Environmental Complaint

An environmental complaint consists in reporting an activity which there is reason to believe does not comply with the laws and regulations administered by the City.

To make the complaint easier to process, provide the following information if possible:
  • The nature, date and time of the activity.
  • The precise location of the activity and directions for getting there.
  • The identity of the person responsible for the activity.
  • If relevant, a photograph showing the damages.
  • Your name and contact details to enable the city to reach you.
  • It is also possible to file a complaint anonymously. In this case, however, the city will not be able to inform you on the steps taken to follow up on your complaint.

How a Complaint is Handled

  • First, the right complaint such be filed in the right place. The Code Enforcement Officer must check whether the complaint is within its jurisdiction of environmental laws. It may happen that another department is responsible for handling your complaint.
  • Your complaint will be treated confidentially and with due care. No later than 10 business days after your complaint is filed, an inspector will inform you on how the grounds for the complaint will be investigated.
  • The inspector is mandated to check whether the reported activity complies with environmental regulations. Your complaint will be addressed as quickly as possible, depending on the nature and scope of the actual or potential environmental impacts.
  • In most cases, the inspector visits the area to investigate the site and installations and, if necessary, to take samples. If there is something wrong, the person responsible will be informed and asked to remedy the situation.

Follow-Up With the Person Who Filed the Complaint

  • The processing of your complaint concludes when the inspector contacts you to inform you of his findings about the grounds for the complaint and, if applicable, the subsequent steps to be taken, as determined by the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information. In most cases, the inspector gets in touch with the person who reported the complaint within 40 business days following receipt of the complaint.
  • In the event that you feel that the inspector handling your environmental complaint has acted inappropriately or if certain service commitments were not upheld, we suggest you first get in touch with the Building Department Director or Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
  • If you are still not satisfied with the service you received, you can contact the Jackson County Circuit Court and/or Jackson County Justice Court services for further assistance.

What Happens After a Complaint Has Been Processed

  • In the event that the reported activity is non-compliant, the inspector will check whether the requested remedial measures were taken and ensure that the activity is appropriately monitored. In most cases, the situation is resolved with the inspector's intervention.
  • It may be necessary, however, to conduct an investigation in view of legal proceedings to issue a penalty for the offence. For this, a city inspector must establish proof beyond any doubt. The evidence is then submitted to required jurisdiction, which issues a notice of offence to the alleged offender if it is deemed there are sufficient grounds to do so. Code inspectors do not have the power to give out fines; only judges can fine offenders, once they have been found guilty of an offence.
  • When circumstances warrant, the city may, in accordance with the Environment Quality Act, order the execution of certain measures or revoke an authorization.
  • You may exercise your rights by personally asking a circuit court judge to grant an injunction to prevent any act or activity that adversely affects or is likely to adversely affect the quality of the environment, its protection and the protection of living species living there.