THE STERLING COMMUNITY PRESS, Friday, October 22, 1999

What’s going on with Deloro aside from cancelled meetings
Louise Livingstone

Hastings Cty. – What is happening with the Deloro cleanup? The September meetings of the Deloro public liaison committee, the technical liaison committee, and the ministry’s technical committee were all cancelled or postponed. According to the public relations officer, there were several reasons for this. The next job for project officer Jim Ritter of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MoE) and the consultants, is to finalize the draft closure plans. These should be ready by late fall.The four closure plans are based on 34 technical reports, with one closure plan for each of four different parts of the site. Ritter has to ensure all the 34 reports are finalized and the draft closure plans are ready for consultation. The next big milestone for the three committees is to review these draft closure plans. MoE is thinking about holding a joint meeting of the committees to explain the plans to them. Once they have done this and made any changes recommended by the three committees, the draft closure plans will be sent to the minister for approval (as a draft). The public will then have the opportunity to look them over and make comments and suggest more changes. The finalized plans then go to the Approvals Branch of MoE for final approval. Ritter has had preconsultation discussions with the Approvals Branch which is aware of the issues.

The MoE is implementing the recommendations of the Deloro Village Environmental Health Study. Survey work for the erection of a fence around the whole Deloro site was programmed to start on October 4 and the fence should be up by the end of the year. Quinte Conservation, at its recent meeting discussed the possible negative effects a high fence might have on wildlife moving through the area. The Atomic Energy Control Board has to give approval for moving radioactive material from the few contaminated sites in the village which were identified in the Deloro Village Environmental Health Risk Study. In the near future, MoE with be contacting the property owners with elevated levels of radon in their homes to talk about their options. Deloro was added to the Ontario wide drinking water surveillance program back in January 1999. The results of water samples taken regularly from the Deloro Village well should be available at the township office.

The Township of Marmora and Lake is analyzing the questionnaire put out to find out what concerns residents of Deloro have and how they think the council should help them. According to Tom Adams of the Environmental Bureau of Investigation, trial dates for the case against the MoE, for polluting the Moira River, have been finalized. Together with the Sierra Legal Defence Fund he will meet the solicitor dealing with case for the Ontario Attorney General later this week. The solicitor acting on behalf of Deloro residents in the proposed class action suit is working on the “Statement of Claim.” The main thrust of the case is likely to be the effect delays in cleaning up the former mine and smelter site have had, and still have, on property values.

Wayne Herrick, MoE project leader for the Moira River Impact Study which looks at the possible impact of pollution coming from Deloro on the river system, has invited local representatives to a meeting at Ivanhoe, on Tuesday evening, October 26. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how best to give residents the results of the study. According to information given out by MoE at the Moira Lake Property Owners annual meeting in August, results should be available in the spring of the year 2000. It is not yet clear how the results of this study will link in with the draft closure plans for the Deloro site.

The County of Hastings has agreed with Centre Hastings council’s request that the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans look at diverting the Moira River around Deloro to protect fish stocks. MP Larry McCormick is to take this request to the relevant federal ministers.

It is interesting to hear that Canadian Environment Minister Tom Anderson has asked each of the restoration councils in the 17 Areas of Concern on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes to let him know what needs to be done to delist these areas. He would like to delist all the Areas of Concern by the year 2005 at the latest. Creating a properly engineered hazardous waste site at Deloro is an important part of the work that needs to done before the Bay of Quinte Area of Concern can be delisted. (There are obviously other contaminated sites which need to be dealt with as well.) The Bay of Quinte Restoration Council has asked a consultant to draw up details by early November of all the work that needs to be completed before the Bay of Quinte can be delisted.