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PEI chapter to call on premier to halt plans for Pure Island Waters Ltd. bottled water plant

The proposed bottling plant would be near the Brookvale Provincial Ski Park. Photo by Natalia Goodwin/ CBC News.

The Council of Canadians PEI chapter opposes plans for a bottled water plant in Brookvale, PEI.

Pure Island Waters Ltd. wants to set up a water bottling plant in Brookvale (which is located about 30 kilometres north-west of Charlottetown) that would start by extracting 84,000 litres of water per week. At full capacity, the plant would draw 100,000 litres of water per day, or about 56 litres of water per minute.

The company had planned to build three new wells – one for bottling water, another as a backup, and a third for a geothermal heating system for the plant. The province’s minister of environment had said that the proposal meets all regulatory requirements and that there is no need for an environmental review.

Chapter activist Leo Broderick denounced the plans for the bottled water plant in a letter to the editor in The Guardian and in a recent meeting with the provincial minister of the environment.

Now, CBC reports, “[Pure Island Waters] has made some changes to its business plan, citing public pressure. The company no longer plans to use a geothermal system to heat the plant, because the water required to run this system along with the water being bottled would likely require 60 gallons [227 litres] a minute total. To operate without a water extraction permit under PEI’s current water use law, Pure Island Waters must keep its water use to no more than 50 gallons [189 litres] a minute. If the company uses more, an environmental assessment of the project would have to be done.”

The article adds, “The company [now also says it] no longer plans to export water to China or Japan. [The company’s president] said he spoke with a representative from a large company doing business in China and was told it could take up to two years of legal work and negotiations to get an agreement to ship water into that country. [He] contends shipping bottled water into Japan might be easier, but he said company executives decided to downsize their potential markets to focus on eastern Canada and the New England states.”

CBC highlights, “The head of the PEI chapter of the Council of Canadians said there has been push-back against the project. The group has drafted a letter it will be submitting to the premier, likely Tuesday [September 27], asking him to halt the project, citing the lack of government oversight. An online petition which is asking for the same thing currently has more than 700 signatures. ‘Groundwater belongs to the people of Prince Edward Island, it doesn’t belong to any one development’, said Leo Broderick, president of the PEI chapter of the council. ‘We’re worried that if you open it up to one bottle water company that will attract others.'”

The provincial government is now expected to hold a public meeting sometime in October on the company’s land use application.

A second round of public consultation on the province’s Water Act is expected to take place in November or December.