Earlier this summer, an Ontario Ministry of the Environment study found high levels of PCB and cadmium in Southern Ontario’s Twelve Mile Creek – which is situated next to the old GM plant in St. Catharines. Local residents expressed concern over the toxic waste spillage but were unsurprised at the pollution given that the old GM plant, which closed down in 2010, had been an industrial site for over 100 years.
Now a local politician, St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens, is calling for something to do be done about the high levels of PCB and cadmium leaking into the creek. According to local paper The Welland Tribune, Stevens penned a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford this week asking his team to take action and clean up the area before the situation gets any worse.
“The St. Catharines neighbourhoods and residents across the region are alarmed and outraged to learn of potential toxic materials leaving this site, and that it has taken so long to address,” Stevens wrote in the letter. “I join my constituents in requesting that the province act on containing potential toxic materials leaking out into the air and water and take all precautions necessary, to ensure compliance on the site.”
Stevens also said the province of Ontario has known about the toxic waste spilling from the site since at least February, months before the Ministry of the Environment study was published, but it has still not done anything about it.
“We need the province and the minister to act now,” she said. “They’ve been dragging their feet long enough.”
The former GM plant is no longer in control of the Detroit-based automaker. After the facility shut down in 2010, it was sold to asset recovery company Bayshore Group, which began demolishing it in 2010. The site currently sits partially dismantled, with an abundance of concrete rubble and other debris still waiting to be cleared away.
This plant is not to be confused with the active GM St. Catharines propulsion plant, which is still up and running and employs roughly 1,192 employees. That facility builds critical GM powertrain components, including certain Small Block V8 engines and automatic transmissions, among more.