Commission on Nitrates in Groundwater

Honourable J. Armand DesRoches

About the Commission

The focus of the Commission on Nitrates in Groundwater was to develop a strategy to reduce nitrate concentrations in groundwater and surface water. Nitrate is the most common chemical contaminant to water in Prince Edward Island. There has been a steady increase in nitrate concentrations in some Island streams over the last 20 to 30 years. Nitrate levels in private wells in some areas of the province have also increased.

There has already been considerable research and public discussion on the topic of nitrate contamination in water. The Commission on Nitrates in Groundwater reviewed and assessed current information, consulted with (or invited input from) Islanders, and recommended options to reduce nitrate contamination in water. The solutions that were identified  involved government, landowners, industry and the public – working together, with a shared commitment to reducing nitrate levels in our water.

The Honourable Armand DesRoches, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island Trial Division, was chair of the Commission on Nitrates in Groundwater. Commission members brought a broad range of experience and expertise to the table and included Darlene Bernard - chief of Lennox Island First Nation; Dr. John MacLeod -  a retired research scientist who has done extensive research on soil fertility and nutrient cycling; Dr. Heather Morrison - the province’s Chief Health Officer; and Stuart Affleck - a retired potato producer.

Government assigned a secretariat to provide research and administrative support to the Commission.  Justice DesRoches and the Commission members invited written submissions and presentations from individuals and groups with a particular interest or expertise in nitrates.

The Commission on Nitrates in Groundwater reported to the Premier in July 2008. The Premier made a commitment to table the report in the Legislature.

Commission Members:

Chief Darlene Bernard
Dr. John MacLeod
Dr. Heather Morrison
Mr. Stuart Affleck

The Official Commission on Nitrates in PEI Groundwater website.
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