Environmental Commissioner to intervene in precedent-setting EBR case

    TORONTO, Nov. 7 /CNW/ - The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
announced today that his office will be applying to intervene in a case that
will have long-lasting impacts on future environmental decision-making in the
    "My office has a direct interest in ensuring that the Environmental Bill
of Rights (EBR) is interpreted in a way that is consistent with the Province's
stated commitment to protecting, conserving and restoring the natural
environment," the Commissioner, Gord Miller, stated.
    Lafarge is seeking to quash an April 2007 decision of the Environmental
Review Tribunal (ERT) which allowed environmental groups to appeal its plan to
test burn alternative fuels in Bath, Ontario. Lafarge is suggesting that the
ERT made an error when it decided that the Ministry of the Environment (MOE)
Statement of Environmental Values is part of the "relevant law and
...government policies" developed to guide ministry decision-making.
    Miller notes that his office "has consistently taken the position that
MOE officials and staff are required to consider the MOE's Statement of
Environmental Values when they make decisions on approvals such as those that
were granted to Lafarge." He decided to intervene in the action because he has
serious concerns about the implications of Lafarge's arguments for MOE's
decision-making on approvals.
    Part of the mandate of the Commissioner is to maintain the effectiveness
of the rights and tools the EBR provides to private citizens to ensure that
the integrity of the environment is protected. He has a special mandate to
educate the public about and promote the use of the EBR, including ministry
application of the Statements of Environmental Values and the right to file
leave to appeal applications.

    Aussi disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Hayley Easto, Communications Coordinator,
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Tel: (416) 325-3371, Toll-free public
inquiry line: 1-800-701-6454

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