May 24, 2004

Nova Scotia approves biosolids management guidelines, invites further public comment

HALIFAX, NS-New standards for the storage and disposal of biosolids in Nova Scotia, which came into effect May 15 are among the toughest land application and storage rules in North America, said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. He added that the new guidelines will bring more safety and certainty to Nova Scotia's wastewater management programs. "Our goal was to find a safe, stable, long-term solution to the disposal of materials left over from sewage treatment," he said. The guidelines will become part of any approval issued by the department for land application or storage of biosolids. That makes them fully enforceable under the province's Environment Act. Morash added that the department will be inviting public comment on the guidelines throughout the summer, "and we'll be making regular reports to Nova Scotians on the results of a monitoring program that will measure the real effects of land application on the environment." As organic materials, sludges and biosolids are banned from landfills in Nova Scotia. The only other disposal options are land application and incineration, and Morash noted, "there's no suitable incinerator in Nova Scotia...That's why we've chosen to allow operators to extract extra value from them and allow land application under very controlled conditions." The new guidelines and instructions for submitting comments are available on the Environment and Labour website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ or by calling 1-800-567-7544.
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