New government regulations to control wastewater in Canadian waterways sparked a call for federal funding to help pay for municipal upgrades and an environmental group to warn about a sewage dumping loophole.
The regulations announced yesterday aim to control effluent and ensure it’s properly treated before entering Canada’s rivers, lakes and coastlines. Environment Minister Peter Kent said three-quarters of municipalities already comply with the rules while the remainder must upgrade at costs that the government says could be at least C$5 billion ($4.96 billion).
Municipalities considered high risk under the new law have until 2020 to comply, the government said. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has sought a national funding program for the upgrade costs while the Ecojustice group said the regulations have a loophole that may permit delays in upgrades of medium- and high-risk plants for as much as 28 years.
Canadians “deserve to be protected from harmful substances in our water now, not 28 years from now,” an Ecojustice scientist, Elaine MacDonald, said in an e-mail from Toronto.
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