Friday, March 26, 2021

Taking Personal Responsibility


Andy George's relentless pursuit of accountability at Nova Scotia Environment has finally had some success.

He is a neighbor who has documented many cases of prohibited dumping of "autofluff" in the disputed Arlington Heights C&D complex in Annapolis County.  Autofluff is a nicer-sounding nickname for Automotive Shredder Residue.  ASR unavoidably contains hazardous substances such as mercury, leadcadmium, and PCB.   The dump was not designed to accept such material.  Remember Grassy Narrows?  

Finally, after months of inaction, Nova Scotia Environment advised Andy as follows:

Hello Andrew George,

In response to your email dated December 17, 2020. I apologize for the delay in responding and appreciate the information you have provided regarding autofluff. The department has conducted an inspection in regard to your complaint and compliance action has been taken.

The phrase "compliance action has been taken" leads to the conclusion that the investigation found evidence of wrongdoing.  This is a matter of health, raising many questions about  the integrity of the water supply, the air we breathe and most importantly, the judgement of bureaucrats.

They might reread the mandate given to them recently by the Premier.  

As Minister of Environment and Climate Change you are tasked with making choices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve Nova Scotia’s resiliency to climate change, and reduce our environmental footprint. This necessitates a clear understanding of the far-reaching impacts of those choices today and on future generations. You must also help advance health equity as a priority that influences the social determinants of health across government and beyond.

Since this affects health, we want assurances from health experts that we are safe from harm:
  • How did this happen?
  • When did shipments arrive?
  • How many?
  • What toxins? 
  • What vulnerabilities?
  • What measures to mitigate dust and air pollution?
  • Why should we believe the practise has stopped?
  • What corrective action has been taken?
  • What monitoring will be instituted?
The vague and inconsequential email to Andy merely confirms that Nova Scotia Environment is primarily interested in covering up its own failures.   They should be deeply grateful to Andy for his quality assurance and citizen engagement.  

As we all should be.  He's a Hero!

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