Green City

Horwath Blasts OLA over Black Soot

By Jason Leach
Published November 29, 2006

BRAVO! to Andrea Horwath, MPP for Hamilton East. She gave 'em heck today at the Ontario legislature for acting at a snail's pace into the problem of black soot raining down on residential neighbourhoods in East Hamilton.

I suspect that if this same soot had fallen on a home of one of the bigshots in the Liberal Party we'd have gotten answers back a lot more quickly and there would have been a lot more yelling and screaming at the legislature.

Thank-you to Andrea for fighting for us here in Hamilton. We know what most governments think of the working class/middle class in our society and it's absolutely disgusting that our so-called representatives could care less about whether this soot is a major cause for concern to area residents.

They've got time to stop a farmer in Southwest Ontario from selling his organic milk, yet don't have the time to look into what dangerous chemical is being breathed in by Hamilton residents.

Bravo, Andrea, Bravo.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By steeltown (registered) | Posted November 29, 2006 at 21:14:44

She actually got booted out haha. She's a feisty lady which is rare in politics. Sheila Copps was feisty as an opposition MP during the 80's too. She's well on her way to be the next Sheila in Hamilton.

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By King James (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2006 at 08:56:35

Oh god, don't say that. I actually like Andrea.

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By (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2006 at 10:59:01

It's unfortunate that the company that is actually causing the problem is not 'fessing up - they obviously about a poor excuse for a good "corporate citizen". When they do finally find out who this "scumbag" company is, I hope the full force of the law rains down on them.

Go Andrea!

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By A reader (anonymous) | Posted December 02, 2006 at 13:00:52

As usual, big business talks more loudly than citizens or the environment. All voting shares in our little Columbian Chemical Hamilton plant is 100% owned by Phelps Dodge, a huge multi-nantional which is also big in copper mining ans other environmentally surly activities. Dowlaod a PDF report on Phelps Dodge and Copper Mining in Grant County NM at So one might led to doubt the CC subsidiaries would be any more environmentally sensitive than their copper mining counterparts.

When this story broke a few weks ago, I easily found several online references to Columbian Carbon and a high profile lawsuit with a US native band on very similar circumstances. Strangely, no trace of this is apparent in any search engine (I use a meta search). Only legal references to pollution cases CC has won (very old), and other non-pollution cases. Makes one go HMMMM.

Pay special attention in the PDF report above to where P-D US campaign funding went. Is anyone aware whether P-D or CC contributed to any local political campaigns? Inquiring minds want to know...

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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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By chuck (anonymous) | Posted July 03, 2008 at 02:57:26

i work and live about 3 blocks from one those evil companies. i never get black fallout! if you must rant and rave do it at the right people please.

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