Lawrence Station – Federal funding to the tune of $4.5 million was announced Friday afternoon, to support upgrades to the leachate system at the Hemlock Knoll Waste Management Facility.
“With this significant investment, residents will benefit from cleaner land and water, and a cost effective waste management system,” said New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig. She made the announcement at the landfill site on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
The funds were made available through the federal Gas Tax Fund.
“Investing in projects like this one is essential, not only to protect our environment but to ensure the safety and well-being of residents today, and well into the future,” said Ludwig.
Saint Croix MLA John Ames, the province’s Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, said the announcement “is certainly good news”, and involves the construction of a new surge pond, a new retention pond, a new leachate treatment filter, site piping and pumping stations, and the addition of a subsurface aeration system into an existing pond.
Ames said the project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018, and be completed by the fall of 2019.
“This is truly a historic day in the life of this landfill,” stated Frank Tenhave, executive director of the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission.
“This project will ensure that we guarantee the water that leaves this facility and goes out into the environment is pure and clean, and has no negative impact on the residents or the fisheries.”
Joyce Wright, chair of the SNBSC board, thanked the hardworking staff for all they had done in order to make the announcement a reality, and thanked both Ludwig and Ames for “coming to bat for us” in the process of applying for the funds.
She said the funding will mean “we are going to be able to move forward on some other things the commission is working on.”
Wright lauded the cooperative way board members, representing all the communities throughout the area, worked cohesively for the betterment of the region.
“We’ve had a great year, and the next year is going to be even better because of the teamwork.”
Ames said the federal financial support would “ensure New Brunswickers will have modern, reliable waste management services that meet their needs.”
“That’s what the Gas Tax Fund is all about said Ames. “It provides long-term funding to help New Brunswick communities meet their infrastructure needs, and it provides predictable, stable funding for public infrastructure throughout our province”
Ames said the Gas Tax Fund also focuses on environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects that contribute to cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Ludwig thanked Wright and the SNBSC board, for their leadership in guiding the project along, acknowledging there was a lot of work which takes place before a funding announcement can be made.
“Let’s celebrate this project for the important role it plays in preparing our communities to prosper for generations to come.”
Ames also commended Wright, the SNBSC board and staff for their “persistence and dedication in bringing this project to fruition.”
He thanked Ludwig for the federal government’s contribution to an “important project that will greatly improve the quality of life here in southwest New Brunswick, noting protecting the environment is a shared value of both governments as they move forward with “greener technologies and more eco-friendly projects.”
Ludwig said the federal government has been making a number of “one of a kind investments we’ve not seen for a long time” in the region recently, noting regardless of which party has been in power, “these are investments that are long overdue.”
She noted the federal government has started discussions with partners in New Brunswick to sign long term agreements that would see $673 million invested in green infrastructure projects, and those to build community, culture, and recreation over the next 11 years.