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Cameco landfill may be breaking provincial laws

Waterkeeper.ca Weekly: August 26, 2008

Sanford and Helen Anne Haskill point to the broken pipe discharging uranium and arsenic into Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has teamed up with Port Hope area residents to file an Application for Investigation alleging that Cameco Corporation may be breaking Ontario's environmental laws. The uranium company manages a radioactive waste site in Welcome, just outside of Port Hope.

Earlier this spring, residents discovered that a 2.5-kilometre long pipe discharging wastewater into Lake Ontario has broken. The pipe now spews an alarming cocktail of uranium and arsenic onto a public beach.

"The Environmental Bill of Rights grants every Ontario resident a right to call upon the province to investigate violations of provincial law. In my experience, dumping uranium, arsenic and radium onto a public beach is about as clear a violation as you can get," says Waterkeeper and environmental lawyer Mark Mattson.

Samples collected from the pipe show uranium levels nearly 50 times higher the province's interim water quality objectives. Arsenic is nearly 5 times higher than what Ontario considers safe for human and aquatic life.

Full details of the alleged contraventions can be found in the Application for Investigation*. The Application was submitted to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario on Monday, August 25. The Application will be acknowledged within 10 days. The Ministry must decide whether or not to investigate in 60-70 days (early November, 2008).

More information:

Application for investigation

Residents want tighter toxic water pollution limits

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Waterkeeper.ca Weekly reflects the meaning and force of environmental justice on Lake Ontario. To contact the editor, please e-mail news@waterkeeper.ca. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a charitable organization, no. 86262 2750 RR0001.

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