The Hamilton Spectator November 10/1999
A private environmental enforcer has turned its attention to Hamilton.
The Environmental Bureau of Investigation (EBI), a grandiose name
for a mostly volunteer group that dares to go where provincial
government enforcers aren’t, will be in town today to announce a
private prosecution.The group, which is getting help from the Sierra Legal Defence
Fund, will identify who it intends to prosecute for alleged PCB
discharges into Red Hill Creek. The charges would be laid under the
federal Fisheries Act and the provincial Environmental Protection
Act. EBI has prosecuted the City of Kingston over Fisheries Act
violations that resulted in a $150,000 fine against the city. It has
another prosecution under way against the province. The local
prosecution will be announced at the Brampton Street footbridge over
Red Hill Creek.
“We work with (local) groups and if we find a situation where there
are offences under the Fisheries Act or EPA, we put together a case,”
said Mark Mattson, a lawyer and the group’s lead investigator. The
group takes its evidence to a justice of the peace and formally
swears charges. Such private charges are allowed by law, but whether
prosecution occurs is up to the provincial Crown.