A Director, appointed under section 18 of the Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.19, intends to issue a preventative measures order to Domtar Inc. in respect of the site.
An order issued under section 18 may require a person who owns, or owned, or who has or had management or control of an undertaking or property, to implement the requirements specified in the order if they are necessary or advisable to:
(a) prevent or reduce the risk of a discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment from the undertaking or property; or
(b) prevent, decrease or eliminate an adverse effect that may result from
(i) the discharge of a contaminant from the undertaking, or
(ii) the presence or discharge of a contaminant in, on or under the property.
The proposed requirements in the draft order include:
The development and implementation of a work plan to assess groundwater and soil on the mill site, and surface water and sediment within the Wabigoon River adjacent to the site for the purposes of determining if mercury is discharging from the site to the Wabigoon River.
The provision of opportunities for area First Nation communities and other affected members of the public to be engaged in the development and implementation of the work plan, including making the progress reports and final report readily available to First Nations and members of the public who may be affected by a discharge of mercury from the site.
Upon the completion of the assessment, Domtar Inc. is required to provide a final report to the ministry detailing whether mercury is coming from the land portion of the mill site, or present in sediments within the Wabigoon River portion of the site, and whether mercury has the potential to impact downstream water and sediment quality, and mercury concentrations in fish. Recommendations for further investigation and any necessary remedial measures necessary are also required.
The order includes timelines to ensure work is conducted in a timely manner.
In order to protect human health and the natural environment, and to prevent, decrease or eliminate adverse effects, it is important that the work described in the draft Director’s Order be undertaken.