Monthly Archives: October 2011

Beside the Aamjiwnaang administration building

Wilson Plain

For those out in Facebook land who don’t know how close Aamjiwnaang is to sources of pollution – check this photo out

On the North side of the Aamjiwnaang Admin Bldg. Prevailing winds are from the Northwest in the Winter.

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“Clean Harbors”?

Clean Harbors’ Stench

Shawn Tully in The Observer

Reading your paper on Saturday, I was not that surprised to see another article on the stench coming from the Clean Harbors site on Petrolia Line. Any day that there is a wind from the south, the stench, that is very noticeable driving down Petrolia Line, is disgusting. Living out by Oil Springs and working construction in the Chemical Valley, this is often the easiest route to take. Having changed work sites again this week, I happened to find myself once again using this route. Two of the four mornings I drove past the site, there was that terrible stench again and I had to remind myself to take a different route. Luckily I have that option, unlike the families and farmers that live and work within miles of that giant chemical sewer hole.

The part of that article that compelled me to write this though was the response from their Senior V.P. of Regulatory Affairs, Philip Retallick, claiming that Clean Harbors had “successfully stopped the stench weeks ago”, and that these latest complaints were from a “vocal minority” whose motivations associated with these complaints goes beyond any original odour issue. Nice P.R. work, both false and accusatory.

As long as Big business has senior V.P.’s like this that are more interested in pointing fingers than doing their job concerning ‘regulatory affairs’ we should not expect a lot of changes, unless Retallick can get the regulations changed, which may be his job anyways. Lets hope the MOE is diligent in enforcing its order and the area becomes a safe place to live and work. While I’m dreaming, lets hope the Lions and Leafs win championships this year too.

Anger mounts over Clean Harbors’ stench

Cathy Dobson in The Observer

(See the original article for photos)

Frustration has turned to outright anger as this community remains in the dark about Clean Harbors’ plans to stop a stench coming from its hazardous waste facility.

Tempers boiled over at a township council meeting Monday when a group of residents demanded to know why the intense odours continue to dog them and their families.

Earlier that evening, a foul odour invaded homes for the 12th time in two months, some as far away as six kilometres from the landfill on Telfer Road.

Resident Ed Walsh said his breathing was impacted and his eyes stung.

“We just can’t live a normal life,” he said. “We want to know what the company is going to do about it.”

Clean Harbors has a provincial licence and the township has little authority to do much other than advocate on behalf of the residents, said Mayor Steve Arnold.

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Enbridge Sarnia pipeline expansion planned

In The Observer

Enbridge and its affiliates are planning to invest $100 million in two projects to connect western crude oil to refineries in the east.

The investment includes an expansion to Line 5, the pipeline running to Sarnia from Superior, Wis., which would boost production by 50,000 barrels a day.

The company will also spend $20 million to reverse the flow of part of Line 9 so that crude can flow from Sarnia to Westover, Ont.

Both projects are expected to come into service late next year.

The projects look to take advantage of diverting more light oil from Alberta and the Bakken — a rock formation that stretches through parts of Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana — to refineries in Ontario, Michigan and Ohio.

The company stated in a news release that the projects will allow eastern refineries to take cheaper crude, while western producers will be able to fetch a better price for their oil.

Living around Chemical Valley: Recent human rights issues

Toban Black on the Media Co-op


“Clean Harbors”

In this audio interview, Zak Nicholls (of S.H.A.M.E.) mainly speaks about:
– Responding to pollution around the “Clean Harbors” hazardous waste facility
– Collaborating with residents of Marine City, Michigan — where there is a Wilms tumor cluster
– The latest problems with ESSO / Imperial Oil

This interview is posted here.


A “Wipe Out Wilms” t-shirt

He also mentions:
– The World Health Organization (WHO)’s findings that Sarnia has the worst particulate pollution in Canada
– TODA’s water pollution
– The now inactive, and possibly dead, Lambton Community Health Study
– Free toxic tours around Chemical Valley

This interview follows up another one in which Zak gives updates about how shale gas will be or might be used around Sarnia-Lambton’s Chemical Valley.

Many of these topics had come up in conversation; we then decided to to record some of what Zak has to say about the situations around where he lives.


The ESSO plant — photographed from Michigan

Shale gas and the future of Chemical Valley

Toban Black on the Media Co-op

An audio interview with Zak Nicholls, a human rights activist who lives in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Shale gas from fracking in the United States (and perhaps Ontario) will be used in Sarnia-Lambton’s Chemical Valley.


Nova Chemicals in October, 2011. Photo by Dallas Sinopole.

In this interview, Zak speaks about:
– Nova Chemicals, and how this company plans to use shale gas — for decades
– A related BioAmber facility which will be processing a substance that is similar to the GHB rape drug
– Labour concessions which are connected with these projects
– The Lambton Generating Station, and the possibility that it will be burning ‘natural’ gas (shale gas?) in the future

The recording is posted here.

Zak brings up issues like these through S.H.A.M.E.: Sarnia Hometown Activist Movement Emerging

This recording is the first part of two interviews about major news around Chemical Valley. The second part of these interviews is posted here.

These October 2011 interviews follow up a previous recording, in which Zak gives more background about the impacts around Chemical Valley, and community efforts to improve their situation.


Zak at an anti-fracking rally in London, Ontario.