En­vi­ron­ment min­ster won’t get in­volved in waste­water de­bate

Spokes­woman says it’s a mat­ter be­tween company and town

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE

HAL­I­FAX - Nova Sco­tia’s en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter is not go­ing to in­ter­vene in the de­bate over whether Amherst should ac­cept treated waste wa­ter from At­lantic In­dus­trial Ser­vices of De­bert.

“As provin­cial reg­u­la­tor, Nova Sco­tia En­vi­ron­ment uses sci­ence and fact-based de­ci­sion­mak­ing when as­sess­ing pro­pos­als for en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval,” depart­ment spokes­woman Heather Fair­bairn said in an email. “Shar­ing that in­for­ma­tion and mak­ing it eas­ily avail­able to the pub­lic, as we did with the test re­sults from the waste wa­ter pi­lot, is just one way of build­ing trust and keep­ing the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open.”

Fair­bairn said it would in­ap­pro­pri­ate for min­is­ter Randy Delorey to com­ment on the is­sue at this time, say­ing it’s a mat­ter for the company and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to ad­dress.

“Be­fore At­lantic In­dus­trial Ser­vices can trans­port the waste wa­ter, they must sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to the depart­ment for ap­proval. As part of the process, it would also be in­cum­bent upon the company to con­duct a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and sub­mit the re­sults of that con­sul­ta­tion to the depart­ment for re­view,” Fair­bairn said. “At this point, we do not have an ap­pli­ca­tion from the company on this.”

Amherst ex­pects to make a decision on whether to ac­cept the waste wa­ter at its Nov. 24 meet­ing. It’s plan­ning to hold another pub­lic meet­ing be­fore the vote.

It hosted an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion at the fire depart­ment on Mon­day that was at­tended by more than 200 peo­ple, many of who dis­agreed with the town’s pro­posal to ac­cept the wa­ter that was used in oil and gas ex­plo­ration in Ken­net­cook in 2007 and 2008.

The wa­ter would be dis­posed in 30,000 litre truck­loads into the town’s out­fall into the La­Planche River and the Bay of Fundy. It will not go through the town’s new waste wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­ity.

If the town ap­proves the project, it would re­ceive $500,000 in rev­enue over two years.

Sev­eral dozen peo­ple held a protest out­side Amherst town hall on Fri­day morn­ing to show their op­po­si­tion to the plan.

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