Current Conditions

Mainly Clear

Provincial government ordered to release withheld Hullcar water documents

Manure is spread on a field above the aquifer in summer 2015.
Image Credit: Al Price
June 29, 2016 - 10:19 AM

SPALLUMCHEEN - B.C.’s privacy commissioner has ordered the provincial government to immediately release documents relating to high nitrate levels in a North Okanagan water source.

Privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham launched an investigation after receiving a complaint from the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria, alleging the Ministry of Environment was required to disclose soil tests and other information about nitrate levels in the Hullcar water aquifer in Spallumcheen. The complaint also alleged the ministry did not make every reasonable effort in responding to their initial access request.

“In this case, it is clear that the ongoing risk to clean drinking water in the Hullcar Valley constitutes a matter of public interest,” Denham says. "Residents have been under a water advisory for two years; in order to restore public confidence in the measures undertaken by the ministry, residents should have access to the soil test results and analysis that support those measures.”

Denham has ordered the Ministry of Environment to disclose, without delay, the soil test results and nutrient management plans. She also found the ministry failed to make every
reasonable effort to assist the law centre with its access requests. 

"Public bodies need to aid applicants throughout the freedom of information process. Applicants should never have to defend their motives for requesting information," Denham says.

You can read Denham’s full report here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
  • How Vernon residents are spreading community spirit one painted rock at a time
    VERNON - Located on a nondescript side street in Vernon sits a landmark known by all the neighbourhood kids as ‘The Wishing Tree.’ A little wooden sign describing it as such has
  • Police seek missing North Okanagan teen
    VERNON – RCMP are looking for the public’s help finding a missing 16-year-old North Okanagan girl. Ebony Holmgren was last seen on June 16 in the 11000 block of Tassie Drive in C
  • Depp's 'assassin' comments the latest in celebrity anger
    NEW YORK - Johnny Depp apologized Friday for joking about assassinating Donald Trump during an appearance at a large festival in Britain, the latest example of artists using violent imagery when d
  • Heat wave expected across Interior this weekend
    The Interior is going to be hit by a heat wave. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement warning about hot weather across the Southern Interior, including the South Thompson
  • Okanagan cherry season is underway
    KELOWNA - Nothing quite says summer in the Okanagan than eating ripe, juicy cherries until your hands are stained red and your stomach is aching it’s so full. Lucky for us, that time is now.
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile