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Sudbury Soils Study
Posted January 20, 2005 9:30:00 AM


SUDBURY – The SARA Group undertaking the Sudbury Soils Study has provided a summary of the results of a one-year-long program monitoring metal levels in outdoor air at 10 sites throughout the Greater Sudbury Area. These results, which show no unacceptable risks from metals in the air, were presented to the Technical Committee for the study at their monthly meeting last week, and to the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) for the study at their meeting yesterday.

Samples collected at each of the 10 sites were compared to Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) ambient air quality criteria. Concentrations of all the chemicals of concern for the study (arsenic, cobalt, copper, lead, nickel and selenium) were low, with levels well below within the MOE criteria. Some higher levels were seen at a site in the west end, near a slag pile, but these levels were still well below within the provincial health protection criteria.

“We are very pleased with these results. This is good news for the communities, particularly that metal levels in Sudbury air are well below within the provincial air quality criteria,”, says said Dr. Chris Wren, director of the SARA Group. “Determining how residents are exposed to metals in their environment is an important part of the Sudbury Soils Study, and the air monitoring study results are critical to this understanding.”

The monitoring stations were located in Copper Cliff, Falconbridge, Coniston, Garson, Hanmer, Skead, Walden, West End (Travers Street), and South End (Algonquin Public School). These sites were chosen because of proximity to residences, schools, agricultural areas, and smelting operations. A control site at Windy Lake Provincial Park was also included for comparison, to provide information on air quality conditions that are not affected by smelting operations.

An update on the drinking water and indoor dust surveys was also provided by Shawna Peddle, public consultation coordinator for the Sudbury Soils Study, at the PAC meeting last night. The SARA Group reported that participation by Sudbury area residents has been very positive to date.

A Community Information Session for the Sudbury Soils Study will be held February 9, 2005 from 3:00-9:00 pm at the Inco Cavern, Science North. Members of the public are encouraged to attend this important event.

The next Technical Committee meetings will be held Thursday, February 10, and Thursday, March 10, 2005, with public sessions from 9:30 to 10:30 am, in Boardroom C/D of the Provincial Building, 199 Larch Street. The next Public Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2005, with location still to be determined. Members of the public who wish to make a presentation and would like consideration on the agenda of TC and PAC meetings are asked to contact John Hogenbirk, PAC Chair, at 705-675-1151, ext. 3435 or via e-mail at, or the SARA Group at 1-866-315-0228 or via e-mail at

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For more information, contact:

For more information please contact
SARA Group director, Chris Wren at
1-519-766-1039 or 1-866-315-0228.

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