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In yet another indication of the increasing prominence of water use issues in BC, the Supreme Court of British Columbia recently upheld the practice of the BC Oil and Gas Commission to grant recurrent short-term water approvals for oil and gas activities under the Water Act. In Western Canada Wilderness Committee v British Columbia (Oil and Gas Commission), 2014 BCSC 1919

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After 115 years under the old regime, the new Water Sustainability Act received Royal Assent on Friday May 20, 2014: an historic occasion to celebrate?

Not quite yet, perhaps. The fact is the vast majority of the new statute will not have the force of law until authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council at an unspecified future date (section 219).   With new water ...

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The Province’s discussion paper Pricing B.C.’s Water has garnered a wide range of opinions since being released in March. As part of the public consultation effort regarding the new Water Sustainability Act (now at 2nd reading in the legislature), the public was given until April 8 to provide its views on water pricing and the Province’s water pricing principles.

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On March 11, 2014 the BC government introduced a first reading of the Water Sustainability Act, Bill 18, the culmination of a 4-year initiative to modernize the 100-year old Water Act.  Followers of this blog or BC water issues will know that the government released a comprehensive “proposal” regarding the new statute in the fall of 2013 (see our previous blog post here).   ...

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The public comment period on the Province’s proposed new Water Sustainability Act has now closed.  With well over 400 submissions, interest in the new (potential) water regime remains very high.  Issues of particular note that have been raised include:

  • the applicability of the new Act to oil and gas operations, including a possible exemption for deep saline groundwater;
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    On October 18, 2013  the BC government released a long-awaited “proposal” to replace the 100+ year-old Water Act.   Four years in the making, the lengthy description of what the new Water Sustainability Act would be and how it would work is available here.  No draft legislation has been provided, and the Province continues to seek public input until November 15, 2013.  ...

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    Lawson Lundell's Project Law Blog focuses on updating proponents on issues emerging in the law and policy that applies to the development of major projects in Canada. The focus of the blog is on matters relating to environmental assessment and compliance, regulatory matters and Indigenous consultation.

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