B.C. privacy commissioner orders province to disclose soil contamination tests

By The Canadian Press
June 29, 2016 - 11:47am

VICTORIA — The B.C. government is being ordered to disclose soil test results related to a contaminated aquifer by the provincial privacy commissioner.

Elizabeth Denham says the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act requires public bodies to proactively disclose information that is in the public interest.

Denham’s report today into drinking water risks in the Hullcar Valley near Vernon orders the Environment Ministry to immediately disclose soil test results and nutrient management plans that permit the application of liquid manure on area farms.

Denham launched an investigation earlier this year after receiving a complaint from Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre calling on the government to disclose water quality information.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says in a statement her ministry accepts the order to release the soil test results and nutrient management plans.

Denham’s report also recommends that ministry staff be trained to properly respond to access requests.

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