Water Wells First Threatens To Sue

Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls speaks with Kevin Jakubec at a meeting regarding water well concerns. January 10, 2016. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

The Ministry of Environment and the Chatham-Kent Health Unit may be facing lawsuits for what’s being called a lack of action over the contaminated well water issue in Dover Centre.

Kevin Jakubec says the local group Water Wells First is considering legal action, adding that ministry staff have only taken photos and haven’t returned to test the water, something they promised last year.

The ministry tells BlackburnNews.com that its officials take “water quality complaints very seriously and continue looking into the concerns.”

Jakubec doesn’t believe it, though.

“We expect our government to immediately move in and investigate, but we haven’t seen that,” says Jakubec, adding that the Chatham-Kent Health Unit has “breached the public trust” because it hasn’t done any water testing.

“The burden of proof is on our public health officials who are charged with fiduciary responsibilities,” he says.

The ministry adds “it’s committed to ensuring that the development of renewable energy projects is done in a way that is protective of human health and the environment and will ensure that construction and operation of wind facilities do not result in adverse impact to the natural environment or neighbouring properties.”

The ministry also says “it’s taking steps to ensure future wind turbine projects study their impacts on groundwater and as part of the approval process, future projects in the area must undertake a vibration monitoring program and groundwater monitoring program.”

In the meantime, Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of health, Dr. David Colby, previously told BlackburnNews.com, “I don’t see [the dirty well water] as being a health issue per se, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic to people that don’t have clear water.”

He also stated that the public health unit tests for bacterial contamination, not soil suspension, which appears to be the problem in Dover Centre wells from what he has seen so far. He says any water testing should be conducted by the Ministry of the Environment.