Ottawa must help pay if it toughens wastewater rules: Halifax mayor

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - New federal sewage regulations have been drafted but if standards are to become stricter Ottawa must be prepared to dish out some wastewater-related funds to Canadian municipalities, Halifax's mayor said Saturday.
Peter Kelly said his city would probably need financial assistance from both the federal and provincial governments, should the proposed effluent regulations come to pass.
He said it would be unfair for Halifax Regional Municipality to assume the entire cost of upgrades, once the Harper government shores up its sewage treatment rules.
Environment Canada is seeking public input on new regulations for municipal wastewater effluent which it calls one of the largest pollution sources in Canadian waters.
Kelly said he plans to broach the subject Tuesday when he and other municipal leaders meet with the federal finance minister in Ottawa.
Metro's three newest sewage plants - in Halifax, Dartmouth and Herring Cove - provide advanced primary treatment, but are also equipped to handle secondary treatment, he said.
Environment Canada says the proposed national standards will mean that, over time, waterways and the health of Canadians will be better protected. The draft regulations come under the Fisheries Act.
"I personally have no areas of concern about the standards going up," said Kelly.
"But hopefully there will be some financial (contributions) to help municipalities meet those planned regulations."
The three treatment plants in metro are among five operating around Halifax Harbour, and are part of the municipality's $333-million Harbour Solutions project.
Kelly said the Halifax plant is on schedule to be fully operational again this spring. It suffered a catastrophic malfunction a little over a year ago when the site flooded.

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Ottawa, Dartmouth Herring Cove

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