About the Service
East Coast Environmental Law envisions a future in which laws and legal systems protect ecological health and promote environmental and climate justice. To that end, our mission is to advocate for progressive environmental laws and policies in Atlantic Canada, provide public legal education on environmental laws and policies, and share our legal skills to support individuals, communities, and organizations that are working to prevent or redress environmental harms.
As part of our work, we operate an Environmental Law Inquiry Service that members of the public can access at no cost. This Environmental Law Inquiry Service is designed mainly to provide general legal information to members of the public who request it, with the aim of making environmental laws and environmental decision-making processes more accessible and easier to understand.
Core program funding from the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia supports our capacity to provide general legal information to individuals and community groups throughout Nova Scotia.
What Kinds of Support Are Available?
Our Environmental Law Inquiry Service is designed mainly to provide general legal informationto members of the public who request it. We believe that making environmental laws more accessible and easier to understand helps to foster environmental and climate justice in our region, and, for that reason, we aim to provide general legal information in response to every inquiry that we receive.
Depending on the nature of your inquiry, general legal information may help you to identify some options that are available if you wish to report an environmental occurrence, request information from government bodies, participate in environmental decision-making processes, or explore opportunities to challenge environmental decisions.
General legal information is not the same as tailored legal opinion or legal advice. Although we sometimes agree to provide inquirers with tailored legal opinion or legal advice, our capacity to do that varies on a case-by-case basis, and we prioritize issues that align most clearly with East Coast Environmental Law’s vision, mission, and public-interest mandate.
By submitting an inquiry, you are not retaining East Coast Environmental Law as your legal counsel. Likewise, by responding to your inquiry, we are not agreeing to act as your legal counsel or advocate on your behalf.
East Coast Environmental Law is not responsible for any deadlines or limitation periods that may be associated with your legal issue: the responsibility to meet such deadlines or limitation periods is yours alone.
Our Mission to Advocate for Environmental and Climate Justice in the Public Interest
Because East Coast Environmental Law is an environmental law charity that provides public-interest environmental law services, our Environmental Law Inquiry Service is not designed to provide legal support on issues that are primarily private law issues, even when those private law issues have environmental aspects. For example, we do not provide legal opinion, legal advice, or legal representation in matters that are essentially private disputes, such as disputes between neighbours over residential oil spills or septic pollution.
The legal support we provide through our Environmental Law Inquiry Service is designed mainly to help members of the public understand the legal processes through which environmental decisions are made. East Coast Environmental Law does not typically take a position on specific projects when addressing them through the Environmental Law Inquiry Service.
East Coast Environmental Law advocates for progressive environmental laws that protect ecologies and safeguard human health and wellbeing. Our Environmental Law Inquiry Service is not designed to provide legal support to inquirers who wish to challenge environmental laws because those laws may impact business interests or private property rights.
If you are not sure if your inquiry fits within the purpose of our Environmental Law Inquiry Service, please feel free to submit an inquiry, and we will assess our capacity to help.
How to Submit an Inquiry
Please complete all of the Inquiry Intake Form fields. We require this information for internal record-keeping and conflicts checks, and we will not use it for other purposes such as promotion of our services or events.
Describing your issue in detail, identifying the kind of support you are seeking, and asking specific questions will help us to determine if and how we can assist you. We will not share the information you provide unless you consent to its release, but you should not provide confidential or otherwise sensitive personal information through this online form.