Nova Scotia environment minister rejects appeals from Eisner Cove
Nova Scotia Environment Minister Tim Halman has rejected two calls for his department to halt road construction on wetlands in the Eisner Cove-Mount Hope area of Dartmouth, N.V. -Scotland.
In releasing the decision on Friday, Halman, the minister and MP for Dartmouth East, said he was satisfied that staff and experts “have exercised due diligence in reviewing the application and providing the appropriate terms to the owner”.
Bill Zebedee, one of the callers, called the decision disappointing.
“Minister Halman’s decision continues to show he is unaware of what wetlands mean for the environment,” Zebedee, president of Protect Our Southdale Wetland Society, said in a written statement.
“He is not aware of what the disturbance of the Eisner Cove wetland will do to his ecosystem. He is not interested in hearing about the facts as presented in the official documents to which he would have had access. Shame to Minister Halman.”
Zebedee and the Halifax-based Ecology Action Center both asked Halman to stop the access road based on five points:
- The owner’s application was incomplete.
- It was threatening the wood turtles in the area.
- Approval may impact two or more hectares of wetland.
- The area is a wetland of particular importance.
- The monitoring requirement means that the applicant has not properly assessed the area of wetland that would be disturbed.
Halman rejected all of these arguments based on his department’s review of the record, the fact that “several studies have found no evidence of wood turtles” considered endangered in Nova Scotia, and the advice of an independent ecologist who determined that the area was “not suitable habitat for wood turtles.”
“After a thorough review and analysis of the appellants’ claims and the application by AJ LeGrow Holdings Ltd., the Minister has found no grounds for the appeals,” the department noted in Friday’s news release.
“Our natural areas and wetlands are necessary for our health, our environment and our economy, and I understand why people want them protected and are passionate in their determination to fight for them,” Halman said. . “However, private owners have the right to request changes.”