In Sarnia's Chemical Valley, is 'toxic soup' making people sick?
Cribb, Robert; McIntosh, Emma; Jarvis, Carolynhttp://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/10/14/in-sarnias-chemical-valley-is-toxic-soup-making-people-sick.html
Date Written: 14/10/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Experts and documents cast doubts on whether industry and Ontario government are revealing levels of benzene in areas where residents live right near oil and gas facilities.
SARNIA, ONT. -- In the hours before daylight on Feb. 8, 2014, toxic benzene leaking from a Sarnia chemical plant wafted toward the homes of the Sherwood Village neighbourhood in the shadow of the city's industrial stacks.
"Yeah, I can smell it," muttered Dwayne DeBruyne, a plant employee at the Plains Midstream Canada chemical plant who reported the incident just after 6 a.m. to a provincial government hotline for spills.
"So it's a spill?" the operator from the Spills Action Centre in Toronto is heard asking on a recording of the call, obtained through a freedom-of-information request.
"I wouldn't classify it as a spill," he says. "It's an odour release."
"I mean, it sounds like a spill to me," she counters.
DeBruyne concedes with a slight laugh, "OK, we'll call it a spill
It's very contained."
Not so, government records show.
Benzene -- which causes cancer at high levels of long-term exposure -- was already spreading.
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