October 10th, 2000

Conservation Council of New Brunswick Environmental Law Handbook an Essential Resource for CitizensFor Immediate Release Contact: Lia Daborn, Executive Director – Conservation Council of New Brunswick Phone: 506-458-8747

The Conservation Council is pleased to announce the availability of its newest publication, The New Brunswick Environmental Law Handbook. It has been 15 years since such a resource has been available to New Brunswickers. We published the original handbook back in 1983.

Much has changed over the last decade and a half. There are more laws on the books, and there is a much large body of case law concerning environmental degradation. Since that time the Canadian government has instituted the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and turned the pollution guidelines under the Fisheries Act into regulations governing pulp and paper mills and other large sources of water pollution. Provincially, we now have an environmental impact assessment regulation, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act, not to mention major amendments to laws governing endangered species, beverage containers and watercourse alterations.

The Handbook describes the common law rights and remedies available to citizens, federal and provincial environmental legislation, and environmental impact assessment processes available from the two levels of government. It also contains extensive reference materials in its generous appendices.

The Handbook was written by Lisa Mitchell, a former Conservation Council Director and lawyer now based in Nova Scotia.

We are appreciative of the guidance give by Jessie Davies of the Environment and Sustainable Development Research Centre at UNB, Deborah Doherty of the Public Legal Education and Information Service, and from Louise Doucet and Paul Monti, both of the New Brunswick Department of Environment. We also want to thank Micheline Doiron from Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales for her able review of the content.

Support for this work was provided through the Environmental Trust Fund, and this has enabled the Conservation Council to offer the Environmental Law Handbook to New Brunswickers at no charge. A french version will be available in late fall.

We believe the Environmental Handbook will be an indispensable resource for New Brunswickers who wish to protect their families and their communities from the consequences of environmental harm. By informing New Brunswickers about the nature of environmental legislation and the enforcement process, the Handbook will also help citizens keep their government accountable to its responsibilities and obligations to protect the environment and conserve our natural resources.

We lack the non-profit environmental law associations that exist elsewhere in the country. The Canadian Environmental Law Association, Environmental Bureau of Investigation, the Sierra Legal Defence Fund and the West Coast Environmental Law Association come to mind. In their stead, we have invested a considerable amount of time in developing this handbook to enable New Brunswickers to inform themselves about environmental law in New Brunswick. We extend the challenge to our legal community to develop the institutional capacity that could provide our citizens with detailed information, legal research, referrals, and even legal aid to help them fight crimes against our environment.

To order copies of the Environmental Law Handbook, New Brunswickers only need contact the Conservation Council by mail, phone, fax or through our website bookstore to place an order.