Harrietsfield contaminated water case adjourned for 12th time

Harrietsfield, N.S., resident Marlene Brown has been fighting for clean drinking water for nearly three years. File/Global News

The Harrietsfield, N.S., contaminated water case has once again been adjourned at Halifax provincial court, sparking anger and frustration from one citizen who is seeking clean drinking water for her community.

On April 28, 2017, Harrietsfield resident Marlene Brown filed for a private prosecution under the Nova Scotia Environment Act to two companies that operated the defunct RDM Recycling site between 2002 and 2013.

READ MORE: Harrietsfield contaminated water case heading to Halifax city hall

Brown claimed the companies did not abide by a ministerial order to clean up the site.

The case was handed to Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service (PPS) last July but has now been adjourned until June 19. Brown says this is the 12th time it’s been adjourned over the last year.

“This is just part of the process, I guess,” Brown told Global News. “I really wish they would focus on the community and residents rather than the companies.”

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Brown says the recycling plant is leaching contaminants into the groundwater, which is reaching the wells of nearby homes. She says 50 homes have been impacted, but the province only placed a water-monitoring program on 18 of them.

“They cancelled it down to eight when we knew there are other homes nearby that need access to safe drinking water,” Brown says.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia takes over prosecution of Harrietsfield pollution case

Brown has received a new water filter paid for by the government after fighting with them for years. Seven other homes in her community have received the system, but she says more are needed.

A community meeting will be held May 14 to discuss the issue. Brown says Nova Scotia Environment Minister Iain Rankin will be in attendance.

WATCH: Harrietsfield contaminated water case heading to city hall

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Harrietsfield contaminated water case heading to city hall

Brown hopes the meeting will ignite a conversation among different levels of government to find funds to remediate wells and clean up the site.

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“The last four ministers, we asked to meet with them and they all refused,” Brown says.

“We hope Iain Rankin takes back a game plan to his department and works on it to help us out.”

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