November 7, 2005

Bay of Quinte RAP study reveals elevated dioxin, furan levels in Trent R

QUINTE WEST, ONT-Environment Canada has detected elevated levels of dioxins and furans in the sediments at a site in the mouth of the Trent River, in Quinte West. The elevated dioxin and furan levels were discovered as part of Environment Canada's sediment quality study under the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan (RAP). Other sites sampled as part of this study were found to have low levels of dioxins and furans. The department, together with the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE), plans to conduct further investigation to determine the significance of the contaminants and their source. As a precaution, the MOE took samples from all the Bay of Quinte area water treatment plants. Dioxins and furans were not detected, indicating no adverse impact on drinking water quality in these communities. Following up on Environment Canada's initial findings, the relevant agencies have formed the Trent River Mouth Investigation Steering Committee. Headed by the MOE, the Committee includes representatives from Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Bay of Quinte RAP Restoration Council, the city of Quinte West, the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit and the Lower Trent Conservation Authority. This partnership will work to determine the significance of dioxins and furans known to exist in the sediment, the source of contaminants and to determine whether any remedial action is required. The Committee will ensure that further information is shared with the public as it becomes available.

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