Nova Scotia

Hubbards residents keep wary eye on development

Some homeowners in Hubbards, N.S., are keeping a close eye on their wells as they watch land being cleared for a mini home park on the site of a former auto salvage lot.
The proposed development for 85 mini homes is still under review, but developers have been clearing the area since last summer. (CBC)

Some homeowners in Hubbards, N.S., are keeping a close eye on their wells as they watch land being cleared for a mini home park on the site of a former auto salvage lot.

The proposed development for 85 mini homes is still under review by the Municipality of the District of Chester, but developers have been clearing the area since last summer.

Peter Hannam, a homeowner in the area whose property is behind the former auto salvage lot, said the digging has uncovered a burial ground for car parts — including scrap metal and thousands of tires.

"Fluids and solvents and battery acids all got dumped on the property over there," he told CBC News on Thursday.

Hannam and some of his neighbours have become increasingly nervous about the quality of their water supply.

"There has been some oil slick in the drain here and also the drain down below. We have seen the slick the other day," said Mike Seaboyer.

"The soil they have disturbed and moved over [to the] back of my house, I did see a blackish substance in it."

Hannam said he has had good water quality for almost 40 years. He lives downhill from the activity so he's paying $250 for extra tests on his well.

"For trace metals, hydrocarbons, any pollutants in the water," he said.

While local homeowners want soil testing to be done in the area, officials with the Department of Environment said their inspectors are keeping a close eye on the work and soil testing is not necessary.

"We would look for signs of impacts and that might be soil staining, discolouration, odour, any signs of fluids," said Kristen Martell, a district manager with environmental monitoring and compliance for the Department of Environment.

"In this particular instance, we've been to the property and seen settlements on two different occasions and our inspection staff have gone around and looked for evidence of impacts and have not found anything to date."

Hannam and Seaboyer said they have written to Minister of Environment Sterling Belliveau asking him to take a closer look and ensure their wells are not polluted.

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