Taras Natyshak MPP, Essex

Government of Ontario

Natyshak presses Liberals on Health Hazard Investigation at local wells, Libs say water is fine

Published on February 20, 2018

QUEEN’S PARK – This morning, the first day of the new legislative session, Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak pressed the Wynne Liberals on their inaction in addressing concerns about black well water coming from farms located near Samsung’s North Kent One wind turbine site in Chatham-Kent – only to be told by the Liberals that the water is fine.

Natyshak has joined local group Water Wells First in calling for an immediate health hazard investigation into the contaminated well water.

“I visited some of these farms just last week.  The well water is black,” said Natyshak. “It became black at 18 different farms in the area at the same time as pile driving for Samsung’s site began – that’s no coincidence.  The Liberal government has a responsibility to make sure that the people of this province have clean drinking water – right now, Kathleen Wynne is shirking that responsibility.”

Local residents have had the black water collected and analyzed by scientific experts who have found the water contains Black Shale sediment. Black Shale is a known environmental hazard because it contains heavy metals, yet residents have had trouble getting the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to take the issue seriously. Natyshak has had reports that farmers are so reluctant to use this contaminated water that some are feeding their livestock bottled water instead.

“This is an ongoing problem – these families need more than a government that is ‘monitoring’ the situation.  They need a government that is looking out for them, and they need this health hazard investigation now,” said Natyshak.

The Ontario NDP has committed to developing an Ontario Water Strategy if elected in June.  Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said the strategy will be based on the principle that the public should have access to clean water for drinking, sanitation and food.