Thursday, February 13, 2020


That's the problem right there. The Ministry of Environment (MECP) and or a hundred consulting companies can claim that the waters in Mill Creek (Cambridge) are as clean as a whistle or perhaps they might claim that the water is cleaner than all criteria tested for. Meanwhile the dumb mink, trout, ducks and other wildlife are avoiding the area because of perhaps unmeasured odours, irritation to their skin, eyes, ears, nose or any one of a hundred factors that the MECP have not or can not measure. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following front page story titled "We want the documentation".

Well as usual the MECP aren't doing themselves any good by refusing to release the report that they commissioned. That said that report even if it says exactly what the MECP claim, namely that the consultant's surface water assessment summary reported contaminant concentrations "below guidelines protective of aquatic health" really doesn't prove a whole lot. Which contaminants specifically? Every single component found in jet fuel or only the compounds that the MECP think are most toxic? Secondly the MECP are referencing surface water "from April". The spill was four months earlier so is April when the sampling was done or when the report was published? Also surface water testing is important but what about the sediments in the bottom of the creek where benthic organisms live and eventually are eaten by fish and other predators? What about soil samples beside the creek? The local resident, Mr. Johnston, made a good point about mink getting fuel oil on their fur and going into their holes to die.

I wonder if any air samples were taken and if so when. Hydrocarbon fuel contamination is toxic whether eaten, absorbed through the skin or inhaled. The article mentions that the lighter hydrocarbons would evaporate. At the time of the spill any local wildlife would have been exposed through the air even if they weren't exposed by direct water contact or later ingestion of exposed creek life.

If the Ministry of Environment (MECP) continue to stonewall local residents, the general public and the Friends of Mill Creek by refusing to release their publicly funded "shoreline treatment report" from their consultant, they will be assisting all of us who publicly claim that our so called democracy is a sham. When publicly funded reports concerning the ecological health of a public (and private) contaminated area are not released to either the private nearby landowners or the concerned public then we have to ask who the MECP are protecting. Is their job to 100% restore a site after a spill (likely impossible) or is their job just to go through the motions and to reassure the public that their government are doing their jobs? Perhaps the best possible scenario is to minimize the damage through an immediate cleanup followed by natural processes that could take years to fully restore the natural environment. Whatever the scenario the one thing that our governments must do is stop hiding facts and information from the public. Come clean and let us know the truth.

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