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Picton Terminals ordered to cover salt piles

UPDATE: Nov. 29 – Photo by Dave Sutherland noting the salt piles appear to be covered up.

UPDATE: Nov 23 deadline extended to Nov. 29.

Picton Terminals has been ordered by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to cover salt piles on the property by Nov. 24.

The company has also agreed all salt currently stored at the site be removed prior to spring and to a delay of all further salt shipments to the White Chapel Road business until September 2018.

In the provincial officer’s report on Tuesday, Shannon Kelly also said a third-party should be hired as an act of good faith to assist in instilling confidence to the public in the assessment and recommendations.

“Throughout 2017, there were and continue to be, ongoing issues with the tarps blowing off the salt piles; in addition PT failed to cover the salt piles within 15 days as required by the Provincial Officer’s Order,” stated Kelly in the report. “The uncovered salt piles have been, and continue to be exposed to significant rainfall events, resulting in stormwater runoff containing contaminants, specifically dissolved road salt, to discharge to the neighbouring property and directly into Picton Bay, potentially resulting in adverse impacts.”

Citizens’ Group Save Picton Bay shared the order with media Wednesday. The group has been working since 2015 to have the ministry take further action on this issue and others. The ministry has received more than 72 complaints and emails related to the site.

The ministry recognized that Picton Terminals did comply with all conditions required by a previous order, apart from an incident in July, resulting in non-compliance of covering salt.

The ministry notes the company has implemented interim action plans designed to manage stormwater runoff, however, “based on the recent monitoring results, significant levels of chloride continue to occur in surface water on the site and chlorides have been detected in the groundwater both on site and off site, with the potential to causing impacts to Picton Bay.”

Tuesday’s interim action plan also requests a proposed detailed schedule and engineering drawings for the installation of dry covered structures on site – a project proposed earlier this year by Picton Terminals. It also wants a detailed stormwater monitoring program and contingency measures that detail action taken in the event windblown tarps cause exposed salt, and measures to be taken prior to any significant rainfall.

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    Thanks David – nice to know what Shire Hall is doing re:water testing. This may be worth an article in the Gazette – I can tell that while I am not an urban dweller, I know a great number who are and they have expressed concerns over water quality-just saying.

  2. David Sutherland says:

    You can read about water treatment in PEC in this report. http://www.thecounty.ca/media/pe-county/documents/department/watersewer/Drinking-Water-Services-Operational-Reports,-2016-Updated.pdf

    They test for a lot of things. Should answer some questions.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    The reason that I mentioned infrastructure money is that we have heard in the past that the water intake pipe stands in fairly shallow water and needs to be relocated a couple of miles further out into deeper water – maybe the feds could come up with some money to help make this happen?? But we need to know that this is no way improves the water quality of the harbour and for that to happen it would require a real commitment from all three levels of government, the business community and local residents. At some point that needs to happen.

  4. Chuck says:

    The Bay has been tremendously polluted for many years. There is far more than a little salt to get excited about.

  5. Emily says:

    Good point ADJ. Will they test for cyanide, arsenic and mercury?

  6. ADJ says:

    Has anyone ever sent a water sample from a Picton tap to the MOH to have it tested? Better yet send 3 samples! The first should be from a tap that hasn’t been used all weekend ie a school. Custodians were required to run all the drinking fountains for a specified length of time. Take another two samples from opposite ends of town…you’ll be surprised what you will find.
    Our swim beaches are required to be tested periodically and reported to the public all summer, why not do the same with the municipal supply.

  7. Gary says:

    Dennis, there are no infrastructure dollars available to fix the $30,000,000 S..t plant on a hill the former dithering Council stuck us with!

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    OK -so “if” I am understanding the last couple of comments correctly, there is a concern about the quality of Picton’s water supply and that the cost of this water is more than what hydro costs. So what are people going to do about this situation – nothing?? Next year is both a municipal and provincial election year – now is the time to start organizing to apply pressure to both levels of government to improve a lot of things – including Picton’s water supply. Plus the Feds have infrastructure dollars – has anyone at Shore hall demanded some of it?

  9. Emily says:

    Salt would be the least of my concerns regarding the quality of Picton water.

  10. Gary says:

    Dennis, very few people drink Picton water. That being said this month the water cost more than hydro.

  11. Dennis Fox says:

    I did read through the link that Paul Cole provided (thanks Paul) -it didn’t tell you much nor did it provide the information needed explaining just what water testing is taking place – except for lead and its impact on those less than 6 years of age. This is a typical government blurb hoping that the public don;t ask too many questions, but basically telling the public nothing – and certainly not anything to place any level of trust in.

    However, as was pointed out in an earlier comment – I’m on well water, so it is really up to those municipal water users to start pushing for more information to ensure their water quality. But let’s be clear and logical about things, what Picton Terminal is doing to Picton Harbour is a disgrace and they should be challenged at every move.

  12. Dennis Fox says:

    hockeyman – I hope you are right, but then again no one seems to be able to answer the question about the drinking water being analyzed on a regular schedule for the many things that can now be found in water. This safety measure should not require a citizens group to organize to get it done – that is the role of those government departments we pay so much for. Are they doing their job?

    As far as well water goes, I spent a lot of money to get my septic and well properly built and inspected – plus I have installed more filtering systems than anyone can imagine -and a UV system to kill the bacteria, etc… I paid many thousands out of my own pocket to ensure safe drinking water. So much for the idea that rural water is cheap – it sure isn’t. But that’s what it takes to ensure good health.

  13. hockeynan says:

    I am sure all has been done.But if not Dennis form a group to get done.Rural Wells that have farm runoffs sb a concern but u don’t hear any group complaining.What about septic systems leaching into our water?Port Picton is doing everything right!

  14. Dennis Fox says:

    The fact that something wrong has been taking place for years, doesn’t mean that it was ever right. While I am in no way wanting to create unnecessary concern – between the salt leaching into the water and the sludge now being stirred up from the bottom by these vary large ships, I have to wonder about the quality of the town’s drinking water. Does anyone know if any indepth water analysts has taken place over the last couple of years? A test not just for bacteria, but for heavy metals and chemicals should be done – has it?

  15. hockeynan says:

    How did we all survive living in the county for all these years before all groups formed to save Prince Edward County.I am so happy we have all these people to organize EVERYTHING.

  16. Chris Keen says:

    Better late than never the MOECC is doing its job!

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