Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Local Health Study Details Still Vague

There’s still no concrete timeline for a study looking into the effects of the petrochemical industry on the health of local residents.

A community delegation met with Environment Minister Chris Ballard at Queen’s Park for over an hour on Wednesday.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade says the provincial government is still in the “scoping” process.

They’re looking at the parameters of the study, and what it would require.

“The meeting ended, I think, with a sense that they’re quite committed to moving this forward,” says Ranade. “But, they’re still trying to understand the different pieces of information that are available to them. They’re very clearly communicating with different ministries in the province and federally to understand what’s already been done and the different opportunities to do research.”

Dr. Ranade says they may have to re-consult with the community to better understand the needs locally.

The group suspended activities in 2016 when they were unable to secure senior government funding toward the study — estimated to cost $5-million — that would examine the effects of the petrochemical industry on the health of local residents.

Minister Ballard recently committed funding for it after several Toronto area journalists raised concerns about industry being secretive, and questioned whether Sarnia area residents were being properly notified about spills.