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Water Today Title November 18, 2018

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2017/1/24
Mercury

ONTARIO WORKING WITH CHIEF, FEDS TO FIX GRASSY NARROWS MERCURY CONTAMINATION

We asked Ontario Environment, what was happening with Grassy Narrows?. Their guy, Gary answered. 600,000. dollars with a plan. read more

We have always been clear and consistent with our desire to address concerns about mercury contamination near Grassy Narrows First Nation. Furthermore, we remain fully committed to working with the community to find solutions to mercury contamination in the English Wabigoon river system.

Ministry officials have already been in touch with both Chief Fobister and Mr. Glowacki to discuss the new information and most appropriate actions going forward. We take this latest information seriously and will work with the community to conduct additional testing, which may include further geophysical studies and soil sampling, in the newly identified area. This will include coordinating again with Grassy Narrows First Nation and Domtar for joint access to the property to undertake appropriate sampling and study work. In addition, MOECC scientists will carefully review the data Earthroots has provided from the new site.

Consistent with the recommendations of the report commissioned by Grassy Narrows First Nations, Ontario is also working with the community to collect the necessary data required to help assess the present-day state of mercury in the English-Wabigoon River system. The Grassy Narrows Council identified this field work as their top priority, which is needed to support discussions on appropriate approaches for remediation.

The province has entered into a transfer agreement for $300,000 with the community for environmental work on the English-Wabigoon River system. An additional $300,000 was also committed to assist with the ongoing work of the Mercury Working Group.

This joint field work will provide the critical information needed to develop options to remediate the English-Wabigoon River system. Ontario will work with Chief Fobister and the community to develop this key piece.

The English-Wabigoon Remediation Project will consider Traditional Ecological Knowledge and respect for the traditions and wisdom of the local First Nation.

We are pleased that the federal government has committed to working closely with the Province of Ontario and the First Nations and we look forward to working with them and the community as we find solutions to mercury contamination in the English Wabigoon River system.




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