Environment Minister Margaret Miller has issued ministerial orders to past operators of the now closed RDM Recycling facility in Halifax Regional Municipality to assess and repair the environmental impacts from activities that affected residential wells in Harrietsfield.
A ministerial order is issued to individuals or companies to require them to stop an activity or fix the environmental effects of an activity when the department has reason to believe that those parties are responsible for breaking laws under the Environment Act.
The orders were served to 3012334 Nova Scotia Limited and 3076525 Nova Scotia Limited on Feb. 25. The companies operated a construction and demolition debris facility on the property between 2002 and 2013. A containment cell was constructed by 3012334 Nova Scotia Limited between 2003 and 2004.
In 2013, a previous order was appealed by one of the named parties to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. The judge upheld the majority of the order but ruled that the department needed to review the evidence used to support clause seven in the order. The department received the judge’s decision in 2015.
Department of Environment staff have completed a review of existing and new information, met with affected residents, property owners and the company that operated on the site from 2005 to 2013. As a result, Ms. Miller revoked the original ministerial order that was issued in 2010 and has issued two new orders.
The new ministerial orders direct the operators to follow a number of terms and conditions. They also define the division of responsibility between the named parties and include an increase in surface water sampling requirements and site delineation.
Key terms and conditions include:
— engaging the services of a qualified site professional by March 31 to conduct a site assessment, as defined by Nova Scotia’s Contaminated Sites Regulations
— submit the site assessment report prepared by the site professional by July 31
— under the supervision of the site professional review the integrity of all monitoring wells and replace or repair monitoring wells as required
— increase the number of sampling points and provide further assessment