P.E.I. Watershed Alliance sees pros and cons in draft Water Act
Chair Dale Cameron says regulations will determine how strong the act is
The chair of the P.E.I. Watershed Alliance is fairly pleased with the province's draft Water Act, but said he wants to see where the government goes from here.
Dale Cameron said he feels the province is taking a more precautionary approach to water management than he expected. The draft, which was released last week, includes tighter licensing requirements and other regulations Cameron supports.
That includes increased fines for individuals and corporations that damage waterways, a ban on water exports and frequent reporting on the state of the province's water.
As for criticisms, Cameron was disappointed not to see clear direction on high-capacity wells. The draft doesn't contain any mention of high-capacity wells, which the province has said it will address after further research is done.
Public meetings coming
Cameron also saw some potential red flags around municipal-water supply areas and the definition of environmental flows, but said he hopes to get clarification at the upcoming public consultations.
"Any legislation, no matter what it is, the teeth are in the regulations, right?" he said. "So, that's the thing. Until we see the regs we're not really sure how strong the act is."
Government is now asking for more input from the public. Public meetings are slated around the Island starting March 30. People can also give feedback online.
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With files from Laura Chapin