Our Government increases protection for Canada’s water quality

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke – July 27, 2012 – Local Member of Parliament Cheryl Gallant welcomed the recent announcement by the Government of Canada that has established an important safeguard for the country’s water quality, by implementing Wastewater System Effluent Regulations.

“We want water that is clean, safe and plentiful for future generations of Canadians to enjoy,” said Cheryl Gallant, MP. “Through these Regulations, our Federal Government is addressing one of the largest sources of pollution in our waters. We have set the country’s first national standards for sewage treatment. These standards will reduce the levels of harmful substances deposited to surface water from wastewater systems in Canada. We care about the environment.”

“Here in the Ottawa valley we have such an abundance of fresh water, too often we take this blessing for granted,” observed MP Gallant. “Safe and reliable wastewater infrastructure is essential to ensuring the health and well being of families, residents and local business. These Regulations will contribute to Canada’s economic future and help to protect the environment.”

The Government of Canada worked with provinces and territories, and also engaged municipalities, to finalize these regulations. It is expected that about 75 percent of existing wastewater systems already meet the minimum secondary wastewater treatment standards in the Regulations. Communities and municipalities that meet the standards will not need to make upgrades to their systems. The other 25 percent will have to upgrade to at least secondary wastewater treatment. These standards will ensure untreated and under-treated sewage are not dumped in our country’s waterways.

For the wastewater systems that do not meet the new standards, there will be time for municipalities to plan and budget funds to complete the upgrades. Wastewater systems posing a high risk must meet the new standards by the end of 2020; those posing medium risk by the end of 2030; and those with low risk by the end of 2040. Wastewater facilities in Renfrew County which may be affected by the new regulations, which includes Barry’s Bay, Eganville, Killaloe, Chalk River, Petawawa and Cobden, are rated low risk.

“Unlike the old government which downloaded new rules into the pockets of municipal ratepayers, our Conservative Government provides significant federal funding through gas tax transfers. Water and sewer
upgrades qualify for gas tax funding. For example, from 2010 to 2014, Eganville in Bonnechere Valley Township will have received $449,695.52 in gas tax revenues from the federal government to help pay for any required work that must be completed by 2040,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP.

Owners and operators of the systems will also need to consistently monitor and submit reports on their effluent releases. Improved water quality is expected to increase property values and reduce water supply costs for municipalities and industry.

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