Nova Scotia

All Alton gas project appeals dismissed by Nova Scotia environment minister

Environment Minister Margaret Miller has dismissed the last of six appeals, paving the way for AltaGas Ltd. to go ahead with plans to operate a natural gas storage facility near Stewiack.

'There was no real risk to the river or to the species of fish in the river,' says environment minister

Nova Scotia environment minister has dismissed all six appeals of the Alton gas project. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

The company behind the Alton gas project has once again been given the green light from the province to build a brine storage pond as part of a massive natural gas storage facility near Stewiacke, N.S. 

On Monday, Environment Minister Margaret Miller dismissed the last two of the six appeals of AltaGas Ltd.'s industrial approval. 

Those appeals of the January approval to build the storage pond in Colchester County forced the Calgary company to temporarily halt its construction.

Miller dismissed concerns about the operation ruining the nearby Shubenacadie River.

Shubenacadie River 'very near and dear'

"The Shubenacadie River is very near and dear to me," she told reporters at Province House, adding a personal note to her ministerial review of the appeals.

"Our farm was on that river. We farmed there for 25 years. I've always been a part of that river. I was raised there as well. You know, my father used to go down the river and get a fish from the fishermen for supper.

"This is very much a part of who I am too. So in my own heart I had to know that the science was real and the science was showing that there was no real risk to the river or to the species of fish in the river."

'It was a farce'

But Art Redden disagrees. His group, the Striped Bass Association, filed one of the rejected appeals.

"They didn't consider what we, the points that we appealed," said Redden. "And they had absolutely no intention of doing anything with the appeals.

"It was just another little nuisance to them. It was a farce. That's the best I could say about it. It was a farce."

A week ago, Miller rejected the concerns outlined in four appeals that centred on the potential danger of dumping brine into the Shubenacadie River.