Nova Scotia introduces legislation to push back drinking, waste water standards

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s municipalities would be granted more time to comply with standards for drinking and waste water under legislation introduced Monday.

The provincial government tabled changes to the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act that would push back target dates to improve municipal water systems.

Municipalities had until 2008 to upgrade their drinking water, but they would have until 2020 to meet this year’s standards under the new legislation.

Upgrades to waste water treatment would also be pushed back from 2017 to 2020.

Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau said the new targets are more realistic because some municipalities lack the money needed to improve their infrastructure.

His department estimates it would cost municipalities up to $14 million to meet the drinking water standards while the waste water estimate is $463 million – $450 million of which is for upgrades in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality alone.

“Municipalities want to do this,” said Belliveau. “There’s also a need to make sure there is federal funding in place so that they can partner in getting these facilities upgraded.”

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