The Bernard LLP Environmental Law practice group provides advice to local, national and international clients on environmental issues in Canada.  The regulatory framework of Federal and British Columbia environmental legislation is extensive and complex.  Our lawyers have experience which includes providing advice on issues arising from contaminated sites, pollution, and a broad range of regulatory matters.  Examples of work done by our lawyers include the following:

Contaminated sites: Our lawyers have been involved in many contaminated sites, including two of the most significant sites in British Columbia:  9250 Oak Street and the Britannia Mine.  Other examples include historical creosote and other contamination around the former site of a wood preservation plant along the Fraser River; fuel contamination at gas stations; perchlorethylene and other contamination at the site of a former chemical plant in North Vancouver; lime contamination at the site of a former acetylene gas plant in Burnaby; and litigation of asbestos-related bodily injury and property damage, including marine vessels.

Regulatory advice: Our lawyers have experience in providing clients with advice relating to pollution, contaminated sites, and the export of hazardous waste.  One example involves representing a Port Authority with respect to ‘honour of the Crown’ and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act consultations with local First Nations, regarding the development and construction of container and break bulk cargo terminals.

Pollution response:  Our lawyers are experienced at responding immediately to pollution incidents when they occur to collect evidence, appoint technical experts, liase with representatives of government agencies and other non-governmental organizations.  The high profile nature of a pollution incident requires a very knowledgeable and sensitive response where the intense focus of media, the public, and government is particularly acute in the immediate aftermath of a pollution incident.

Defence of regulatory prosecutions:  Our lawyers have represented individuals and corporations in the successful defence of environmental prosecutions, including fisheries offences, fish habitat matters, and pollution incidents. Our lawyers are experienced in administrative proceedings, applications for judicial review, and the conduct of appeals under environmental legislation.

Litigation:  For civil matters arising in an environmental context, Bernard LLP has acted as counsel for plaintiffs and defendants engaged in civil litigation, private arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution.

Practice Group Members