The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MoECCS) is once again threatening to fine the Village of Cumberland for its sewage treatment issues.
This is the fourth time the Village has received a non-compliance notice since December 2016 for not meeting the province’s wastewater treatment regulations in relation to effluent treatment levels, disinfection and permitted flow volumes. Penalties could add up to a $184,900 fine.
A year ago, the Village received a similar notice, but the penalty was not enforced due to the Village’s work on the Liquid Waste Management Plan. The Village once again has the opportunity to speak with MoECCS and provide additional information for them to consider before deciding to proceed with the fine.
“We actually have been taking the steps towards compliance,” said Coun. Jesse Ketler. “And everything else, it goes along with our LWMP process … so I really don’t see how they have much basis to serve us these fines.”
The Village recently checked off one box by adding signage around the discharge and receiving waters, but there is still more to do, all of which is included in the Village’s LWMP.
In the October 2018 election, the wastewater improvement referendum passed overwhelmingly, authorizing the Village to borrow up to $4,400,000, including interest, for up to 20 years to finance the upgraded lagoon wastewater treatment plant. Village staff have also been working on applying for grant funding to get started on the construction.
Manager of Operations, Rob Crisfield, says Village staff are working on a submission to be sent to the ministry to demonstrate their progress, including presenting the second stage of the LWMP to try to avoid a penalty. They also have a meeting set for March 6 with the MoECCS director.