The City of Sault Ste. Marie has released a statement following an oil spill on the St. Marys River yesterday.
"City staff remained engaged with government and ministry officials regarding the oil spill and any potential impacts on municipal operations and our community," said CAO Malcolm White.
Vessel traffic on the river was halted yesterday as crews responded to the incident, and Algoma Public Health has issued a public advisory urging residents downstream from the spill to refrain from consuming, bathing or swimming in water from the St. Marys River until further notice.
River intake to the Echo Bay water plant has been shut off in order to avoid potential contamination, and an environmental team for Garden River First Nation is closely monitoring the situation as many residents use the river for fishing and recreational activities.
Full text of the City of Sault Ste. Marie statement follows:
On the morning of Thursday, June 9, the city’s Emergency Management Committee was made aware of an oil spill downstream of Algoma Steel Inc. on the St. Marys River.
Since that time, the city has been closely monitoring the impact of the spill along with control and remediation efforts by Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Mayor Christian Provenzano has spoken with the Algoma Steel executive team to express his concern.
“This is a very disconcerting incident,” said Mayor Provenzano. “We need to safeguard and protect our environment and natural resources. I want to assure the public that the city shares their concerns and remains engaged with both Algoma Steel and the officials on site.”
“City staff remained engaged with government and ministry officials regarding the oil spill and any potential impacts on municipal operations and our community. Algoma Public Health has issued a water advisory for the St. Marys River, and its staff are recommending that people avoid drinking, swimming, bathing, or showering with this water at this time. We urge the community to closely follow public health guidance,” said CAO Malcolm White.