A local watchdog for the environment, who has been forced to spend a large amount of his own money on freedom of information requests, in some cases, gets no answer at all, and in that, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, one office he is petitioning, has been found in violation.
Selva Rasaiah, who has been keeping a close watch on Algoma Steel Inc. and its emissions as well as many other local, environmental concerns has been requesting information from the Ministry of Environment about these concerns and the Ministry has been ignoring him.
Well that isn’t legal. Not according to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The Ministry has been ordered to grant Rasaiah access to the information by February 8.
Since December 17, 2021 he has been requesting this information:
“Documentation provided or sent (including correspondence) from the MECP to the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Office of the Mayor (Mayor Christian Provenzano) and Sault Ste. Marie M.P.P Ross Romano from 2019 to 2020 regarding major emissions incidents/discharges to the environment on March 09, 2019 and October 18, 2019. This also Includes all notices of any spills to the surface water/waterways including the St. Mary’s River in 2019 and 2020.”
One of the incidents he is referring to on March 9, 2019, we wrote about in this article: power-outage-at-algoma-steel-in-2019-caused-65-m-liter-leak-into-st-marys
The Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario over the last year has been receiving several responses from the Ministry of Environment with deadlines of when it will release information to Rasaiah, all of which have passed with no action.
The Ministry was legally bound to respond within 30 days. The matter has been going on for over a year.
the MOE has also turned a blind eye to the decrepit coke ovens for years.
Doesn’t surprise me at all. I worked at the steel plant and they plant built a bag house for blast furnace #7 which is suppose to filter out harmful emissions. To save the plant money instead of running it full time and paying employees to work there they keep it shut down thanks the the ministry they call the plant and let them know ahead of time when they will be arriving to check things out. So it is a no brainer and I am sure it is just not with the bag house they do this with at the plant.
In the words of a great leader “only guilty people take the 5th”.
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