April 11, 2005
I am writing with regard to the recent sewage dumps by the City of Kingston. As you know, we have corresponded with your office in the past about our concerns. Most recently, you wrote on April 16, 2004 stating that your office was satisfied with the progress being made by the City of Kingston with improvements to their sewage infrastructure. In light of recent events, we feel more steps need to be taken.
First, we understand from the Kingston Whig-Standard that the Investigations Branch has been called in to investigate the raw sewage washing ashore on Wolfe Island. Would you kindly send the name and contact information for the lead investigator on this file to Waterkeeper?s attention, so that we can forward our evidence brief to him/her?
Second, we have grave concerns that downstream communities are not being adequately or fairly protected from sewage bypasses in the Kingston area. Waterkeeper requests that you, as Director for the Eastern Region, issue an order that requires the City of Kingston to do the following three things for every future bypass:
1. Notify downstream communities prior to bypassing sewage into waterways.
2. Monitor every bypass and publicize the length of the bypass, the quantity of sewage discharged, the direction and size of the plume, the level of contamination present in the bypass (eg, E. coli concentrations), and other similar data.
3. Ensure that every waterway is cleaned up after being exposed to a bypass.
We thank you for your prompt attention to the matter. I look forward to your reply.
Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Environment
Ms. Virginia West, Deputy Minister of Environment
Mr. John Steele, Communications Branch, Ministry of Environment
Ms. Jennifer Pritchett, Kingston Whig-Standard