Environment Minister promises tough enforcement in Southwestern Ontario

Archived Release

Environment Minister promises tough enforcement in Southwestern Ontario

TORONTO, Feb. 24 - The McGuinty government is working with the communities along the St. Clair River to restore residents' confidence in the water they drink, said Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky today, after meeting with representatives from the Chatham-Kent area at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association's annual conference. "Tap water in communities along the St. Clair River remained safe to drink because effective warning systems prevented contamination from entering municipal water supplies," said Dombrowsky. "But, the real issue here is preventing spills from happening in the first place." Minister Dombrowsky said that the frustration expressed by the Chatham-Kent delegation following the community's third water-supply closure in six months is understandable, and she shares their concerns. "Our communities rely on the St. Clair River for daily living," said Wallaceburg councillor Chip Gordon. "Threats to our water quality are threats to our way of life, our homes and our businesses." "It is unacceptable for the safety of a community's water supply to be under the threat of contamination," Dombrowsky said. "The Ministry of the Environment is committed to taking action to reduce the risk of future spills and will continue to work toward ensuring safe, clean, livable communities for all Ontarians." The minister assured the delegation that she will not waiver on her vow of "zero tolerance" for industrial polluters, as their spills pose serious threats to the environment and put human health at risk. She has already directed the Ministry's SWAT team to conduct a thorough inspection of the chemical industry in Sarnia. Disponible en fran├žais For more information visit www.ene.gov.on.caFor further information: Art Chamberlain, Minister's Office, (416) 314-5139; John Steele, Communications Branch, (416) 314-6666