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September 06, 2018

Environmental No-Fault EPA Orders Compelling Off-Site Investigations are Alive and Well in Ontario

Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act (“EPA”), section 18 permits the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”) Director to issue an Order to any current or former owner or occupier of contaminated property. 

Section 18 Orders are no-fault Orders.  Section 18 Orders do not require the orderee to have any nexus to the polluting activity aside from the orderees’ current or former ownership and/or occupation of a contaminated source property.

In Hamilton Beach Brands Canada, Inc. v Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, the orderees challenged the broad scope of the Director’s no-fault section 18 Order.  The orderees argued, inter alia, that Section 18 orders are “absurd”.  This week, the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the MECP’s jurisdiction to issue no-fault Orders requiring off-site soil and groundwater investigations.

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