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Update to be given Oct. 18 on water quality research project in Shelburne

File photo
File photo - FILE

SHELBURNE, N.S. – A public information session on an applied research project to improve water quality issues in the Shelburne County African Nova Scotia community is being held at the NSCC Shelburne Campus on Oct. 18 at 1:30 p.m.

The project, being conducted by NSCC Research Scientist Dr. Etienne Mfoumou and his Engineered Technologies Applied Research team, is exploring the use of ultrafiltration technology to improve water quality.

“The project aims to provide insights into sustainable drinking water treatment and protection to help address the water quality issues within the Shelburne County African Nova Scotia community,” states a media release. “The pilot scale project builds on research from local community groups including the South End Environmental Injustice Society (SEED), Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health (ENRICH) and Rural Water Watch (RWW).”

The information session will provide the team the opportunity to update the community on the results of the research project to date.

SEED believes the Shelburne town dump, which operated from 1949 to 1990 in the south end of town in a predominantly black and poor community, contributed to the high rates of cancer and health issues they’ve seen among the people who lived close to it. Residential, industrial, and sometimes medical waste, from throughout eastern Shelburne County was brought to the dump and burned. After the dump closed it served as transfer station until December 2016.

The group Rural Water Watch, which does work in conjunction with ENRICH, is a collaborative community-based project investigating the cause and effects of toxic industries situated near Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities. They are also carrying out water testing in the community.

Last month the NDP party introduced a bill in the Nova Scotia Legislature called An Act to Redress Environmental Racism. The party said when it comes to environmental racism there are many questions to be explored. The bill was introduced by MLA Lenore Zann – the NDP’s environment spokesperson – who had also introduced a bill on the topic of environmental racism in 2013. The 2018 NDP bill called for the establishment of a panel to explore environmental racism in the province and provide recommendations to address it.

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