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.

Mystery odour forces evacuation of Aamjiwnaang Health Centre

Ada Lockridge

Jack Poirier in The Observer

A nauseating odour forced the evacuation of the Aamjiwnaang Health Centre on Friday.

Approximately 10 workers were sent home after feeling nauseous and complaining of headaches.

“We don’t know where the source of the odour came from,” said band administrator Judy Dyer.

People in the area of the health centre, located at LaSalle Line and Tashmoo Avenue got their first whiff of a heavy propane and sulphur-like smell around 9:30 a.m.

Within an hour Sarnia fire officials were on scene at the health centre and confirmed the odour was coming from off site, Dyer said, who also attended the scene.

“It was a very intense odour. By the time I left I had a headache.

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment was contacted and a local investigation has begun.

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Michigan grandmothers worried about affects of Chemical Valley

Heather Wright in Sarnia & Lambton This Week

Grandkids battle rare form of cancer

Valerie Benson six-year-old granddaughter Ashleigh, has cancer.

So does Sue Kulman’s. Ireland is only one but, like Ashleigh, has been battling a relatively rare form of cancer called Wilms Disease for much of her short life.

The children are part of a cancer cluster in St. Clair County, Michigan that is now being studied by an epidemiologist hired by the State of Michigan to try to figure out why so many people have suffered from Wilms.

But Benson and Kulman’s only need to look across the river to see what they suspect could be one of the sources of the cancer – Sarnia’s Chemical Valley.

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More action needed at Clean Harbors: SHAME

Heather Wright in Sarnia & Lambton This Week

FIGHTING THE STINK Environmental activists protest about Clean Habor's odour emissions on London Road in Sarnia.

A Sarnia environmental group says the Ministry of the Environment has to do more to stop a hazardous waste site from fouling the air.

Seven times in the last six weeks, people around Clean Harbors south of Sarnia were overcome by a powerful odour. Some people suffered headaches and vomited because of the smell. The latest incident was Sept. 21.

Jim Stenton, one of the neighbors affected, said it wasn’t as powerful as the last release, but it was enough to drive visitors from his home and wake him in his sleep.

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