Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation has issued a stop-work order against a Prince Edward Island company that began work on a quarry in Bridgewater's watershed without receiving the necessary permission.

Gary Ramey, the MLA for Lunenburg West, said Chapman Brothers Construction of Souris started work in a watershed that provides drinking water to the town of Bridgewater and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

"I think that they'd have to do an awful lot of work before a quarry would ever be granted in the watershed areas," he said Friday.

"You do need soil erosion data. You do need a storm water plan."

The provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said it learned of the company's intentions when clearing work began.

In Nova Scotia, quarries smaller than four hectares that supply highway projects are exempt from an environmental permit. In this case, that is what the aggregate would be used for.

But, town officials said there are still protections in place and they would have to be consulted.

"It's unbelievable, what's happened out there," said David Walker, the mayor of Bridgewater.

"It's not a case of anything against the company involved or the need for quarries. It's not appropriate in a watershed area."

Chapman Brothers Construction was not available for a comment on Friday.

William McInnis, the deputy mayor of Bridgewater, said the town is not against a quarry in Lunenburg County — they just don't want one in the watershed, which is home to the endangered Atlantic whitefish.

"Having a quarry in our defined watershed is very, very disappointing and in my view, very, very dangerous for the whitefish but more importantly for the main water supply for the town of Bridgewater," he said.