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Investigation finds no buried herbicides in County sand and gravel pit

Prince Edward County found no buried herbicides after a scientific and technical examination of the Hallowell Pickering Sand and Gravel Pit. The examination was based on information received that 20 five-gallon pails of herbicides were buried there more than 25 years ago.
“The County’s foremost concern in this examination was the safety of the drinking water that residents in the Sandy Hook area draw from a nearby aquifer. We are relieved that the thorough examination of the soil and the ground water shows no evidence of any pails or chemicals. We will continue to
monitor the ground water,” said Mayor Peter Mertens. “I have asked County staff to continue to gather information on this matter and we will ensure that the public remains informed of any relevant findings.”
The investigation, undertaken on behalf of the County by EXP Services Inc., found no evidence of any pails or chemicals. The 15-acre County-owned gravel pit is located to the west of Sandy Hook Road.
EXP Services Inc., is an technical engineering company from Kingston, with an expertise in soil and ground water scientifically-based investigations. The Ontario Ministry of the
Environment is being advised continuously of the stages of investigation and findings.
The study of the soil and ground water included electromagnetic surveys, ground penetrating radar,
soil and water sampling, test hole excavations, and installation of three ground water monitoring wells and assessment of water samples.
This types of herbicide was commonly available and used broadly by municipalities, government agencies, utilities, private citizens and others to control weeds and brush years ago; however, they were de-regulated and effectively banned in Canada in the 1980s.

FACT SHEET
Investigation Finds No Buried Herbicides in
Hallowell Pickering Sand and Gravel Pit
• Information concerning the alleged burial of 20 five-gallon pails of herbicides came to the
attention of the County of Prince Edward in July, 2011.
• A former employee of the County, now retired, brought forward the information. To protect his
privacy, the County will not reveal his name.
• The County is consulting with the Belleville office of the Ministry of the Environment, which
continues to be involved.
• After extensive examination of both soil and ground water within the 15-acre sand and gravel pit
using sophisticated equipment and employing people trained in this area of scientific investigation,
no evidence of pails or chemicals was found.
• The herbicides (2, 4, 5-T and 2, 4-D) also referred to as “Agent Orange”, were commonly available
and used domestically by both the public, utilities and private sectors, as well as individuals prior
to its being de-regulated and effectively banned in Canada.
• The County interviewed people who have knowledge of the Pickering Pit operations; however, this
did not yield any information pertaining to the situation.
• Communication with the Waring Creek Improvement Association occurred throughout the process,
concerning the allegations and indicating that as soon as relevant information arising from the
investigating became available it would be provided.
• Preliminary findings on the investigation were received on Thursday, November 10, 2011.
• EXP Services Inc. will take additional ground water samples up to the spring of 2012 from the
monitoring wells that have been installed along the downstream path of ground water from the
area.
• These wells will be kept operational to allow for ongoing monitoring.

Filed Under: Local News

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