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CANADA'S CHEMICAL VALLEY

October 4, 2007

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

THE REPORT - October 4, 2007

  • The report describes air pollution from industrial faculties within 25 kilometres of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and city of Sarnia

  • It uses data from Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), the US Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and Canada's federal greenhouse gas-reporting program for the period of 2002-2005

  • The report discusses three different types of air pollution:

    • Criteria air contaminants associated with acid rain, smog, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and premature death;

    • Toxic pollutants associated with environmental contamination, cancer and reproductive and developmental disorders among humans; and

    • Greenhouse gases associated with climate change.

CANADA'S CHEMICAL VALLEY

  • The Sarnia area is one of the most heavily industrialized in Canada, accounting for more than 40% of Canada's total chemical industry

  • There are 62 industrial facilities within 25 kilometres of the Aamjiwnaang reserve and city of Sarnia, including 46 NPRI facilities

  • Sarnia is home to three of the top ten air polluters in Ontario from 2005: Ontario Power Generation’s Lambton Generating Station, ranked #3, Imperial Oil’s Sarnia Refinery ranked #6 and Shell Canada’s Sarnia Manufacturing Centre, ranked #10

  • The area also has 8 additional facilities that released over 1 million kilograms of combined air releases: Suncor Energy Products Sarnia Refinery, Cabot Canada plant, NOVA Chemicals Corunna Site, Fibrex Installations Sarnia Plant, Transalta Energy Sarnia Regional Cogeneration Plant, Terra International Canada Terra Nitrogen Plant, and Lanxess East Plant

AIR EMISSIONS

  • The total amount of air pollution released from NPRI industrial sources within 25 km of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in 2005 was 131,992,100 kg. This includes criteria air contaminants (without volatile organic compounds) associated with smog and toxic contaminants, but does not include greenhouse gases.

  • The total amount of greenhouse gases emitted from Sarnia NPRI facilities in 2005 was 16.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents -- more than one fifth of Ontario’s total industrial greenhouse gas emissions and more than the Province of British Columbia

  • The 16 U.S. facilities listed under the TRI released 1.9 million kilograms of air pollutants in 2005, including huge amounts of toluene, a known reproductive and developmental toxicant, and mercury

  • Other air pollutants released include sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, total particulate matter, particulate matter and toxic chemicals such as dioxins and furans, mercury, toluene

SARNIA AND AAMJIWNAANG FIRST NATION

  • The City of Sarnia, Ontario is situated at the south end of Lake Huron on the east side of the St. Clair River in Lambton County and has a population of approximately 71,000

  • The Aamjiwnaang First Nation reserve is at the south end of Sarnia and is home to about 850 people. Another 1,100 reserve members live off the reserve. About one quarter of the band members are children

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