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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Fire sparks environmental concerns

Fuel from the fire that destroyed or damaged 34 cars parked in a dry field bordering Niagara Stone Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake Sunday “probably didn't make it” into the watercourse used by farmers for irrigation, councillors heard Monday.

Addressing Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting, Brett Ruck, the Town's supervisor of environmental services, irrigation and drainage, said following the fire, which damaged fuel tanks and fuel lines of 20 of the 34 cars, staff was concerned about the possible contamination of a nearby drain which is part of the Town's irrigation system.

Ruck said he took a look at the sub-drainage in the field Monday, expecting if there was a drainage system, it would be old – the property owner wasn't sure himself what was under the surface.

What they discovered was plastic sub-drainage pipes, with enough mud and debris built up over years to contain any contaminated water in the pipes and “probably” keep it out of the municipal drain, Ruck said.

But just to be safe, he told councillors, the Town brought in a company that would use booms to absorb any possibly contaminated water before it reached the drain, and water samples were taken for testing.

He also spoke to farmers who use that drain for irrigation, asking them to hold off irrigating until he gets answers on the water quality.

“As far as we're concerned, we've done our part. Now it's up to the land owners to do their part” if any soil remediation is necessary, he said.

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