Province to get tough on buffer zones, says Sherry

P.E.I.'s environment minister said the province plans to get tough on enforcing buffer zone regulations.

P.E.I.'s environment minister, Janice Sherry, said the province plans to get tough on enforcing buffer zone regulations.

All fields on P.E.I. must have a 15-metre buffer zone separating them from waterways.

Last week Trout River suffered its second fish kill in as many years.

Today Sherry said current buffer zone regulations are not working.

She said the provincial government started reviewing the regulations after buffer zone violation charges against a farmer were dismissed last year.

"We have some new drafts on the table and in the queue for cabinet to look at as we speak. Certainly I feel very confident that within the coming weeks I will have an answer to what the cabinet has to say and what they support moving forward," she said.

The minister said if the new regulations are approved they could be in place for next year.

She added that without enforcement the regulations invite complacency.

The P.E.I. Potato Board suggested government needs to work more closely with farmers in all sensitive areas that might need buffer zones.

Sherry said the government and industries need to work together.

The provincial government is collecting fish, water and soil samples from the latest kill. They're also inspecting fields and conducting an aerial survey to try to pinpoint a possible source.

No cause has been determined yet.