April 26, 2004

Minister names Industrial Pollution Action Team members

Ontario Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky has named health and environmental experts, as well as community representatives, to the seven-member Industrial Pollution Action Team. The group has been asked to report back in June with recommendations for preventing spills and dangerous emissions.

Dombrowsky announced the government's intention to set up the IPAT after a series of spills from industry facilities along the St Clair River in recent months, including several that resulted in the closure of intakes (ELW March 8, 2004). These incidents came after a full decade without any closures.

"Our government has zero tolerance for spills and dangerous air emissions and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our environment and our communities," Dombrowsky said. "The action team is a good opportunity for industry to come forward and be part of the solution to this serious problem."

The seven members of the team are:

- Maria Van Bommel (co-chair), MPP Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Rural);

- Isobel Heathcote (co-chair), Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and professor, School of Engineering and Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph;

- James Thomas Brophy, executive director, Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers, Windsor and Sarnia;

- Chief Donna Day, Walpole Island First Nation;

- Darren Henry, a member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation band council and chair of the council's environmental committee;

- Professor CQ Jia, of the University of Toronto's School of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry; and

- Bela Trebics, head of WATCH, the Wallaceburg Advisory Team for a Cleaner Habitat.

An additional member from the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor will be named in the near future.

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