After a series of air and water-borne pollution incidents, studies and reports (details here), in November 2016 the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change issued Picton Terminals a Provincial Officer’s Order. One of its major requirements was to reduce substantially the amount of salt pollution originating on the PT site by ensuring that the salt piles were covered adequately to prevent runoff due to wind and rain.
A year later, clearly the MOECC Order has failed dismally to accomplish this objective.
Meanwhile, in March 2017 an industrial barge sank at the Picton Terminals’ dock. It spilled toxic chemicals into the Bay, generating an oil slick that infiltrated Picton’s drinking water intake zone, forcing an emergency shutdown of the town’s water supply. (Extensive details here.)
In July 2017, ignoring the MOECC order, PT failed to cover a newly delivered shipload of salt, leaving it exposed to substantial rainfall for over five weeks.
And on they go, with apparent impunity.
Questions need to be asked
How does Picton Terminals keep getting away with ignoring MOECC orders to stop contaminating Picton Bay and adjoining properties? Why is there no enforcement? Why are there no conditions on doing business, no sanctions?
Despite PT’s record of pollution incidents, the majority of Prince Edward County municipal councilors continue to support this company and its project. Why?
Why is the County government failing to enforce its own by-laws?
Why do citizen volunteers have to go to court to defend the Bay, the sole source of Picton’s drinking water supply, and to seek the due diligence that our elected representatives have shirked? (Details here and here, on why this case had to be launched).
Going to court
In the absence of a responsible initiative by PEC Council, Save Picton Bay is seeking a legal decision. The question to be decided: What is Picton Terminals’ legal zoning status, and what does it permit them to do? Save Picton Bay’s lawyer Eric Gillespie will argue that they can’t continue their current activities; PT and the County’s lawyer will argue that they can. At stake: the health of Picton Bay and responsible governance. The case will be heard at the Superior Court of Justice, Picton, at a date to be determined. We’ll keep you posted.
Add your voice
Municipal councilors and MOECC officials hear a lot from Picton Terminals. They hear from Save Picton Bay – when we can get their attention. Now they need to hear from others, people who care about Picton Bay, people who rely directly or indirectly (eg bulk water deliveries for wells and cisterns) on the Picton water supply, people who care about responsible government and the shared environment on which we depend for our lives and well-being.
Councilors can be contacted at the email addresses and phone numbers listed here.
MOECC officials can be contacted here: Shannon.M.Kelly@ontario.ca.
Todd Smith, MPP for Prince Edward Hastings can be contacted here.
It takes a lot to go to court. Please help. Visit SavePictonbay.ca and follow either of two Donate buttons at top and bottom of the screen.
Once again, heavy rains are expected to hit Picton Sunday through Monday, October 29-30.
Save Picton Bay will be monitoring the impact at Picton Terminals.