St. Catharines MPP Calls On Ontario Government to Expand Testing for Toxins on Abandoned GM Property

“We must expedite this testing. Residents deserve up to date information.” – St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted October 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK – St. Ctharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens is urging the province to immediately expedite and expand testing of the former GM plant site in St. Catharines.

Once a major industrial force and source of good-paying jobs in St. Catharines, Niagara, what is left of the General Motors plant off Ontario Street in that city, has become an unwelcome eyesore for neighbours and is a source of citizens’ concerns about harmful contaminants possibly lurking on and migrating off the site.

The residents of St. Catharines had to wait almost six months for the results of the first round of testing which found high levels of carcinogenic PCB leaking into a creek. Stevens says the community needs the second round of testing to be analyzed without delay.

“We must expedite this testing. Residents deserve up to date information,” said Stevens at the Ontario legislature Thursday.

“Will this Ministry commit to expediting testing on the GM plant to provide the answers to the neighbourhoods in St. Catharines?,” Stevens asked the environment minister.

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens has added her voice to citizens and others calling on governments to address the mess that is the abandoned General Motors site off Ontario Street

Stevens told the minister that the St. Catharines community is also asking for the ground and water surrounding the site to be tested for asbestos.

“The Ministry of Environment says it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour. While the Ministry of Labour says they don’t test unless the site is active. That’s not an answer – that’s red tape. The people of St. Catharines want the former GM lands clean. The mayor and the council want the former GM lands clean.”

“The community is raising fears about asbestos poisoning. Will this government commit here today to make an exception to include asbestos in their water testing so that the City of St. Catharines can move forward so we can redevelop?,” asked Stevens.

To read an October 14th news release from the Coalition for a Better St. Catharines on concerns citizens have about possible exposure to asbestos and other contaminats from the abandoned GM site off Ontario Street in St. Catharines, click on – https://www.abetterstcatharines.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Asbestos-Group-Urges-Immediate-Clean-Up-at-Former-GM-Site-Final.pdf .

To read a recent statement from St Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, dated October 16th, on the status of environmental conditions at the GM site as the city apparently knows  it, click on – https://www.stcatharines.ca/en/governin/resources/Mayor/OntarioStreetstatement.pdf

To read a recent report posted on our Niagara At Large site about concerns over toxic PCBs possibly migrating from the GM property and entering the Twelve Mile Creek and Lake Ontario, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/10/10/st-catharines-citizens-call-out-ontario-environment-ministrys-lack-of-action-on-toxic-pcb-concerns/ .

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One response to “St. Catharines MPP Calls On Ontario Government to Expand Testing for Toxins on Abandoned GM Property

  1. it is heartening to hear an examination of soil around the site. I am sure residents would not mind having a soil sample taken. I spoke to a geologist who is an expert concerning demolished sites. He recommended checking for lead as well. It is ground down so that it too can be blown around by the wind and seap into the soil at the site over time. Considering the news reports I have read about those who bought it, government or private action needs to occur to get an answer to the dangers already present and those that will come up. Hope something happens

    Like

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