STATEMENT: Province to Assess Harrietsfield Contaminated Site, ECELAW Reaction
June 13, 2018
The province of Nova Scotia announced yesterday that it will take action to assess a former construction and demolition site, RDM Recycling, in Harrietsfield, Halifax Regional Municipality.
Last month, ECELAW Executive Director, Lisa Mitchell, joined community member Marlene Brown and others at a Harrietsfield community meeting where all levels of government were in attendance. After hearing the lived experiences and concerns of Harrietsfield residents, Environment Minister Iain Rankin has invoked his authority under the Environment Act to carry out the terms of two Ministerial orders issued in 2016. The Ministerial orders instruct the companies responsible for the site to carry out an assessment of the contamination and deliver a remediation plan. The responsible parties have not complied with the orders and a prosecution of that matter is currently underway.
The province has stated that Nova Scotia Lands Inc. will commission a site assessment to determine the degree of contamination, the expected timeline and the projected financial cost of remediation.
Local resident Marlene Brown has worked tirelessly on behalf of her community for more than a decade to see the site remediated and ensure safe water quality for Harrietsfield. ECELAW has been standing with the community of Harrietsfield for more than 5 years, through 3 appeals to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and the first private environmental prosecution in this province, launched last year. This past year alone we have witnessed many delays, including 12 court adjournments.
“This has been a long journey and we are pleased to hear Minister Rankin’s commitment. We look forward to an open dialogue with government as work gets underway to address the site”, says ECELAW Executive Director Lisa Mitchell, We were encouraged by Minister Rankin’s participation at the Harrietsfield community meeting, and it is clear that he has taken the concerns of the residents into regard.”
The provincial public prosecution against the parties responsible for the former RDM Recycling site remains unaffected by the upcoming site assessment. The next court date is scheduled for June 19.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director | East Coast Environmental Law 1-902-670-1113 (mobile)