Ontario beefs up water inspection, compliance staff
CHATHAM, ONT-Thirty-three newly-hired water inspectors and compliance staff, including six in southwestern Ontario, will ensure more inspections and tougher enforcement of drinking water regulations, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said last week. The new staff include 20 drinking water inspectors, who will inspect municipal drinking water systems and laboratories that test drinking water. This brings the total number of inspectors in Ontario from 81 to 101, an increase of 25%. Six investigators have been hired as well to explore incidents referred by inspectors and lay charges if necessary. Four new staff for the Spills Action Centre will improve the Ministry of Environment's response to issues of drinking water compliance. The new hires also include one scientist, one supervisor and one program support worker. The addition of new water inspectors and compliance staff will also help the province carry out recommendations in Commissioner O'Connor's Report on the Walkerton Inquiry.