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Ministry ponders prosecution in response to Algoma oil spill

Between 1,000 litres and 1,250 litres of lubricant leaked on June 9
Crews lay a boom in the water as response to an oil spill on the St. Marys River on June 9, 2022.

Now that cleanup efforts have concluded, the Ministry of the Environment is determining whether prosecution is warranted for Algoma Steel in response to an oil spill that started June 9 on the St. Marys River.

"The ministry is requiring that Algoma Steel submit a report that outlines the cause of the spill, impacts and preventative measures to prevent a re-occurrence," said Gary Wheeler, spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

An investigation into possible prosecution was initiated by the ministry.

"At this point commenting on the investigation would be inappropriate," said Wheeler.

In the meantime, Echo Bay's water intake at Lake George continues to be turned off as a precaution.

"In the interim, the community will continue to haul water from Bruce Mines and Sault Ste. Marie," said Wheeler.

"Algoma Steel continued monitoring the area of the intake over the weekend and we are collecting additional samples today and tomorrow, which will be analyzed at our laboratory," said Wheeler. "We are comparing the results to the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards."

Results of the water testing will be reviewed with Algoma Public Health to determine next steps.

A spokesperson for APH declined to comment for this article, citing the ministry taking the lead on the water testing.

— SooToday