Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan is applauding the New Brunswick mining commissioner’s ruling on Wednesday that said it did not destroy the well water systems of several Penobsquis residents.
Roderick Duguay issued the 28-page decision this week in a long-standing case where 24 Penobsquis residents initially complained the mining company destroyed their well water systems and caused large sinkholes on their properties.
Stewart Brown, the general manager of PotashCorp in New Brunswick, said the commissioner’s ruling was based on "significant expert testimony."
"Using a sophisticated monitoring network, those experts established that subsidence is a complex phenomenon and did not cause damage to the complainants’ homes," Brown said in a statement on Thursday.
"The expert evidence indicated that frost and seasonal temperature changes … were more likely to blame."
About 60 Penobsquis residents lost their well water, starting in 2004. The company supplied water to the affected homes, but paid no financial compensation.
The Penobsquis hearing went on for two and a half years. When Duguay handed down his decision, only two of the original complainants remained in the dispute.
Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard said on Wednesday he had just received the decision and he wanted to review the document before commenting.
The company said its goal is to be "good neighbours" in the communities that it operates in.
"Achieving no damage to the environment is so important to us that it’s both an operational goal and a core value," Brown said in a statement.
"PotashCorp has been a significant part of this community for nearly 20 years. We look forward to putting this process behind us and moving forward with the community."