(Please read) Keep Arsenic out of the Water at Virden, Manitoba, Canada! An Open Letter to Manitoba's Minister of Conservation (Environment)
Dear Mr. Fefchak:
Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship regarding the discharge of arsenic from the Town of Virden Water Treatment Plant. I have been asked to respond to your letter on his behalf.
It is not accurate that the practice of discharging minute amounts of arsenic constitutes a violation of provincial legislation. It is permitted by the Town of Virden's Environment Act licence. Your assertion that arsenic is a pollutant is incorrect in this context, as the discharge of arsenic does not affect the natural, physical, chemical or biological quality of the environment. It is not injurious to the health or safety of persons, or injurious or damaging to property or to plant or animal life, nor does it interfere with, or is it likely to interfere with the comfort, well being, livelihood or enjoyment of life by a person. Therefore, arsenic discharge in these minute amounts does not meet the definition of a pollutant under The Environment Act.
A study is not required for this practice, as many such studies were relied on to compile the The Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives and Guidelines, which, as noted in the last correspondence I forwarded to you, the arsenic discharges do not exceed for surface water bodies.