Throughout the past several years, the City of Calgary, along with the Alberta Department of Environment and the Federal Fisheries Department, have undertaken the enforcement of environmental protection legislation within Calgary and surrounding areas. This includes the construction activities for municipal infrastructure projects and urban development projects.
Charges can be laid under all of the following legislative acts. However, it is most likely that if charges are laid, they would be laid by the City of Calgary under municipal bylaws. Existing prosecutable legislation includes:
- Federal Fisheries Act
- Navigable Waters Protection Act
- Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act
- Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
- Alberta Wastewater and Storm Drainage Regulations
- Alberta Water Act
- Alberta Public Lands Act
- Alberta Soil Conservation Act
- City of Calgary Drainage Bylaw 37M2005
- Streets Bylaw 20M88
- City of Calgary Sewer Service Bylaw 24M96
- City of Calgary Community Standards Bylaw 5M2004
The City of Calgary Bylaw Services Enforcement Department can lay charges under the Drainage Bylaw (37m2005 fines not exceeding $10,000.00 and/or not more than 1 year in jail; first offence usually is $3,000.00), the Streets Bylaw (20M88 fines not exceeding $2,500.00 or not more than 90 days in jail), and the Sewer Services Bylaw (fines not exceeding $10,000.00 or not more than 1 year in jail).
It is our understanding that Alberta Environment has laid charges, and it has additional sites under investigation at this time, but it appears that the Federal Fisheries Department could undertake the most stringent role on the enforcement front moving forward.
Services provided by Erosion Control Central may serve as an additional layer of protection from legal action. However, it is critical that you understand your responsibilities, and what is possible with respect to prosecution as a result of discharge of sediment or environmental pollutants from your job-site due to inadequately managed water-flow.
Please have your attorney review our information package in order to provide formal advice. Erosion Control Central is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within this package.