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Essar monitoring groundwater contamination says ministry official

Environmental cleanup continues at Essar Steel Algoma after a chemical spill was reported Monday.
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Environmental cleanup continues at Essar Steel Algoma after a chemical spill was reported Monday.

Blair McLaughlin, a senior environmental officer with the Ministry of the Environment, said MOE has requested the company begin a monitoring program to ensure groundwater contamination does not impact nearby surface water.

Essar Steel Algoma confirmed on Monday that the spill was caused by a leaky valve on a storage tank containing diluted ammonia liquor.

The spill occurred within a bermed area around the tank, which contained the substance but has not prevented the substance from entering the ground water, said MOE.

McLaughlin said trenches have been dug around the tank to collect the contaminated groundwater, pumping it back into a storage tank.

“The company took water samples from nearby Davignon Creek and reported no ammonia in the waterway,” said McLaughlin.

“Right now the ministry’s focus is to ensure that any environment impacts are managed and proper clean-up is completed,” said McLaughlin. “Once that work is complete, the ministry will do a full review to determine if an investigation into charges is merited.”

(FILE PHOTO: Essar Steel Algoma seen April 7, 2014. SooToday.com/Kenneth Armstrong)

For previous coverage of this story, click here.



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Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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