Amherst’s mayor expresses disappointment at wastewater patch
Town discontinues negotiations with Atlantic Industrial Services
AMHERST - Amherst’s mayor is disappointed a discussion over the disposal of fracking wastewater went the way it did.
Speaking at the end of Monday night’s town council meeting, Robert Small said protests and a Facebook site opposed to the proposal prevented an open discussion on the subject and led to threats, insults, bullying and misinformation.
“While I do respect those opposed to fracking, the project council had been considering had nothing do with the approval of fracking in our town, nor did it have anything to do with the treatment of fracking waste in our town,” the mayor said in a prepared statement. “Council was considering permitting clean water that has gone through significant treatment processes to ensure that any contami- nant has been removed through the treatment process.
“That being said, those who organized the demonstration did not attend the information session or pursue any information from the town. Instead they decided to present the wrong information and mislead the people into thinking that council was approving fracking and the discharge of fracking wastewater without any consideration for the environment.”
The mayor said those who supported the proposal did so for their own personal reasons, but he added it’s fair to say they did not expect to “face circumstances where the public was being mislead and the resulting personal attacks became overwhelming for some.”
Small said he’s disappointed the town could not proceed with having Environment Minister Randy Delorey present the facts and he’s disappointed the town is “missing a great opportunity to gain some revenue to help our community.
“Ultimately for us, in small town Nova Scotia, it is the importance of community that matters most, it is not the money,” Small added. “We as a council do not want anyone to live in fear. We have made some amazing improvements in our town in these past six years and we have lots of plans for the future of our town, that we will continue to work on.”
Amherst announced earlier Monday that it is walking away from talks with a Debert company about accepting treated wastewater used in hydraulic fracturing in Hants County several years ago.
During an in-camera meeting on Sunday, staff provided an update on the negotiations. At the end of that discussion, council opted to end the process.