Environmental Law


Canadian and multinational businesses must navigate Canada’s environmental laws and regulations, which evolve constantly and vary from province to province. Miller Thomson’s Environmental Law Group is your trusted partner when it comes to managing environmental risk, including undertaking environmental due diligence, ensuring environmental regulatory compliance, preventing and defending against regulatory prosecutions, pursuing or defending environmental civil claims, structuring transactions involving environmental risk, and keeping up with this fast-moving area of the law.

Our lawyers include legal planners, negotiators, former regulators, and advocates who have the expertise that comes with deep experience and an understanding of the complex issues that face corporate decision makers, lenders, and regulators.

Environmental issues don’t stop at borders—neither do we

We have lawyers across Canada with expert knowledge and a high level of scientific literacy to guide you through the issues and regulations in multiple jurisdictions, nationally and internationally. We work with clients in waste management, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, mining, land development and brownfield redevelopment, energy projects and other leading Canadian industries to provide timely legal advice on all environmental aspects of their businesses.

Your guide through the changing regulatory environment

From assisting in structuring and understanding deals with environmental risks and environmental due diligence to protecting your rights in civil environmental claims, or complying with, defending against, or appealing orders from regulators, we partner with you to take care of your environmental and regulatory compliance needs. It can be difficult to navigate the constantly changing environmental regulations in Canada and international environmental laws and regulations. That’s why it is important to have legal representation that understands the broad regulatory landscape, and can provide sound guidance to help organizations successfully achieve their goals. We negotiate with regulators on behalf of our clients to produce positive results. Our practical and efficient approach to resolving regulatory issues helps you get on with your business.

We don’t just scratch the surface—we dig deeper

Potential environmental problems are often not visible at first glance. We help you dig below the surface to uncover issues before they affect your business. Our Environmental Law team has extensive experience with contaminated real property and environmental claims. We are leaders in evaluating environmental risk. Miller Thomson provides advice to real estate developers, property managers, lenders, insurers, and businesses in a wide range of regulated industries, among others.

We can help you with these areas of environmental law and more:

  • Advocacy before administrative environmental tribunals
  • Business transactions, including purchase and sale, financing, environmental due diligence, insurance and indemnities
  • Climate Change – GHG emissions regulation
  • Contaminated land/brownfield redevelopment
  • Defence of Federal, Provincial and Criminal environmental prosecutions
  • Directors and Officers environmental liability
  • Electricity storage projects
  • Emission control and abatement (GHG, CO2e)
  • Environmental approvals
  • Environmental assessment
  • Environmental civil litigation
  • Environmental compliance
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Environmental issues in insolvency
  • Environmental permitting
  • Estate issues involving contamination or environmental disputes
  • Indigenous consultation
  • Indigenous resource disputes
  • Insurance
  • Insolvency related to environmental matters
  • Land acquisition, sale and development, including contaminated land (brownfield) redevelopment
  • Legislative drafting and interpretation
  • Nuisance-type claims (e.g. odour, noise, dust)
  • Permitting of all kinds, including those required for major projects
  • Regulatory assistance on renewable energy projects
  • Waste management, recycling and waste-to-energy
  • Water and sewage servicing
  • Wetlands issues

Notable matters

  • Advised on transactions involving contaminated land and negotiate agreements between land owners dealing with environmental contamination, brownfield redevelopment and brownfield funding
  • Advised on significant contaminated land litigation in Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Quebec, all involving multi-party litigation, historical land ownership, requiring significant understanding of contaminant migration patterns and movement
  • Argued precedent setting contaminated site cases in B.C., Ontario, and the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Resolved significant environmental insurance claims
  • Successful defence of companies and directors and officers in environmental prosecutions
  • Mediated a multi-party dispute with various levels of government involving urbanisation and contamination issues
  • Acted as counsel to major waste management company in all facets of regulatory compliance, acquisitions and dispositions
  • Acted as counsel to the municipality in the Walkerton Water Inquiry (including all the attendant regulatory, enforcement and remedial work) and advised municipalities regarding compliance with post-Walkerton legislative and regulatory initiatives
  • Acted as counsel in climate change credit verification action
  • Advised on the development, permitting, construction and finance of a series of battery electricity storage projects in Ontario

Chambers Global Practice Guides Environmental Law 2022 – Canada: Trends & Developments

Read about recent developments in Canadian environmental law including the increased focus on ESG, the response to the climate crisis, and issues impacting Indigenous peoples.

Download PDF


Read the latest issue of EnviroNotes!, authored by Miller Thomson’s Environmental Law Group.


Stay Informed

Sign-up to receive electronic communications, including newsletters on legal developments, event invitations, firm news and more.