Toxic well capped near Lang­ton

Tillsonburg News - - NEWS - Monte Son­nen­berg

The first step in con­trol­ling a toxic gas leak in Sil­ver hill has been deemed a suc­cess.

Last week, a con­trac­tor hired by the prov­ince set to work plug­ging an old nat­u­ral gas well on north Wals­ing­ham road 10 that was emit­ting high lev­els of hy­dro­gen sul­phide gas.

Tues­day af­ter­noon, nor­folk County re­ported that the cap­ping ef­fort was an ap­par­ent suc­cess. As a re­sult, three of six house­holds un­der evac­u­a­tion or­ders have been al­lowed to re­turn.

The Min­istry of nat­u­ral re­sources & Forestry de­clared the cap­ping ef­fort com­plete on Sun­day.

“Of­fi­cials mon­i­tored read­ings near the well for 48 hours after com­pli­ance,” nor­folk County said in a news re­lease.

“To­day, the Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of health (Dr. Mal­colm Lock) re­viewed the read­ings in a 400me­tre ra­dius around (the well) and will al­low three res­i­dences to re­turn home.”

A sec­tion of north Wals­ing­ham road 10 mea­sur­ing about 800 me­tres was bar­ri­caded last month after ab­nor­mally high lev­els of toxic gas were de­tected in the area. With one of the two of­fend­ing wells capped, the ex­clu­sion zone has been re­duced to about 400 me­tres.

A sec­ond well con­tin­ues to emit ab­nor­mally high lev­els of hy­dro­gen sul­phide gas. As a re­sult, three res­i­dences in the area re­main un­der evac­u­a­tion or­ders.

nor­folk County says the ex­clu­sion zone will re­main in place un­til MnrF suc­cess­fully caps the sec­ond well.

hy­dro­gen sul­phide gas is a byprod­uct of nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion. It is toxic, cor­ro­sive, com­bustible and smells like rot­ten eggs.

The well that re­mains un­capped is lo­cated on the prop­erty of Ian and Kim grant. The grants re­ported in re­cent weeks that the foul smell of nat­u­ral gas has been ev­i­dent on their prop­erty off and on for the past two years.

nor­folk County took pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures last month after the grants brought the sit­u­a­tion to the at­ten­tion of the haldimand-nor­folk health unit. The grants be­gan to worry about pos­si­ble health ef­fects after metal ob­jects on their prop­erty be­gan to dis­colour.

nor­folk Mayor Char­lie Luke has shared the county’s con­cerns about gas wells in the Sil­ver hill area with MnrF, premier Kath­leen Wynne and lo­cal Mpp Toby bar­rett.

Any­one who be­lieves they may have a toxic gas leak on their prop­erty is en­cour­aged to con­tact the Min­istry of the en­vi­ron­ment’s Spills Ac­tion Cen­tre at 1-800268-6060 or 1-416-325-3000. MSon­nen­berg@post­media.com

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