Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia dumps to be inspected following Kentville-area fire

A Kings County dump fire has spurred Nova Scotia's Environment Department to take a closer look at all approved construction and demolition debris sites in the province to ensure they're following the rules.

Environment Minister Margaret Miller orders inspectors to review all approved construction debris sites

A dump fire outside of Kentville that took firefighters five days to extinguish has prompted Nova Scotia's Environment Department to inspect all approved construction and debris sites in the province. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A Kings County dump fire has spurred Nova Scotia's Environment Department to take a closer look at all approved construction debris sites in the province to ensure they're following the rules. 

Last week, an eight-storey dump pile southwest of Kentville spontaneously combusted and burned for five days before fireghters could fully contain it.

Before the blaze, government inspectors had found banned material at the site, including compost, plastics and other recyclables, and had directed the operator to separate the debris by May 25.

On Thursday, Environment Minister Margaret Miller said provincial officials have now been ordered to inspect all approved construction and demolition debris disposal sites because she wants Nova Scotia to have "the best legislation and regulation in the country."

The owner of Kentville-area site, South Mountain Construction and Debris Ltd, declined an interview with CBC News on Thursday concerning provincial inspectors. 

Environment Minister Margaret Miller says not clear how long it will take for results from inspectors to come in. (CBC)

Not a problem of resources

Miller said government inspectors don't visit dump sites very often. Sites are audited by the department every five years. Operators are meant to report on their activities.

"It certainly isn't enough," she told reporters, adding that it's not a question of having too few resources to monitor the sites properly. 

"I believe it was just part of the policy."

There are 25 approved sites in Nova Scotia and Miller has ordered all be inspected.

Miller wouldn't speculate on a timeline for results from the inspections. 

"They're still collecting data, still collecting information and will be moving forward that if there's any additional violations or actions needed," she said.

For the last eight years, the department says its policy has allowed for additional site inspections when complaints are received or when non-compliance issues are found.

With files from the CBC's Jean Laroche

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