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December 1, 2003
MOE to be responsible for compliance requirements of Nutrient Management Act
TORONTO, ONT-The Ontario Ministry of Environment will be overseeing all compliance requirements of the Nutrient Management Act. Official assignment of this responsibility, announced last week by Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky and Agriculture and Food Minister Steve Peters, fulfills one of the key recommendations of the Walkerton Inquiry report. "Bringing all compliance and enforcement under a single ministry is a more effective method of managing environmental protection," said Dombrowsky. "The Ministry of the Environment will have staff trained in agricultural practices to inspect farms and ensure that they are in compliance with the Act." Part Two of the report called for the MOE to take the lead in regulating potential impacts of farm activities on drinking water sources, while Agriculture and Food should provide technical support to the MOE and should continue advising farmers about protecting drinking water sources. Agriculture and Food's education and training program has been a key factor in encouraging farmers to adopt best management practices. The ministry is also responsible for approving and maintaining a registry of nutrient management plans, a key requirement of the Nutrient Management Act, which provides clear environmental protection guidelines for Ontario's agricultural industry, municipalities and other generators of materials that contain nutrients.