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August 2016

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Often cited as a foundation of environmental law in Canada (and elsewhere), the “polluter pays” principle posits that polluters should (at least at first instance) be the immediate party responsible for the costs and damages relating to the contamination they cause.  In fact, the preamble to the federal Canadian Environmental Protection Act expressly endorses this principle: “Whereas the Government of Canada recognizes the responsibility of users and producers in relation to toxic substances and pollutants…

The tax credit for carbon capture and sequestration has been in the news this month. Congress is considering whether to extend and expand the credit, and environmental groups like Green Scissors are voicing opposition. This post explains the carbon capture tax credit, found in Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code, and it explores whether the credit has a future. What is the Section 45Q tax credit and who can benefit? The carbon capture tax…

In an effort to resolve inconsistencies in several consumer product regulations within the scope of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (“CCPSA”), Health Canada has implemented certain changes, including a June 22nd, 2016 change to the scope of the Phthalates Regulations (“Regulations”). The Regulations outline the allowable quantities of phthalates in child care articles and toys containing vinyl. These restrictions are intended to prevent potential safety risks to children who are exposed to products containing…

As the world continues to grapple with the transition to a low carbon economy, there are seemingly weekly events that have significant policy and legal developments both advancing the low carbon future and challenging that advancement.  Here are last week’s highlights.  CEQ issued new, non-binding guidance to federal agencies on how climate change impacts should be considered for projects subject to NEPA review.   The guidance instructs agencies to consider the direct and indirect greenhouse gas…