Attention News Editors: Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement about the Department of Environment and Local Government’s report, Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick - Summary of Comments, released today. She is available for comment.
The Summary of Comments report documents the feedback from public information sessions, stakeholder sessions held across the province, and online and written submissions to the Department of Environment in response to the March 1, 2016, Discussion Paper, Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick.
The Minister also announced that the Department is establishing a technical working group to provide recommendations on water classification.
“The report has fairly captured the importance of protecting New Brunswick's precious water. The advice from the public, and the wealth of first-hand experience included in its pages from those working on the front lines provides a clear call to work together to produce a modern, effective and efficient water protection strategy,” said Corbett.
The Conservation Council knows that a comprehensive water protection strategy for New Brunswick will:
be science-based, involving baseline data, cumulative impacts, e-flows (the minimum amount of water required to sustain aquatic life in rivers and streams), and be tailored to meet the needs of each of the 13 watersheds in N.B.;
set goals for water quality objectives;
protect both surface waters (lakes, streams, rivers) and groundwater as well as our marine coastal areas;
be enforceable with a modern legal framework, including water classification for the province's rivers;
be transparent, involving consultations with First Nations, businesses, farmers, municipal officials and citizens; and,
be accountable, involving monitoring and regular reporting to the public on the progress of goals and objectives outlined in the water protection strategy.
“We are especially pleased to see the Minister is committed to water classification as a critical part of an overall water protection strategy by setting up a technical advisory group. I was encouraged to see support for this and for all the other important elements reflected in the Summary Comments paper. This clears the way for the government to create a comprehensive and progressive strategy, one based in modern law,” said Corbett.
Read the report, Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick: Summary of Comments, here.
Read the original March 1, 2016, Discussion Paper, Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick, here.
Emily McPhee, Communications