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Bluewater Community Advisory Panel


Thursday May 22, 2022 – SLEA Board Room, Nova Building, Front Street

Present: Arnold Anderson, Lynn Anderson, Rev. Mike Kuehl, Warren Burton, Sherri Blair, Tom Hughes, Liz McLachlin,
Brenda Lorenz, Duncan Longwell, John Gordon, Scott Munro, Carolyn Harris, Heather Cooper, Tara McIntosh

Regrets: Peter St. George, Janet Maaten

My apologies to Liz McLachlin and Duncan Longwell for omitting their names from the previous minutes. Minutes approved as amended. Moved by Carolyn Harris, Seconded by Liz McLachlin Passed

Site Handouts Trans Alta handed out their site map and risk assessment to the assembly.

Environment and Air Quality Scott Munro reviewed the background of the Sarnia Lambton Environmental Association. Their mission or focus being to assist local industry in managing industries’ environmental issues and maintaining a well informed community to actively contribute to environmental longevity. SLEA works closely with St. Clair Region Conservation Authority and the NWRI (National Water Research Institute). Attached please find a list of SLEA member sites.

Scott advised the panel that benzene emissions in 1993 were upwards of 1000 tonnes per year vs. 2001 which were under 200 tonnes per year. The National Pollutant Release Inventory Program obtains reasonable estimates on release data from relevant industry in order to provide these figures. Benzene half life is 50 hours before it photochemically degrades to carbon dioxide and water ultimately. Benzene rates in Sarnia are similar to and/or less than other areas in Canada ie. Ottawa and Edmonton.

SLEA Compliant distribution (ie. Emissions visability, odour, dust, noise, etc.). For the assembly’s edification Scott noted the following:

Inhalable particulate (< 10 microns): the body can defend itself more readily. Respirable particulate (2.5 microns): get in the smallest regions of the lungs and can be responsible for illnesses.

SLEA’s local VOC (Volatile Organic Chemicals) monitoring stations can detect these emissions and relay pertinent information to the plants or public accordingly if necessary.

Water Program Effluents discharged from facilities are picked up by the St. Clair River & Sediments Water Monitoring Station who monitor and analyze samples and relay information to the LIS systems users via mainframes/modems, which determine response measures accordingly.

Attached please find a listing of substances detected in water samples in 2002. Also please find the listing of substances not detected in 2002 monitoring samples.

The four largest emissions from local facilities of the PAH’s (Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons) found in sediment include Naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene, benzo(a)pyrene.

Front Street and Riverbend (beer store, Corunna) locations are situated where they are due to the fact that they are in direct line with those industries that might emit Sulphur Dioxide (SO2). When long spurts of SO2 dispersion is detected SLEA contacts the plants to amend procedures to reduce SO2 potential dispersions by curtailing production rates and/or reducing emissions by changing to lower Sulphur fuels.

Brenda relayed that the City of Sarnia is the greatest local contributor of effluent released into the river. Scott concurred advising that many instances of municipal releases occur predominantly after storms. The year before the biological treatment plant was in place, chloroniated hydrocarbons were dumped into the municipal sewer system.

Civil releases also include endochrine disrupting compounds – livestock operations can emit drugs into the river/effluents runoff caused by livestock urine through use of farms utilizing drugs on cattle.

Highlights and Lowlights

Warren reviewed highlights from the Imperial Oil meeting with community.

Tom – SLEA AGM excellent speaker, etc. Perhaps Dr. Leiss should be contracted to assist BCAP

John reviewed Trans Alta’s April 14th situation with the assembly, advising that Trans Alta was impacted the same as all the other plants. They lost a lot of internal infrastructure, very significant event, water pipes, steam pipes and pumps, etc effected. This is the first time major event with no procedures for getting “back from black” at Trans Alta

Warren noted that the communication sub-committee provided recommendations which were relayed to the media via press conference. Ongoing discussions among Ontario Hydro & Industry constant. Recommendations from the task group were centered around communications and the community. The community should respect decisions made by principal leaders to ‘shelter in place’ vs. call 911, inundating 911 in their operations.

CAER should be reviewing emergency procedures annually w/local building owners and operators of Senior Residences, schools, commercial buildings, etc., as well as demonstrating how to shut off appropriate air intake valves.

May 21st emergency awareness suggested by Mayor as a “Day of Emergency Awareness”

Topics for Discussion at next meeting:

Next meeting to take place September 18th. During summer months a plant tour of Clean Harbours is being arranged for July 10th at 5:30pm with a tour of the facilities and discussions with Dean Edwardson, Plant Manager. If this date or time is inconvenient please contact Tara to make other arrangements.

Tara McIntosh.