An Open Letter to the Minster of the Environment Regarding Environmental Concerns in Sarnia-Lambton

September 27, 2013

Hon. James Bradley
Minister of the Environment
Ferguson Block
11th Flr
77 Wellesley St W
Toronto ON M7A2T5

Re: Environmental Concerns – Sarnia-Lambton

Dear Minister Bradley;

As you are aware from our previous discussion, on September 10, 2013, approximately 200 barrels of diesel fuel leaked from the Sun-Canadian industrial pipeline in Sarnia, and entered the St. Clair River water system.

On September 25, 2013, 20 litres of a biodegradable cleaning product managed to migrate from the Suncor refinery, again, to the St. Clair River. Local media reports indicate that this outflow took place over a period of eleven hours before its source was identified and the leak was contained.

These occurrences are of serious concern to the people of Sarnia-Lambton and those down river in the communities of Wallaceburg and Walpole Island who draw their municipal water supply from the St. Clair River.

The community of Sarnia-Lambton takes great pride in the work it does for the province and the region in the critically important petrochemical industry. In speaking with the leaders of local industry on a regular basis, I am well aware of the significant efforts that have been taken to ensure that industry in the region meets the highest worker and environmental safety standards.

However, these two incidents have created a sense of unease locally and serve to undermine the environmental protections put in place by industry in our region.

As the Minister of the Environment, could you please outline what your Ministry has done to ensure that local industry is being held to the highest environmental standards? Further, in light of these incidents, could you please indicate what action you have taken to ensure that the water supply of the communities that draw their water from the St. Clair River is not jeopardized in future?

As the safety of the local water supply is a serious concern to the people of Sarnia-Lambton, I look forward to your timely response.


Bob Bailey, MPP