SUMMERSIDE — An O’Leary farm operation, facing charges of improper crop rotation practices and discharging a contaminant into the environment, will be back in court in October to enter pleas on the charges.
DS Ellis Inc., owned by Denton Ellis, has been charged under the provincial Environmental Protection Act and the provincial Agricultural Crop Rotation Act.
The crop rotation charge, under section 20(B) of the act, stems from an incident in June 2011, and alleges, between July 3 and July 6, 2012, DS Ellis Inc., in being the owner or having control of a contaminant, discharged or caused or permitted to be discharged a contaminant into the environment at or near Mount Royal.
It was around that time that thousands of fish were discovered dead in a section of the Trout River, Big Pierre Jacques River and the Mill River following heavy rainfall.
The offence date of the second charge, under section 7-2 of the Agriculture Crop Rotation Act, is July 3, 2012. The section of the act reads: “no grower shall plant and no landowner shall permit regulated crops to be planted on any area of land greater than one hectare at any time for more than one calendar year in any three consecutive calendar years.”
The charge alleges that DS Ellis Inc. planted a potato crop in a Howlan field twice in a three-year period spanning June 6, 2011, to July 29, 2013.
Ellis did not appear in Summerside provincial court Tuesday morning to answer to the charges. Instead, the case was adjourned until October.
No facts of the case were presented.
The case will be back before court on Oct. 30 at 2 p.m.