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Mayor Kelly, MP Bill Casey Discuss Sludge Issue
(Tuesday, September 14/04)-- MP Bill Casey, following a meeting with Mayor Peter Kelly today, said he will press the federal and provincial governments to set higher standards for the application of sewage and industrial sludges on Nova Scotia farmland.
Mr. Casey requested the meeting with Mayor Kelly to discuss the application of biosolids on land at Inglewood Farm in Old Barns, outside Truro. The farm owner contends it's a safe, cost-effective and acceptable farm practice conducted in many parts of the world.
However, Mr. Casey was concerned that some of the sludge being applied on those farmlands came from the Aerotech Park lagoon, which is owned by the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Mayor Kelly assured the MP that HRM is not providing any waste materials from its Aerotech Park facility to Inglewood farms, and that it has no intention of doing so in the future. The Mayor said the municipality pays a substantially higher cost to have sludge from the lagoon composted, rather than allowing it to be used directly as a biosolid in the agriculture industry.
"We can certainly appreciate the concerns of neighbours living around the Inglewood Farm and we were pleased to outline our standards and procedures to Mr. Casey for the handling of such waste. His commitment to seek changes to federal and provincial regulations would certainly be a benefit to all Nova Scotians, who may find themselves in a similar position to those living near the Inglewood farm," Mayor Kelly said.
Mr. Casey said "I have been assured by Mayor Kelly that HRM is not allowing the sludge from its facility to be applied directly on farmland. Also, I commend the municipality for making the decision to pay a higher cost to ensure that sludge is composted before it can be used for any other application. Their policy is not only environmentally astute, it certainly sets HRM apart from others as being a good neighbour."
Mr. Casey said provincial regulations across the country regarding the application of sewage and industrial waste are "totally inconsistent" and he applauded HRM for its high standards in dealing with this issue. The MP has already spoken to Premier Hamm and Environment Minister Kerry Morash about the Inglewood Farm issue
Mayor Peter Kelly
MP (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)