Thursday, February 25, 2021

Water well testing set to begin, expert panel chosen

Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, announced on Thursday, January 21, 2021 that the Government of Ontario is keeping its promise to address local concerns about the water quality of private wells in Chatham-Kent.

“Every person deserves to know what is in their drinking water,” McNaughton said in a media release.

“The government is listening to members of our community and addressing their concerns.”

The government has established a panel of five individual experts, appointed by the Minister of Health, to lead a water well investigation.

More details about the panel can be found, here.

The expert panel independently developed a rigorous methodology for sample collection and testing, the release sent from McNaughton’s office stated.

The panel consists of two toxicologists, an environmentalist health scientist, an epidemiologist who specializes in exposure measurement and local geologist Dr. Keith Benn.

To address delays in the original timeline, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the term of the expert panel has been extended by one year – ending December 31, 2021.

Englobe Corporation has been selected to execute well water and sediment sample collection and testing.

They expect to start contacting residents and be in the field by late January.

The expert panel is expected to continue their work to review existing and new data collected to assess if the water is safe for consumption, the release sent from McNaughton’s office added.

“We made a commitment to get to the bottom of the water issues there,” McNaughton said on social media.

“I’m proud that work will begin. Premier Ford moved quickly to cancel the Green Energy Act and cancel the Otter Creek wind turbines outside of Wallaceburg too.”

The expert panel will sample up to 189 private wells that were part of the baseline water tests completed in 2018, before a nearby wind farm was built under the previous government.

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