The closure of Pointe Des Chenes park is partially due to a long drawn out process between the city and Federal government about contaminated water in the area.
In a report to council, the cause of the contaminated water was stated along with the remediation which would be required to resolve the issue, something the city believes Transport Canada would need to address.
“In 1964 Transport Canada constructed a firefighting training area on the southwest portion of the airport property. Firefighting training was then conducted from 1964 to 1992,” said the report.
It was stated after discovery the city has asked Transport Canada for three things.
1) Provide a timetable for restoring the water supply at the campground to
potable conditions. This was set as an immediate priority;
2) Prepare a project timeline with a sampling plan to further delineate
the nature and extent of the contamination resulting from the airport; and
3) Prepare a project timeline to develop a remediation plan to restore the natural
Transport Canada hasn’t resolved to do anything about section 1 and 3 at this time according to the report. However there is supposed to be a water testing program by APH for dangerous chemicals in the water.
Councillor Matt Scott had some serious concerns about water being sourced by neighbouring citizens outside the park after speaking with many of them over the weekend.
“All the consituents I spoke too have never had their water tested by APH for the PFAS since August 2019. So they’re very concerned about that,” said Scott.
Scott told SaultOnline he has reached out to Jennifer Loo at APH, but has yet to hear back from her. SaultOnline has also reached out to APH for comment.
City staff also advised that the conversations with MP Terry Sheehan’s office are going well in regards to finding a permanent solution to the problem.
Councillor Cory Gardi took the time to restate his disappointment with the many different federal governments in regards to this issue.
“This has never been a problem that the Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie had the resources, and/or the expertise, to solve and we should have never had to work so hard to get those responsible to solve it working on it,” said Gardi.
He continued, “So the federal government needs to once and for all commit to remediating the issue to the to the extent that they can, you know, successive governments and transport administration’s have not worked for permanent solution they need to, I’m glad city staff is pressing them on that.”
The City has pushed for a timetable for when the federal government will restore water in the campground and beach to to potable. They state they have continually asked for a long term solution for the drinking water contamination.
Stay with SaultOnline as we work to get to the bottom of the water issues in the area of Pointe Des Chenes.