Government seeks feedback on Environment Act changes

The Yukon government is looking for public feedback on changes to the Environment Act. The act was written in 1991, and much has changed since then, said Environment Minister Currie Dixon.

The Yukon government is looking for public feedback on changes to the Environment Act.

The act was written in 1991, and much has changed since then, said Environment Minister Currie Dixon.

Many of the proposed changes would increase the government’s ability to enforce regulations, said Dixon. One has to do with inspections.

Right now, environmental protection officers can only do inspections on properties that have a permit. Someone can call and complain about something they see their neighbours doing on private property, but the protection officers can’t come and investigate, said Dixon. Changing the act will give them this authority, said Dixon.

Another proposed change increases the minister’s ability to ban hazardous substances and pesticides. The act lists nine different categories of hazardous substances. But there’s no provision to let the minister ban chemicals, said Dixon. Changing the act will let the Yukon identify what chemicals it wants to ban, he said.

The government is also looking at allowing industry-led recycling initiatives. In other parts of Canada, businesses partner together to recycle things like oil and tires, said Dixon. But in the Yukon, all recycling programs are funded through the recycling fund. Businesses couldn’t create their own programs. This change makes it possible for them to do that, said Dixon.

Other proposed changes include making it easier for a third party to clean up contaminated sites and allowing the minister to approve waste management plans for specific facilities. Right now, management plans need cabinet approval.

And a requirement for a territory-wide management plan would be removed. Simply requiring local plans would more efficient, according to a discussion document.

Public comments are being accepted until Oct. 14. People can call 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5634, email or go to to submit feedback.

Changes to the act could be approved as early as the fall sitting, said Dixon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read