Well owners in Dover and Chatham township now have a medical geologist in their corner in their fight to find out if their water contaminated with sediment is harmful to their health.
At a press conference last week at the home of Christine Burke, medical geologist Heather Gingerich said she has reported her findings of a “chemical assault on the people drinking this well water” to her contacts at the United Nations in the role of special rapporteur. A special rapporteur is an investigator who reports to a deliberative body.
“We’re not past the point of no return here. I do believe this situation is salvageable,” Gingerich said. “I have an ethical as well as a moral responsibility to do what I can to sound the alarm.”
Gingerich phoned Chatham-Kent police, the OPP and the RCMP to open an official file on the contamination by sediment of wells to create an incident report “so it can’t be smothered at the lower tier.”
“This is textbook of what we expect to see at The Hague (international court) in terms of who is responsible for not responding appropriately and who is responsible for terrorizing the community when really they are just saying we need your help, we need you to protect us, because something is going on,” Gingerich said.
She added that she can find no evidence of proper protocol being followed regarding the complaints of well owners.
The Green Energy Act allows wind farm companies to come into communities whether they were willing or not to make deals with landowners to put up industrial wind turbines.
Gingerich said all the officials involved, from the municipality to the medical officer health to the province, bear responsibility for the well water issue to reach the point it has now.
“What I’m saying is that none of this is possible without something very, very wrong going wrong at the municipal level,” Gingerich said.
Gingerich confirmed that the particles of shale can “de-couple” from the toxic heavy metals adhered to them in stomach acid, which is a pH of 1 to 3, contrary to what medical officer of health Dr. David Colby has said about the sediment in the water being safe to drink.
“Because this is an assault, this is a chemical assault on whoever is drinking this water,” Gingerich stated. “To have a medical officer state publicly that it’s safe for consumption boggles my mind, and I cannot understand, post-Walkerton, how that can happen and there are no consequences.”
Gingerich admitted the United Nations may do nothing, but said it is up to the people to keep raising the alarm and holding the government and municipal officials accountable for inaction on the well water complaints.
When asked about how the Ministry of the Environment said their testing shows the water is safe to drink, backed up by Colby, Gingerich said she doesn’t understand how their testing only certain parameters can be considered a comprehensive investigation.
“The Ministry of the Environment that has no medical officers anywhere in the ministry, yet is somehow diagnosing if you do or don’t have a problem; I’m confused,” she noted.