“New Brunswick needs to dramatically up its game” — Corbett on draft report to protect water

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Attention News Editors: Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement about the Department of Environment and Local Government’s draft discussion document, A Water Strategy for New Brunswick 2018-2028. She is available for comment.

“Positive improvements recommended in the document include preparing an annual State of the Water report for the Legislative Assembly, improving surface and groundwater quality monitoring and ‘implementing a renewed regulatory approach’ for watershed management, and coastal areas.    

New Brunswick needs to dramatically up its game in order to protect water. If we’ve learned anything from the past few years about increased risks from heavy rains and ice storms due to climate change, it is that the old way of permitting pollution from industry, and using the bare minimum of buffer zones for wetlands and coastal areas, just doesn’t work.

A more aggressive approach — even in draft form — is needed, one that that lays out how, and when, the N.B. government intends to bring its water laws into the modern era.

As the Conservation Council said early in 2016 at the beginning of this process, a comprehensive water protection strategy needs to be science-based, involving baseline data, cumulative impacts, e-flows (the minimum amount of water required to sustain aquatic life in rivers and streams), and be tailored to each of the 13 primary watersheds and major rivers in N.B. Most importantly, water quality objectives and watershed protection plans need to be enshrined in new legislation.”

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To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca, 506-238-3539

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