February 23, 2004

MOE inspectors probe source of undetermined chemical in St Clair River

SARNIA, ONT-Ontario Ministry of Environment inspectors were checking several chemical plants in Sarnia last week following reports of a chemical in the St Clair River. Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky dispatched the officials to the area after Dow Chemical Canada notified the ministry's Spills Action Centre that its chemical analyzers located at the Fourth St outfall in the St. Clair River had detected levels of a chemical believed to be ethylene oxide. "My ministry's inspectors have gone to several plants upstream and to the government docks to determine the source of the substance," Dombrowksy said. The Ministry also informed municipalities, health officers and Michigan authorities that draw their drinking water from locations downriver, so that these agencies can take action if necessary. The incident follows a February 1 spill at the Imperial Oil refinery in Sarnia. At that time, Dombrowsky sent the Ministry's SWAT team to the area to conduct comprehensive inspections of industrial facilities.
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