Comment 2520

By markwhittle (registered) - website | Posted December 05, 2006 at 16:18:45

Ministry investigating sooty fallout

By Laurel C. Broten, Minister of the Environment

Residents of east Hamilton who have experienced soot fallout in the past months may be under the impression from your recent article that the Ministry of the Environment has let them down. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Improving air quality and resolving issues like Hamilton's black-soot fallout is among my ministry's top priorities.

Last week, we hand-delivered a report to affected residents that analysed the black-soot fallout samples taken to date by the ministry, the Hamilton Air Monitoring Network and the Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association.

Since the first complaint was made at the end of July, my ministry has taken samples from homes in the neighbourhood, inspected operational logs and activity reports at local industries, installed an air monitoring bus, and worked with Brian McCarry, a respected expert in air quality and emissions at McMaster University.

To further address the concerns of the affected residents, my ministry has also:

  • Implemented a new response protocol to ensure expeditious responses to reports from the public about new fallout incidents.

  • Provided residents with sampling trays to capture any fallout.

  • Scheduled a fugitive dust emission workshop with local industries to identify their sources of dust emissions.

This Thursday, the Ministry of the Environment's Hamilton district office will host a public meeting to discuss the report and address the concerns of affected residents.

The residents of Hamilton have strong advocates for their community and the environment in their Liberal MPPs. I have heard their concerns about the soot and I have assured them my ministry is acting in the best interest of the community.

Let me assure the residents of Hamilton that we will continue to work with the Hamilton Air Monitoring Network, the City of Hamilton, McMaster University and local industry to find out who is responsible for the black-soot fallout so we can put a stop to it.

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