Janet Bobechko is a Certified Specialist in Environmental Law and a nationally recognized senior practitioner with extensive experience in all aspects of environmental law, specializing in environment, governance and compliance.

Janet’s environmental law practice is focused on climate change and sustainability, Environment Social Governance (ESG), real estate and brownfield development and environmental dispute resolution.

She routinely provides sophisticated and strategic advice on environmental compliance, mergers & acquisitions, real estate and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, financings, and environmental management systems. She has significant experience in construction contracts and lien matters as they relate to contamination and remediation. Her dispute resolution work includes, providing advice on environmental aspects in complex civil litigation for legacy contamination, migration of contamination, environmental regulatory inspections, charges, orders, and strategic due diligence advice.

Janet supports her clients with advice on environmental approvals (all media), chemical management and importation of new substances into Canada, transportation of dangerous goods, hazardous products, pesticides, stewardship, producer responsibility and the circular economy. She advises on risk management, emergency planning and spill response, storage tanks, Federal E2 Regulations and strategic communication. She is routinely consulted on issues related to sewage works, waste/process water management and treatment, source water protection and sustainable water supply.

Janet advises on climate change issues including climate risk, climate resilient infrastructure and the impacts to supply chains. She provides support to clients as they look to diversify their businesses with investments into new, low carbon asset classes and technologies.

She advises boards of directors regarding environmental compliance, corporate reporting strategies and risk mitigation and environmental insurance, and advises clients on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) matters and sits on the external advisory committee for Ryerson’s Corporate Social Responsibility Institute.

Janet recently received a career achievement award from the Canadian Brownfields Network as a person who has had a profound impact on the brownfield industry in Canada.

  • Advice to a global manufacturer of electrical equipment in relation to a civil claim by an adjacent property owner of migration of contamination
  • Defence of an international food production company in relation to investigations and subsequent charges under provincial environmental legislation related to wastewater treatment facility odours
  • Advice to a residential developer in relation to a brownfield development on a former service station property
  • Advice as environmental counsel for a global manufacturer regarding facility closure and remediation plant to address historic chemical usage
  • Advice to global chemical company regarding historic migration of contamination onto party property
  • Defence of innocent impacted property owner for migration of contamination onto their commercial multi tenanted property from an adjacent dry cleaner
  • Advice to manufacturing client regarding compliance and preparation of an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP)
  • Advice to a residential property owner in an upscale neighbourhood regarding potential stigmatization of land by a conservation authority as having an unstable sloping ravine property
  • Acting for an environmental consultant regarding a potential negligence claim regarding delineation of contamination
  • Advising a national railway company regarding remediation of historic contamination
  • Acting for a chemical production company in relation to ongoing environmental regulatory matters
  • Provided environmental advice to MAG Real Estate LP on the sale and leaseback by its subsidiaries to Automotive Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, which consisted of a portfolio of 11 properties in Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario, for a combined purchase price of approximately C$101.4 million
  • Advised global clients regarding Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) implementation in Canada for classification and labelling of hazardous products for compliance with Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015)
  • Advice to cannabis company regarding environmental issues related to operations
  • Lead environmental counsel to Brookfield Business in the acquisition of 213 gas bars from Loblaw Companies for a purchase price of approximately C$540 million
  • Ex US Environmental counsel to Energizer Holdings, Inc. on its US$1.25B global acquisition of Spectrum Brands’ Battery and Portable Lighting business
  • Advised Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx on the Finch West LRT Project, an 11 km light rail transit line on environmental aspects
  • Acted for HMSHOST in relation to the sale of 23 OnRoute service plazas
  • Provided environmental advice to the Board of Directors for a company regarding CCAA proceedings
  • Managed the defence of prosecution of various environmental charges for an energy company over several time periods to obtain a successful global resolution with charges withdrawn against the parent company (an important aspect to allow it to bid on government contracts) and reasonable fines against the operating company
  • Advice to multinational company on risk management measures for legacy contaminated sites
  • Represented a global manufacturing company who owned a large parcel of land in a metropolitan area that was historically contaminated with PCBs and separate plumes of VOCs in a complex geologic formation (weathered bedrock and sensitive site due to minimal overburden)
  • Represented a multinational power management company in civil proceedings relating to alleged historical contamination from solvents and hydrocarbons migrating from and to neighbouring properties, including residential properties, and related issues concerning indoor soil vapour and statutory limitation periods
  • Acting for clients regarding advice for various fires at their operations, including emergency management, spill response, regulatory reporting, communication and public relations (including temporary closure or major highway and airport runways due to smoke), resulting investigation and defences of charges
  • Acted for chemical manufacturing client in relation to ammonia leak and emergency response with cross border implications
  • Represented property owner in purchase of contaminated land from receiver in bankruptcy, pro-active installation of barrier to prevent migration of solvent contamination (VOCs) as of date of change of ownership and subsequent litigation from adjacent property owners for alleged migration of contamination after change in ownership.
  • Recognized in the Chambers Canada Guide as a leading lawyer in Environment Law, 2020
  • Repeatedly recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Leading Practitioner
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in Environmental Law
  • Recognized in The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers
  • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal Canada as a leader in Environmental Law
  • Recipient of the Heroes Underpinning Brownfields Foundation Award, Canadian Brownsfields Network – Inaugural Foundation award for having a profound impact on establishing the Foundation upon which current policies and practices are based, 2016
  • Chair, Climate Change Committee, Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) (2017 to present)
  • Member, External Advisory Committee, Institute for the Study of Corporate Responsibility at Ryerson University (2019 to Present)
  • Board Member, Learning for a Sustainable Future (2017 to present)
  • Member, Provincial Excess Soil Engagement Group, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (2017 to present)
  • Member, Site Alteration – Excess Soil Bylaw Tool Steering Committee, Canadian Urban Institute (2020 to present)
  • Member, Executive committee, National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section (NEERLS), Canadian Bar Association (2015 – to present)
  • Member, Provincial Brownfield Stakeholder Advisory Group, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
  • Member, Canadian Brownfields Network
  • Member, Women in Mining Association (Toronto Chapter)
  • Member, Supporting Inclusive Resource Development in East Africa (SIRD)
  • Member, Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada
  • Past Chair, Brownfield Committee, ONEIA
  • Past Chair and member, Environmental Law Section, Ontario Bar Association
  • Past Director, Toronto Lawyers Association
Called to the Bar
  • Ontario (1991)

Education
  • Certificate, Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of Windsor, 1995
  • J.D., Mercy Law School, University of Detroit, 1989
  • LL.B., University of Windsor, 1989
  • B.A., York University, 1986
Affiliations
  • Ontario Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

Instructor, "Due Diligence Risk Assessment vs. Regulatory Risk Assessment: Which Do I Need?" Webinar, Pinchin Ltd., November, 2020
Speaker, “Climate Change and Infrastructure Resilience”, Roundtable Chair, ONEIA Business and Policy Forum, Toronto, ON, September 2020
Chair and Speaker, “Contaminated Sites and Emergency Response Management”, CANECT, Fall 2020
Chair and Speaker, “Brownfield, Contaminated Sites & Excess Soil” and “Spill Reporting and Emergency Response”, CANECT, November 2-4, 2020
Speaker, “Developments in Environmental Law for Real Estate Transactions”, Ontario Bar Association (OBA), Toronto, March 2020
Moderator, “Roundtable - Inclusive Workplace Design”, International Women in Mining, Toronto, March 2020
Moderator, 2019 Excess Soil Symposium, Canadian Urban Institute, Oshawa, December 2019
Moderator and speaker, "Review of Canadian environmental health & safety law / Aboriginal rights"; Supporting Inclusive Resource Development (SIRD) East Africa, Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Global Affairs, Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania, June 2019
Chair and speaker, “Dealing with Spills and Environmental Emergencies”, "Reporting spills, leaks and discharges – Compliance with regulatory requirements under Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Fisheries Act", "Cautionary tales", CANECT, Toronto, May 2019
Chair and speaker, Brownfields Regulation and Compliance: What's new for 2019 "Hot off the press! Excess Soil Management in Ontario: Discussion of the Proposed New Excess Soil Regulations". "Management and Development of Contaminated Sites", CANECT, Toronto, May 2019

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Additional Publications and Media Mentions

  • Contributor to “Landlord’s Rights and Remedies in a Commercial Lease: A Practical Guide”
  • Regularly updates Falconbridge on Mortgages, Chapter 10, “Environmental issues Affecting the Mortgagee”
  • “10 Tips To Manage Environmental Risk During Uncertain Times”, April 2020
  • “Climate Change: Parties to M&A must be diligent”, January 2020
  • “The Rapid Rise of Climate Change Disclosure Risks”, Chapter in Key Developments in Environmental Law 2019, Thomson Reuters, November 2019
  • “Climate change related risks classified as a mainstream business issue by the CSA”, August 2019
  • “Ontario conducts province-wide mining inspection blitz: employers take note”, August 2019
  • “Weathering the climate-change storm with increased financial risk disclosure – Bank of Canada vulnerability assessment”, May 2019
  • “Ontario government proposes changes to Endangered Species Act”, May 2019
  • “Ontario proposing environmental assessment changes”, May 2019
  • “Impact on Environmental Issues”, USMCA, November 2018
  • “Bill C-68: amending the Fisheries Act to provide protection to fish and their habitat”, March 2018
  • “Mainstream carbon markets”, February 2018
  • “Canada unveils backstop carbon pricing details: the Green House Gas Pollution Pricing Act”, January 2018
  • “Inspection and Maintenance Guide for Stormwater Management Ponds and Constructed Wetlands Toronto and Region Conservation Authority”, 2018