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A group of Penobsquis residents is appearing before the province's mining commissioner on Monday, seeking financial compensation from PotashCorp in a long-standing dispute with PotashCorp. ((CBC))

A group of 24 Penobsquis residents is appearing before the province's mining commissioner on Monday, seeking financial compensation from PotashCorp in a long-standing water dispute.

Beth Nixon is a part of the largest group of citizens ever to go before the province's mining commissioner as the citizens plan to outline how they lost their well water seven years ago.

Nixon and 23 other Penobsquis residents say they lost their well water when the PotashCorp began seismic testing for a new mine.

The company supplied water to the affected homes but paid no financial compensation.

"We looked for years for some sort of justice for our community and couldn't find a way to get it besides going to the Court of Queen's Bench," Nixon said.

Instead of taking the company to court, the residents will make their case before the mining commissioner, which is a rarely used avenue provided by the Mining Act.

Mark Fracchia, the general manager of PotashCorp's operation in Sussex, said the company is hoping to come to a resolution to help the Penobsquis residents.

"We do want to find some resolution to the issues in Penobsquis and … if this is the venture to do it, I guess we will see what the outcome turns out to be," Fracchia said.

The mining commissioner has the power to award financial compensation to the homeowners.  However, the decision can be appealed to the courts.

The appearance in front of the mining commissioner is the latest development in the residents' fight for their water.

After their well-water disappeared, the provincial government eventually built a local water system.

The Sussex Corner village council was given control of the water system and decided to charge the $400 fee to the Penobsquis residents.

The residents appealed that decision to the Energy and Utilities Board. However, the regulatory board said it does not have jurisdiction to regulate water rates.