Businesses: Why Should You Hire an Environmental Mediator?
By: Jean Piette Many business operations raise environmental issues in one way or another. Conflicts related to water management, natural resources, land use, soil contamination, and environmental pollution, only to name a few, generally require a practical solution to allow the concerned companies to continue their business. In such a context, hiring an environmental mediator can be quicker, less expensive, and more efficient in resolving these conflicts. The Mediator’s Role An environmental mediator is an experienced and respected professional who can assist parties (businesses, municipalities or individuals) to quickly and effectively resolve the environmental dispute or litigation they are facing. What is Mediation? During a mediation, the parties are each called upon to present their version of the dispute, separately or as a group, depending on the approach chosen by the mediator. The mediator's task is to identify, through dialogue between the parties, a solution that would be satisfactory to all and from which each party would benefit. When a solution appears satisfactory to each party, they sign a document attesting to their acceptance of the proposed solution and agree to end the dispute. A Smoother Conflict Management Thus, mediation is a simple, inexpensive and generally a quick way to resolve a dispute that would otherwise have to be submitted to the courts, which is likely to result in: • Deadlines; • Legal costs; and • Significant expert costs. This approach has been proven effective and can be applied to all kinds of environmental conflicts, including those involving: • Contaminated land; • Environmental claims; and • Nuisances, etc. How to Find an Environmental Mediator? At BCF, we understand your issues, and our environmental law team is available to help you effectively use the resources at your disposal. We are privileged to have on our team a senior counsel, Me Jean Piette, who has specialized in environmental law for over 50 years and is a member of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Arbitration and Mediation (“CCEAM”), and who can act as a mediator to help parties find a solution to an environmental dispute. About the Canadian Centre for Environmental Arbitration and Mediation The Canadian Centre for Environmental Arbitration and Mediation ("CCEAM") is a referral organization for senior environmental lawyers across Canada. All 13 members of CCEAM have extensive and in-depth experience in environmental law in the region in which they practice. The organization promotes mediation and arbitration as effective mechanisms for resolving environmental disputes.