Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and the Canadian Environmental Law Association have been granted leave to intervene before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in a case called Castonguay Blasting Ltd. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario as represented by the Minister of the Environment.
When Castonguay blasted rock for a highway-widening project in eastern Ontario, fly-rock (which is exactly what it sounds like) escaped from the site. It damaged a home and a vehicle 90 metres away. The company was convicted of failing to report the incident to the Ministry of the Environment. The Court of Appeal upheld that conviction.
In late September 2012, the SCC granted the company leave to appeal. They will argue that the Environmental Protection Act does not apply if the natural environment (air, land, water) is not also harmed.
LOW and CELA are concerned that such an interpretation could restrict the application of the EPA. It could undermine protection of certain other aspects of the environment as well as human health and safety. We sought and were granted leave to intervene by a single judge of the SCC in March 2013. The case will be argued on May 17, 2013 before the full court.