Stapleton Environmental Consulting now offering BEAHR Indigenous Training Programs

Stapleton Environmental Consulting is committed to building relationships with Indigenous communities and supporting the growth of the local environmental workforce.

Director, Erin Stapleton, is now a BEAHR Licensed Trainer with ECO Canada’s BEAHR Indigenous Training Program. Erin is happy to share her skills to build capacity within Indigenous communities through the following BEAHR courses:

  • Environmental Core Skills

  • Environmental Monitoring - Regulatory Specialization

  • Local Environmental Coordinator

  • Land Use Planning Coordinator

  • Land Use Planning 2-Day Seminar

  • Certificate in Environmental Planning and Administration

Completion of Grade 8 or Grade 10 is required, depending on the course. All courses are tailored to the community, incorporate traditional knowledge, and include the participation of Elders. Upon completion, BEAHR Graduates are eligible for wage subsidies to help them put their new skills to work. Check out the training webpage for details. Contact Erin to learn more about these courses and customizable certificates.

Industry proponents can play a role in the BEAHR Indigenous Training Program, including sponsoring student fees and hiring BEAHR Graduates. Contact Erin to learn more.

New Beahr Logo - full color.jpg

Erin receives "Momentum Award" at the NLOWE 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala

On October 25, Erin was the recipient of the Momentum Award at the NLOWE 2018 Entrepreneur of the the Year awards!

RBCWOI_Nominee.png

Read about the NLOWE Awards and the other amazing women business owners and award winners in the full press release from NLOWE.

Erin moderating panel at NEIA's Newleef 2018

 Image: Newfoundland and Labrador Industry Association

Image: Newfoundland and Labrador Industry Association

I'm pleased to be moderating this discussion in October at NEIA's annual Newleef conference featuring: 

Joshua Green, CEO of Empowered Homes - In just a few short years, Empowered Homes has grown to 28 employees, and has sold thousands of units of their first product, Mysa. Mysa connects any electric heater to the internet and can be remotely controlled through an app.

Ashley Noseworthy, CEO of Edgewise Environmental - An accomplished marine scientist with extensive experience in the offshore sector, Ashley launched Canada's first environmental consultancy dedicated to marine mammal observation, seabird observation, and acoustic monitoring training. 

Delia Warren, Director of Iron & Earth East - Delia is a Professional Engineer who spent the first seven years of her career working in offshore oil and gas in Scotland, France, Africa and at home in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, as Director of Iron & Earth East, she is an advocate for economic diversification and job creation in a society where the future of oil is uncertain. 

Join us in October as I engage these local leaders in a discussion on how they're creating jobs and driving change in the province's environmental/clean tech sector. Visit the Newleef website to register.

 

Gender-based analysis added to impact assessment services

The new federal impact assessment approach will require a gender-based analysis (GBA).

I recently completed the Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) course offered by Status of Women Canada.  This analytical tool helps one assess the potential impacts (positive or negative) of projects, plans and policies on women, men and gender-diverse people, enabling identification of risks and creation of mitigation strategies.  The “+” signifies that GBA+ goes beyond sex and gender and considers other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical ability.

 Status of Women Canada, Government of Canada

Status of Women Canada, Government of Canada

The new Canadian Energy Regulator will oversee offshore wind

The new Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act) forms part of Bill C-69, which had its first reading in the House of Commons on February 8, 2018. The Act, among other things, provides for the regulation of renewable energy projects and power lines in Canada’s offshore. The Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) will be the regulatory body responsible for offshore wind development. I've highlighted some key elements of the CER Act as it pertains to offshore wind development:

Section 2, Definitions

offshore renewable energy project means any of the following that are carried on in the offshore area:
(a) any research or assessment conducted in relation to the exploitation or potential exploitation of a renewable resource to produce energy;
(b) any exploitation of a renewable resource to produce energy;
(c) any storage of energy produced from a renewable resource; or
(d) any transmission of such energy, other than the transmission of electricity to a province or a place outside Canada.

Section 57, Involvement of Indigenous peoples of Canada

The Regulator may establish committees or programs for the purpose of enhancing the involvement of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and Indigenous organizations in respect of pipelines, power lines and offshore renewable energy projects as well as abandoned pipelines.

Part 5: Offshore Renewable Energy Projects and Offshore Power Lines:

Section 298 (2) Contents of application

An application must include any information that may be required by the Regulator, or prescribed by regulation, with respect to the proposed work or activity and to the offshore renewable energy project or offshore power line, including information with respect to any facility, equipment, system or vessel related to the project or power line.

Section 298 (3) Factors to consider

In determining whether to issue an authorization, the Commission must take into account — in light of, among other things, any traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada that has been provided to the Commission and scientific information and data — all considerations that appear to it to be relevant and directly related to the offshore renewable energy project or offshore power line, including

(a) the environmental effects, including any cumulative environmental effects;
(b) the safety and security of persons and the protection of property and the environment;
(c) the health, social and economic effects, including with respect to the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors;
(d) the interests and concerns of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, including with respect to their current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes;
(e) the effects on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;
(f) environmental agreements entered into by the Government of Canada; and
(g) any relevant assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95 of the Impact Assessment Act.

A note on impact assessment: New energy projects requiring an impact assessment would undergo a single, integrated process, carried out jointly by the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the new CER. In other words, “One project, one assessment.” See my previous post on some highlights from the new Impact Assessment Act, including timelines, substitution, and Indigenous engagement.

Section 298 (4) Shorter timelines

For projects that are not subject to the new Impact Assessment Act, legislated timelines would be reduced from 450 days to 300 days.

The Government of Canada has compiled The New Canadian Energy Regulator Handbook to assist Canadians in understanding the role of the new regulator. 

Final thought: While the legislation enables offshore wind development, regulations and policies have to be developed (federally and provincially) before we have a complete framework for offshore wind development in Canada. 

The new Impact Assessment Act

The new Impact Assessment Act forms part of Bill C-69, which had its first reading in the House of Commons yesterday (February 8, 2018). While not an extensive review, I've summarized some initial observations.  

Factors to be considered. Note: Indigenous knowledge, sustainability and climate change, Section 22

g) traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada provided with respect to the designated project;
(h) the extent to which the designated project contributes to sustainability;
(i) the extent to which the effects of the designated project hinder or contribute to the Government of Canada’s ability to meet its environmental obligations and its commitments in respect of climate change;
(j) any change to the designated project that may be caused by the environment;
(k) the requirements of the follow-up program in respect of the designated project;
(l) considerations related to Indigenous cultures raised with respect to the designated project;
(m) community knowledge provided with respect to the designated project.

Time limits somewhat shorter, Sections 28 and 37
Agency reviews are 300 days, review panels have 600 days. As before, timelines can be extended at minister’s discretion.  

Substitution, Section 33
Substitution is possible at Minister’s discretion, but must satisfy several conditions including:

d) the process to be substituted will include consultations with any Indigenous group that may be affected by the carrying out of the designated project;
(e) the public will be given an opportunity to participate in the assessment and to provide comments on a draft report;
(f) the public will have access to records in relation to the assessment to enable its meaningful participation;
(g) at the end of the assessment, a report will be submitted to the Minister;
(h) the report will be made available to the public

What constitutes “public interest”, Section 63

(a) the extent to which the designated project contributes to sustainability;
(d) the impact that the designated project may have on any Indigenous group and any adverse impact that the designated project may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; and
(e) the extent to which the effects of the designated project hinder or contribute to the Government of Canada’s ability to meet its environmental obligations and its commitments in respect of climate change.

Regional and strategic assessments remain discretionary, Section 92-103.

Early planning (see: The proposed new system)
Prior to submission of the Impact Statement, there is an "early planning" phase that can take up to 180 days. This is engaging the public and Indigenous communities earlier in the process than was previously required under CEAA 2012. 

Consultation is now underway on the impact assessment regulations. Open until April 15, 2018 at: https://www.impactassessmentregulations.ca/

Erin talks offshore wind with local media

Erin spoke with Kenneth Oliver of The Telegram following a workshop on supply chain and energy markets for offshore wind in Atlantic Canada. Erin hosted the event, which was organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association and Marine Renewables Canada. The workshop also featured her colleague, Alan Duncan, of Scotia Supply Chain in Scotland, who spoke to syngergies between offshore oil and gas and offshore wind. While there are challenges to developing the sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, Erin says "it's encouraging to see Ottawa take a stance and seriously consider and endorse other renewables and not just hydroelectric."  Read the full article here

Federal support for offshore wind

Still reflecting on my experience last week at the Marine Renewables Canada conference in Ottawa. I was pleased to be invited to join the offshore wind panel with Sunny Gupta of Ørsted, Ross Tyler of Business Network for Offshore Wind, John Pires of Northland Power Inc. and Dr. Bryson Robertson of University of Victoria. It was encouraging to hear the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Kim Rudd, speak to the federal government's support of marine renewable energy, including offshore wind. The new "emerging renewables" program will provide federal funds to support deployment of renewables, including offshore wind. Interest in the sector is growing and I'm thrilled to be a part of it!

171114_212946_COLLAGE-1.jpg