The City of Kingston announced last week that they once again knowingly dumped untreated, raw sewage directly into Lake Ontario. The city claimed that May's near record levels of precipitation overwhelmed the system, and that the dumping was necessary to prevent sewage from backing-up into homes and businesses.
This is not the first time that the city has knowingly dumped raw sewage into our lake. In November 2001, the city of Kingston pumped sewage directly into the Lake for 25 hours, and during July, August and September of 2001, raw sewage flowed into the Cataraqui River for ten straight weeks before the problem was fixed.
Provincial officials at the Ministry of Energy and the Environment are aware of each spill, but no charges have been laid in any of the three cases listed above. As I?ve thought about our discovery of e-coli levels in the Cataraqui River that were 1,500 times the acceptable limit and have read the emotional letters written by local residents to The Whig, I realize the importance of watchdogs like LOK and Janet and Doug Fletcher: without eyes and ears all around the lake and without people to pressure the city, make the public aware of pollution crimes, perform investigations, and enforce environmental laws, who would be protecting our public trust?
Great Lakes Navigational Study
Last week in the Wolfe Island log, I shared the results of Eric's and my trip to Ogdensburg. We went to meet with the US Army Corps of Engineers and discuss the adverse economic and environmental and impacts of recommendations listed in their Great Lakes Navigational System Review Study. I am pleased to report that Canada?s Environmental Assessment Agency responded to a letter from LOK outlining our concerns, and has requested a meeting with myself and Lakekeeper Mark Mattson on May 31st. Mark and I are looking forward to sitting down with a representative from the EAA to discuss the issues at hand. We at LOK are also looking forward to receiving responses from the other agencies and will post their responses to this page as soon as they are available.
The Angus Bruce hits the water
The brightest note of the week? The sun has returned to Kingston and the islands, and this week we were able to get our boat, the Angus Bruce into the water. Colin Mosier and I went on a tour of the island, and the boat handled very well.