A New Democrat MPP raised the issue of well water concerns during the first day of the provincial legislature session on Tuesday.
Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak has joined local grassroots group Water Wells First in calling for an immediate health hazard investigation into the matter.
“I visited some of these farms just last week. The well water is black,” Natyshak said in a media release.
“It became black at 18 different farms in the area at the same time as pile driving for Samsung’s site began – that’s no coincidence. The Liberal government has a responsibility to make sure that the people of this province have clean drinking water – right now, Kathleen Wynne is shirking that responsibility.”
In 2016, landowners near Samsung and Pattern Energy’s North Kent One wind turbine site in Chatham-Kent began raising their concerns about contaminated water.
However, in a recent message to several affected families, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change stated that after reviewing the reports from the wind developer’s consultants, “the ministry concludes that any pile-driving-induced vibrations that may have reached your well would have been less than other common daily sources, and would not have caused the water quality issues you are experiencing.”
The ministry suggested that advice be obtained from a licensed well contractor to evaluate the condition of the well and to provide recommendations to resolve any water quality issues.
Residents are also worried about the potential for black shale sediment, which contains heavy metals.
Natyshak said he’s heard reports that farmers are reluctant to use the water, with some feeding their livestock bottled water instead.
“This is an ongoing problem – these families need more than a government that is ‘monitoring’ the situation,” he said. “They need a government that is looking out for them, and they need this health hazard investigation now.”
– With Ellwood Shreve files
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