July 26, 2004

Department signs training agreement with realtors' group on environmental issues

HALIFAX, NS-The Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour has signed an agreement to provide training on environmental issues to members of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors. The training includes sessions on private well ownership, on-site sewage disposal and oil tank safety. "Department staff spend a lot of time talking with the public about these matters," said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. "So having the real estate community help homeowners understand their responsibilities will be a great benefit." Under the agreement, the department develops the training syllabus and provides staff time for the courses. The association promotes the training to its members, provides a location and awards continuing education credits. The department and the association recently held a pilot course on oil tank installation and maintenance. "There are hundreds of tank leaks every year," Morash said. "They generate significant clean-up costs and can cause a variety of environmental problems for which the homeowner is responsible." Association executive officer Arnold Jones agreed. "It's important for both buyer and seller to be aware of this, and to understand how simple maintenance practices can minimize the risk and maintain a property's value." More information is available from John Perkins at Environment and Labour, 902/424-6427, E-mail: perkinje@gov.ns.ca.
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