Environment minster won’t get involved in wastewater debate
Spokeswoman says it’s a matter between company and town
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.