McGuinty Government implements Walkerton recommendation

Archived Release

McGuinty Government implements Walkerton recommendation

TORONTO, Nov. 26 - Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky and Agriculture and Food Minister Steve Peters announced today that the Ministry of the Environment will be overseeing all compliance requirements of the Nutrient Management Act, which fulfills one of the key recommendations of the Walkerton Inquiry report. "Bringing all compliance and enforcement under a single ministry is a more effective method of managing environmental protection," said Dombrowsky. "The Ministry of the Environment will have staff trained in agricultural practices to inspect farms and ensure that they are in compliance with the Act." "We will continue to work closely with farmers, approving nutrient management plans and offering training and education," Peters said. "We know our farmers are good stewards of the environment, and we will be there to help them continue to operate environmentally responsible agricultural operations." Recommendation 11 of the Part Two Report of the Walkerton Inquiry states "The Ministry of the Environment should take the lead role in regulating the potential impacts of farm activities on drinking water sources. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs should provide technical support to the Ministry of the Environment and should continue to advise farmers about the protection of drinking water sources." Nutrient management plans are a key requirement of the Nutrient Management Act. The act provides clear environmental protection guidelines for Ontario's agricultural industry, municipalities and other generators of materials that contain nutrients. Both ministries have been working collaboratively on the development of the various components of nutrient management and will continue to work cooperatively on all aspects of the delivery of nutrient management. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food's education and training program has been a key factor in encouraging farmers to adopt best management practices. The ministry's role in education and training efforts will continue. The ministry is also responsible for the approval of nutrient management plans as well as maintenance of the registry of nutrient management plans.For further information: Mark Rabbior, Communications Branch, Ministry of the Environment, (416) 314-6666; Jennifer Stevens, Communications Branch, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, (416) 326-2142