Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman today announced a new review of the Hullcar Aquifer, with the end goal of ensuring agricultural practices are consistent with the provision and protection of clean, safe drinking water.
An independent, respected expert is being commissioned to lead the review, which will be due to government by the end of September 2017. The review will look at decisions and actions taken to-date with respect to pollution in the Hullcar Aquifer. Calvin Sandborn, legal director with the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre will serve as special advisor to the reviewer.
“Providing the residents of the Hullcar Valley with an innovative, new path forward is a priority for me,” Heyman said. “Residents need to have faith that government is listening and will be taking action to protect water quality and safety in the region while ensuring agricultural interests are protected.”
The review is expected to provide forward-looking recommendations to help inform best practices for the agricultural sector and improvements to regulations that can be applied provincewide.
“The mayor and council are pleased to learn that the review will take place,” said Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown. “Improper disposal of agricultural waste is an issue not only in our community, but elsewhere in B.C. as well. This review provides an opportunity to find ways for a vibrant agriculture industry and safe drinking water to go hand in hand.”
“The BC Dairy Association, representing farmers across the province, is committed to ensuring economic and environmental sustainability,” said Dave Taylor, BC Dairy Association chairperson. “We will continue to work with provincial and local government to foster sustainable agriculture in the Hullcar region.”
Findings from the review will be posted publicly on the ministry’s website.
For more information on the Hullcar Aquifer: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/site-permitting-compliance/hullcar-aquifer