Letter to Environment Minister 1998

November 19, 1998

Mr. Norm Sterling Minister of the Environment 135 St. Clair Ave. W., 15thFloor Toronto, ON., M4V 1P5


Dear Mr. Sterling:

We have measured dangerously high radiation levels in areas adjacent to the Deloro mine site (Town of Deloro, Eastern Ontario). As you are aware this site has been under the management and control of the provincial government for the past nineteen years.

High levels of radiation were detected at the western fence and south of the gate leading into the site. The gamma field in some areas is at or above 0.75 mrem/hr. You may know that, at this location in 1975, a federal provincial task force found high radiation levels in a house then owned by the Galloway family. Subsequently, a provincial government Order required the family to evacuate the premises because of the dangerous radiation levels in the house. The house was later demolished either by the provincial government or by the Atomic Energy Control Board, or both. It appears that no further measures have been taken since 1975 to prevent exposure of the public to the radioactive contamination or its potential spread.

The high radiation levels in this area, to which the public has unrestricted access and where no radiation warning signs are posted, represent a danger to the health and safety of members of the public. We suggest that the area should be immediately fenced and radiation warning signs posted to protect members of the public, especially children, from the high levels of radiation present in this area. Further remedial measures, including the removal of the radioactive material, should be undertaken without delay.

We also detected radiation levels dangerous to the health and safety of members of the public on the eastern edge of the Deloro site, in extensive areas of the Young’s Creek valley. The gamma field in areas of Young’s Creek is at or above 1 mrem/hr. This area is also freely accessible to members of the public. A road along the eastern edge of the valley runs north from Highway 7 to which the public has free access. There is no fence and the perimeter of the radioactive contamination is not marked.

A radiation sign has recently been posted in the middle of the valley but it is small and not clearly visible. Our concern is heightened by our recent observation of a party of people hunting in this radioactive valley. Hunting should be restricted in this area. Until the site can be cleaned, we suggest that the entire valley should be fenced with appropriate signage to protect unsuspecting members of the public.

The radioactive and other hazardous materials on the Deloro site should be secured immediately. The source of the radioactive and other hazardous contamination being discharged into the Moira River and Young’s Creek valley should be contained.

You will note below that a copy of this letter has been sent to Dr. Agnes J. Bishop, M.D., president of the Atomic Energy Control Board.

We trust that immediate steps will be taken by your Ministry and/or AECB to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment from the serious conditions existing at the Deloro site.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Mattson Executive Director, EBI

Tom Adams Executive Director, Energy Probe