Medical geologist ‘sounds alarm’

May 16 • Feature Story, Local News2 Comments on Medical geologist ‘sounds alarm’


Medical geologist Heather Gingerich, centre, has weighed in on the concerns of area well owners regarding contamination of their wells after turbine construction began. Gingerich, who has her Masters in medical geology, and is working on her doctorate, said she will be doing her doctoral thesis on the well water situation in Dover and Chatham township.

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.



2 Responses to Medical geologist ‘sounds alarm’

  1. Brenda says:

    Neither the Municipality of Chatham Kent..nor the Ministry of Environment have put forth any effort into helping the community affected by the turbine construction. It is absolutely appalling that they can sit there and tell the people who have black water their water is safe to drink.. Especially considering there hasnt been any health investigation conducted at these homes. Shameful! Thank goodness Heather Gingerich has come to help. Something needs to be done. Families cant bathe their children or cook food in water containinf black shape.

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