Permitting, licensing & other regulatory authorizations
Appeared before joint federal review panels under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 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 Alberta’s ERCB, including wells, pipelines and gas plants.
Appeared before Alberta’s 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.
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.
McLennan Ross represents a large Alberta municipality in proceedings regarding the establishment of formula-based rate-making for gas and electric utility distribution in the Province.
Our lawyers also act for several rural electrification association’s as corporate and regulatory counsel, including representation at proceedings before Alberta Utilities Commission concerning rates and terms for the transmission and distribution of electricity on Alberta.
We are currently acting for the lead intervener in regulatory proceedings 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. We are currently involved in the Heartland Transmission Project (in the Edmonton area), and the Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) Project in southern Alberta.
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.
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 have also 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.
We handled one of the first matters in Alberta where a parcel of land was designated as a “contaminated site” under modern environmental legislation. We assisted our client with addressing the unique regulatory and civil liability issues arising from this rarely used designation.
Defence of Regulatory Prosecutions
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.
Recently represented a regulatory tribunal in a judicial review of a decision concerning a mining project. The tribunal’s decision was upheld but is currently under appeal at the Court of Appeal.
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.
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.
Provide strategic advice to project proponents in respect of consultation with First Nations and other Aboriginal groups.
Acted as counsel to a project proponent in appeal and judicial review proceedings seeking to challenge project approvals based on allegations of inadequate consultation.