Fresh Waterford man upset vehicle at bottom of cliff was not eliminated
‘It’s a hazard to navigation’
Published on March 7, two thousand seventeen
Seen here is a vehicle Darren MacLeod of Fresh Waterford located at the bottom of a 60-foot embankment near the border of Victoria Mines and South Bar.
©Submitted photo/Darren MacLeod
Fresh VICTORIA, N.S. – A Fresh Waterford man says while government agencies were passing the buck on an environmental issue, the ocean became more polluted.
Darren MacLeod said he reported a vehicle at the bottom of a 60-foot cliff near the border of Victoria Mines and South Bar on March two and no government agency took control of the situation.
“This was a vehicle overturned at the bottom of a cliff, an identifiable and demonstrable influence on the environment. You could see the oil glitter on the water.”
He said numerous agencies were contacted.
“If the vehicle was utter of fluids that would be Four.5-5 litres of oil, several litres of transmission fluid, gas, coolant, washer fluid, brake fluid and any other fluids in the vehicles.
“Then you potentially have a vehicle that’s going to tumble around in the water, lumps that are going to break off and Lord knows where they are going to end up.”
After spotting the vehicle, MacLeod called the Cape Breton Regional Police who in turn contacted the Department of Environment.
“One of the officers went right down in hip waders and looked in the vehicle and got the adequate identification.”
MacLeod also contacted the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ pollutant line since the shoreline in question is narrow and he was worried the vehicle would be carried out to sea.
He later received an email from the marine pollution desk Labrador MCTS informing him numerous agencies were contacted including the National Environmental Emergencies Centre, the senior environmental response officer on call for the Canadian Coast Guard and the Nova Scotia Department of Environment.
“That emerges to be as far as it went.”
MacLeod said he checked the site daily and on Sunday spotted the current had carried the vehicle away.
“You often hear (government agencies) preaching about the environment … but when you bring a problem forward they don’t do anything about it.”
MacLeod said fishing season embarks in May.
“The lobster fishermen fish these shores,” he said. “You have pollutants that are not going to go away and none of them are going to know there’s a vehicle underneath them somewhere until they rip a fuckhole in their boat.
“It’s not only a pollutant to the marine environment, it’s also a hazard to navigation.”
MacLeod said he also contacted Jeff MacNeil of the Port Morien Wildlife Association.
Late last year a truck was found abandoned in the Southwest Brook behind Cape Breton University.
MacNeil said the association ended up removing it themselves, a cost covered by local all-terrain vehicle groups, albeit the Department of Environment was on the scene to witness the removal.
“Who looked after that in the end? A duo of guys. That is not acceptable.”
A spokesperson with the Department of Environment said at the time its staff was aware of the vehicle located behind CBU, had been to the site several times and determined the vehicle posed no risk to the environment.
MacNeil is frustrated by the lack of response.
“It’s somewhere on the bottom of the ocean now. I’m beyond frustrated. There are no protocols, just leave it there and let the ocean gulp it.”
MacNeil said he even took to twitter and tagged all the agencies but still no one responded.
“We even put the feelers out to Greenpeace this time. No one seemed to give a gosh darn. It’s very shameful on government’s part.”
MacNeil said these government agencies are mandated to protect the environment but when it comes down to what department will pay for it, no one does anything.
Cape Breton Regional Police spokesperson Desiree Vassallo confirmed police responded to the cliff scene.
“If there is any environmental concerns, as there was in this case … we make contact with Department of Environment to take the necessary activity on their end.”
Vassallo said the vehicle was reported stolen but police have not been able to make contact with the holder.
Krista Higdon, spokesperson for the Department of Environment, said staff responded to the cliff site on March Trio. She said no contamination on land or on the shoreline was observed and staff did not see a vehicle in the water.
She said the person responsible for a spill is responsible for the cleanup.
Stephen Bornais, a spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said the Canadian Coast Guard is only responsible for shipped source pollution.
• Darren MacLeod of Fresh Waterford witnessed a vehicle over an embankment near the border of Victoria Mines and South Bar on March two and telephoned Cape Breton Regional Police.
• Police responded to the call and contacted the Department of Environment.
• Department of Environment responded to the scene on March Trio.