B.C. New Democrats demand action to protect Spallumcheen’s drinking water

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VICTORIA The B.C. New Democrats are demanding the Ministry of Environment protect Spallumcheen’s drinking water by immediately releasing results of soil testing in the area. New Democrats are also calling on the Christy Clark government to implement a moratorium of manure disposal on fields until an acceptable plan is in place to bring contamination to a safe level.

“Provincial law requires proactive release of the requested public health information without delay,” said opposition environment spokesperson, George Heyman, who questioned the government in the house today. “If the Environment Minister won’t release the soil and manure tests that her own Ministry ordered, will she at least have the ministry conduct its own tests and have those released to the Water Board?”

The spreading of liquid manure on a dairy farm above the Hullcar aquifer has been identified by the Ministry as the likely cause of high nitrate levels in the drinking water. Heyman said the spraying is not necessary for fertilizing the alfalfa crops.

“Christy Clark’s government has known about this problem for more than two years but has failed the people of Spallumcheen by not adequately dealing with it,” said Heyman. “The lack of urgency on the part of the Christy Clark government shows that she is neglecting residents’ inherent right to clean drinking water. The people of Spallumcheen say that all the Clark government offers are hollow promises with no action plan.”

With nitrate levels 30 per cent higher than Canada Drinking Water Quality guidelines, it’s no wonder why the Environment Minister is hiding the test results.

“We are calling on the Christy Clark government to test the soil itself and order a moratorium on liquid manure spraying until a plan for safe, clean, drinking water for the people of the Hullcar Valley and Splitsan First Nation can be assured,” said Heyman.

Link to George Heyman’s Question Period clip: https://youtu.be/0p5p9wr9TGs

Link to Lana Popham’s Question Period clip: https://youtu.be/JTgLRM1cNV0