Action demanded at Hullcar

Among the reports that must be released are soil test results and nutrient management plans

  • Jul. 3, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Calls for action are escalating now that details about a contaminated Spallumcheen water source will be known.

The Ministry of Environment will disclose soil test results and other documents regarding the Hullcar aquifer after an order was issued by B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner.

“We are looking for a solution,” said Wayne Christian, Splatsin chief of high nutrient levels in the water.

“A number of residents are on that aquifer. This situation cannot continue.”

Among the reports that must be released are soil test results and nutrient management plans that led to authorization of the application of liquid manure to the farm in question.

“Full disclosure is required. We don’t know all of the information,” said Christian.

The ministry has stated there was a delay in releasing a farm’s nutrient management plan because it believed it could not released due to federal copyright laws.

“There always seems to be a reason why the government can’t be forthcoming,” said George Heyman, the NDP’s environment critic.

Heyman says the goal isn’t to stop agriculture but to ensure public safety is protected.

However, he is concerned about the ministry’s ability to enforce the rules.

The ministry long ago removed so many boots so it’s difficult for people to be assured that activities that shouldn’t take place aren’t taking place,” said Heyman.

Environment Minister Mary Polak has confirmed all reports will be released.

“The commissioner’s decision gives us clarity and will guide government in future instances where information must be released in the public interest,” she said in a release.

“We will seek input from the ministries of finance and justice as well as the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that would enable the ministry to proactively disclose more information and records in the future.”