PEI

Construction run-off muddies creek

The province says more projects may need to have environmental assessments in the future after a shopping development in Charlottetown was ordered to improve measures to reduce run-off after Monday's heavy rain.

The province says more projects may need to have environmental assessments in the future after a shopping development in Charlottetown was ordered to improve measures to reduce run-off after Monday's heavy rain.

Biologist Daryl Guignion said the sediment running down the hills and into the ditch was clogging up Ellen's Creek, endangering fish and other aquatic life all the way to Charlottetown Harbour.

He said the site obviously wasn't stabilized to prevent erosion in heavy rain.

"It's one of those cases where you have copious quantities of sediment washing into the ditch, down into the stream and from there into the Charlottetown Harbour. We have to take care of our brooks and of course the Charlottetown Harbour as well," said Guignion.

"They obviously aren't doing a very good job in terms of sediment containment."

The provincial government has ordered the project managers to put mulch on the bare soil, and create more dams in the ditches to slow down run off.

"This is a bit of a typical situation that occurs in development in and around Charlottetown. I've seen this for many, many years now and they seem to be to get away with it year after year," said Guignion.

Environment officials were on the scene Tuesday investigating, but there is no word on whether charges will be laid.

"They had siltation measures in place, it wasn't a lot of siltation measures but they didn't exactly do nothing at all. So, we'll take that into consideration when we're looking at it and we'll also take into account the fact of the heavy rainfall that we had," said Greg Wilson, manager of environmental permitting and legislation for the department.

Wilson said the province wants to work more closely with the city on larger projects -- before they begin.

He said more projects might have to undergo environmental assessments in the future and that he'd like to see more areas kept green longer to minimize siltation. However, he admits that could make projects more expensive.

"It's evident that it would. We'd have to look at that as well, but I think we're the department of environment and we have to side with environment and try to protect it, so that may mean more cost for the developer, we'll have to deal with it," said Wilson.

Meanwhile, Erin Taylor, the province's climate change coordinator said P.E.I. is having more heavy rain events.

"Well we can anticipate that we'll see more of these in the future, that's what we expect from a climate change perspective. So if we expect to see more heavy rainfall, then we can do things to plan for that, by improving erosion control measures," said Taylor.

Guignion said something has to be done to prevent run-off like this from happening in the future.

 

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