Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert, BC, is seen March 8, 2013. Malaysian national oil company Petronas says it expects to spend up to $16 billion to build a liquefied natural gas export facility and related infrastructure in Western Canada. The Pacific Northwest LNG project, located on Lelu Island in the Port Edward district, will liquefy and export natural gas produced in northeastern British Columbia by Progress Energy Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Robin Rowland

Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert, BC, is seen March 8, 2013. Malaysian national oil company Petronas says it expects to spend up to $16 billion to build a liquefied natural gas export facility and related infrastructure in Western Canada. The Pacific Northwest LNG project, located on Lelu Island in the Port Edward district, will liquefy and export natural gas produced in northeastern British Columbia by Progress Energy Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Robin Rowland

Sierra Club loses legal fight against environmental exemptions for frack dams

Lawyers for the Sierra Club argued the government isn’t allowed to grant such exemptions after the fact

An environmental group has lost its legal challenge to regulatory exemptions given to a pair of dams in northern British Columbia.

The dams were built by Progress Energy to store water for its natural gas fracking operations.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia heard that the company inadvertently built the dams too high, which brought into force environmental regulations the dams couldn’t meet.

The province then granted the company an exemption from those rules.

Lawyers for the Sierra Club argued the government isn’t allowed to grant such exemptions after the fact.

But the court ruled the company did what it could to consult with local people and ensure the dams were safe.

It found the government’s exemption was reasonable and dismissed Sierra’s suit.

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The Canadian Press

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