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Travellers Rest wash plant fined for wastewater spill

Wastewater leaves the RWL Holdings property via a culvert on Dec. 27 in this photo taken by Chris Wall.
P.E.I. Potato Solutions in Travellers Rest was fined $1,000 after some wastewater overflowed and entered nearby Barbara Weit River in December 2020. This photo, taken on Dec. 27, 2020 by a resident who lives in the adjacent community of New Annan, shows wastewater as it leaves the RWL Holdings property via a culvert. - Contributed
TRAVELLERS REST, P.E.I. —

A Travellers Rest business was fined $1,000 after some wastewater overflowed and entered nearby Barbara Weit River in December.

P.E.I. Potato Solutions said one of its holding ponds overflowed in heavy rains on Dec. 26. The plant recycles its water and the ponds allow solids to settle out before the water is reused. 

The pond water ran into the nearby landscape and was reported to the the department of environment on Dec. 27. 

The six holding ponds at P.E.I. Potato Solutions are visible in this screen grab from Google earth. - Contributed
The six holding ponds at P.E.I. Potato Solutions are visible in this screen grab from Google earth. - Contributed

 

Austin Roberts, co-owner of the plant, said the pond water contains organic material, clay and fertilizer that gets washed off the potatoes in the plant.

Staff from the provincial environment department took water samples on Dec. 27, but no results were made available to media. 

P.E.I. Potato Solutions co-owner Austin Roberts said the pond water contains organic material, clay and fertilizer that gets washed off the potatoes in the plant. - SaltWire file
P.E.I. Potato Solutions co-owner Austin Roberts said the pond water contains organic material, clay and fertilizer that gets washed off the potatoes in the plant. - SaltWire file

 

The province did not provide anyone to speak to The Guardian about the incident, and instead sent a written statement saying tickets were issued on Jan. 18.

The company was issued a warning under section 21 of the Environmental Protection Act for failing to notify the department of discharge of a contaminant. They were fined $1,000 under section 20(a) of the Act for discharging or causing or permitting a contaminant to be discharged, said the statement. 

Alison Jenkins is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.

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