Environment and Local Government

Department wins international award (01/10/29)

NB 1066

Oct. 29, 2001

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Department of the Environment and Local Government has been named a winner of an Outstanding Ground Water Protection Award for excellence in protecting ground water from contamination.

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has recognized the department for its

Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order which went into effect last year (2000). The adoption of this regulation resulted in New Brunswick being the first province in Canada to bring forward such comprehensive province-wide protection of municipal groundwater supplies.

The Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order is designed to provide drinking water protection to 55 municipalities in New Brunswick which rely on groundwater for their primary source of drinking water. The regulation places standards that prohibit or limit chemical storage and land use activity that may be harmful to the municipal production wells. The regulation is currently being used in Doaktown, Tide Head, Shippagan and Plaster Rock. It is anticipated the regulation will be used by all 55 municipalities by 2008.

"This award recognizes the government commitment to ensure drinking water sources for municipalities are being protected," Environment and Local Government Minister Kim Jardine said. "I am very proud of the staff of the department who have dedicated many years of hard work to making the Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order a reality."

Since adopting the regulations, New Brunswick has received positive feedback from municipalities, other provinces and environmental experts.

In a report partially entitled 'A Contribution to the Walkerton Inquiry, Phase II,' prepared by the Department of Earth Sciences - University of Waterloo, Ontario, it was stated that New Brunswick has implemented 'state-of-the-art ground water protection strategies' and that the approach taken 'better reflects today's understanding of the behavior of contaminants in groundwater.' One of the authors of the report, Dr. Emil Frind, received the M. King Hubbert Award which is presented each year by the NGWA to a professional who has made a major science or engineering contribution to the knowledge of groundwater.

The award will be presented Dec. 7 in Nashville, Tennessee, during the annual NGWA Ground Water Expo President's Dinner. The NGWA, based in Ohio, is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing and protecting the world's groundwater resources.

01/10/29

MEDIA CONTACT: Jason Humphrey, Environment and Local Government, 506-453-3700

01/10/29