NFU Meets with Minister of Environment

On June 22, District 1 members of the NFU met with Honourable Robert Mitchell, Minister of Communities, Land and the Environment to discuss their concerns about holding ponds and our water supply. Here is what they said:DSCF3491

Thank you for affording the National Farmers Union the opportunity to meet with you this afternoon to discuss some issues which are of great concern when we see what is going on in the countryside around us.

A number of holding ponds are being constructed. Are these being put in under supervision on the part of your Department?   They certainly need to be monitored. There was one known case this spring where the run-off water ran around the holding pond (newly constructed last fall), taking a lot of soil with it. This in turn ran into a stream, turning it red and on into a bay. Surely this is not protecting our waterways.

New wells are being dug at an accelerated rate this year. Is your Department aware and/or involved in this? No doubt these wells will be used to fill the holding ponds. Spring run-off cannot run uphill and rainwater in the ponds will soon evaporate. Some people in communities are quite concerned about their own water supply in the future as they see three or four new wells being dug on a nearby property.

What is the Government proposing for the number of wells to fill these ponds? Is it one well per pond as we were told in the meeting with your officials prior to the public meeting in April in Charlottetown, or is it one well per pond per PID as was stated at that public meeting? There is a vast difference in these two answers.

We feel that all this work is being done as a way to circumvent the moratorium on high capacity wells.

Do you agree?

The National Farmers Union submits that if the Government was really serious about protecting and preserving our water, a moratorium should have been placed on the construction of these ponds and the digging of wells to fill them until the Water Act was proclaimed and the Regulations under that Act were put into effect. Will the Act and Regulations govern these ponds and wells or will they continue to exist without regulation since they are there before the Act?

Aqua Bounty – Is this company being allowed to change direction and grow mature salmon in the Rollo Bay location although their initial application did not indicate this? What about the effluent going into the Bay?

So far we have good water in this Province, but we need to do everything possible to preserve and protect it for the future.

Respectfully submitted

National Farmers Union, District 1, Region 1

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