Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sarnians breathing the worst air in Canada: WHO

From Tara Jeffrey’s article in The Observer

A new study that ranks Sarnia as Canada’s #1 “hotspot” for air pollution should be a wake-up call to residents, industry and government, says Jim Brophy.

“This is a scary thing for the community to deal with. Nobody wants to be listed as having the worst air quality in the country,” said the health researcher and former executive director of the Point Edward-based Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers.

“You can try to use denial as a defense, or you can say, ‘OK, we’ve got to do something about this; there’s no reason for our community to be putting that kind of pollution into the air.”

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Protest at the Ministry of the Environment

Fox FM has posted an audio clip from the protest today

Here is the note that they included with it –

Drawing the occasional honk from passing motorists, members of a local advocacy group are holding a demonstration outside of Sarnia’s Environment Ministry building today. S.H.A.M.E. (Sarnia’s Hometown Activist Movement Emerging) is trying to put pressure on to clean-up persistent leachate odours at Clean Harbors. Residents have been complaining about the odours for over 6 weeks, many have even reported becoming sick. Ministry officials are now staffing the Clean Harbors site around the clock. SHAME Spokesman Zak Nicholls says it’s not enough. He’d like to see fines imposed against the Brigden area company.

Clean Harbors has until October 14th to present a clean-up plan to the Environment Ministry.

Demand More from the MoE

Lori Vokes and Jim Stenton, both of whom have been severely affected by the Clean Harbours Off Site Impact.

S.H.A.M.E. (Sarnia’s Hometown Activist Movement Emerging) will be participating in its first direct action against the MoE.

WHERE – Ministry of the Environment, 1094 London Road, Sarnia

WHEN – Monday, September 26th, 10am to 1pm

We feel this is necessary in light of a continued MoE failure to bring relief to residents living near Clean Harbours. For more than six weeks, residents living near Clean Harbours have been suffering from an odour that causes severe and overwhelming illness including instant headaches and vomiting. On the evening of Wednesday, September 21, residents were again forced from their homes. It was the seventh time this has occurred. This is wrong.

We are calling on the MoE to take immediate and drastic action to protect the health and livelihood of all residents living near Clean Harbours. We demand that the MoE take real action against Clean Harbours in bringing about an immediate and ongoing solution to the odour that is causing such illness. Clean Harbours must be heavily fined for their flagrant ignorance of directives, weak ones at that, from the MoE. An example must be made to CV industry that those citizens living nearby have the right to clean air, water, and earth.

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Parents rally to show film on neighboring ‘chemical valley’

A video and a write-up in The Voice

“I wish there was a way to get our government to step in and do some real studies and give us some real answers.”

Above is a line from a film called “The Beloved Community,” by Pamela Calvert. It continues:

“You’re not going to create dialogue by pointing fingers, because it is a global problem. We can’t put our heads in the sand. It’s arrogant of us to believe that we can exist the way we are and not cause serious ramifications to our environment or our children.”

Fittingly, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The families, recently touched by a rare kidney disease called Wilms tumor, are refusing to put their heads in the sand. This month, they are sponsoring a showing and discussion of the film at five different libraries in St. Clair County.

Marie Kulman, mother of Ireland, a Wilms survivor, said that the film is a documentary on what locals call “chemical valley,” an area across the river near Sarnia, Ontario.

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“‘Putrid’ landfill smell returns”

[The smell obviously is the least of their problems. This facility handles petro-chemical wastes, and people in the area obviously are breathing in fumes from those.]

In The Observer

ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP — Neighbours of Ontario’s only hazardous waste management facility say they feel betrayed after weeks of exposure to an intense odour that recently sent one man to hospital.

“Terrible doesn’t start to describe it,” he said. “I’m sick to death of this. It’s got to be against the law. It’s got to be public endangerment.”

Stenton said that for the sixth time in so many weeks, a “putrid” smell from Clean Harbors overwhelmed him on Sept. 15 at about 10 p.m.

“I got an instant headache, I became nauseous, I got the dry heaves. It’s the same thing as before. Same thing, different day.”

For the second time since Aug. 10, Stenton called paramedics. He also reported the stench to Ontario’s Spills Action line and phoned St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold, the local Ministry of Environment office and Clean Harbours.

“Clean Harbors promised to do more masking,” Stenton said, referring to the company’s use of sweet scented misters to cover the smell.

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October 1st – A Walk to Remember the Victims of Asbestos

S.H.A.M.E. will be joining this march –

Saturday, October 1st, 10 am
A Walk to Remember the
Victims of Asbestos
and put an end to Canadian Asbestos Production

Location: Centennial Park, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

If you have lost a loved one to asbestos, or have a loved one currently fighting asbestos related disease, please bring a copy of a picture of the victim that can be pinned to a memorial at the walk.

Special Guest:Linda Reinstein, President/CEO and Co-Founder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Also speaking are Mayor Mike Bradley, and Alec Farquhar, Managing Director of the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW).

Do you want Clean Harbors to expand?

Clean Harbors is planning to open another unit at their St. Clair location. This is the proposal for an amendment to their Certificate of Approval. This is YOUR opportunity to participate in the process. You can make your comments heard by the Ministry of the Environment until the end of September. Do we really want Clean Harbors starting up another unit when they haven’t yet taken care of the current toxic nightmare being lived by nearby residents? There is an ongoing stench from Clean Harbors that is causing illness to nearby residents  This new unit would spew MORE toluene and benzene, amongst other chemicals.

Click the above link. Halfway down the page on the right is the submit comment button. Clink on and fill out info on page, leaving your comment. Save. You will be notified when a decision is made. Participation allows you to be informed of what happens with this request, and to be involved with any subsequent appeals.