting Limited as an expert in environmental chemistry in Canada. Before joining Stantec, Mr. Pitre worked as a research officer on the application of isotope geochemistry on fluids at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He was also a supernumerary scientific officer for the Canadian Coast Guard in 2008.

Mr. Pitre has worked on more than 100 environmental projects for the railway industry, the oil and gas industry, the public and para-public sector, as well as on commercial transactions. These various projects were in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He has been a member of several occupational health and safety committees since 2010. He is a member of the national oil and gas business development team and actively participates in railway business development. He is a member and secretary of the Board of Directors for APL – Énergies.

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