Nova Scotia

Otter Lake landfill charge tossed by judge

A Halifax provincial court judge has tossed an environment charge levied against the Halifax Regional Municipality, saying there is no evidence that silt-laden water actually left the Otter Lake landfill.

Judge says no evidence silt-laden water left landfill site

A Halifax provincial court judge has dismissed an Environment Act charge against the Halifax Regional Municipality involving the Otter Lake landfill. (CBC)

A Halifax provincial court judge has tossed an environment charge levied against the Halifax Regional Municipality, saying there is no evidence that silt-laden water actually left the Otter Lake landfill.

The city was in court Friday to fight a $693.95 ticket issued by the Department of Environment last February. The department alleged that results of surface water tests showed levels of silt that exceeded the approved conditions.

Allowing such sediment to leave the landfill site is a violation of the approval conditions.

However, the test sites where the samples were taken are within the landfill boundaries, some of them by 200 metres.

Judge Bill Digby agreed with the city’s argument Friday that there’s no proof muddy surface water from the landfill actually made it into the Nine Mile River. He dismissed the case.

“The test sites are, basically, a fair distance more than 200 metres away from the edge of the site,” the city’s lawyer, Josh Judah, said after the hearing.

“My understanding is that the reason both [the operator] and HRM, and maybe even the Department of Environment, test there is that if there’s a problem then you can deal with it before anything actually leaves the site.

“If there were readings that concerned HRM or [the operator] they dealt with them so things wouldn’t leave the site.”