Sudbury ferrochrome smelter protest
Published Tuesday, June 26, 2018 12:43PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 26, 2018 7:06PM EDT
The location for a new Ring of Fire ferrochrome smelter has not been determined yet, but a Sudbury group opposed to the idea of one being built in their city is staging an information protest Tuesday, talking about possible pollution in a local river.
Kate Kearney is a member of the group 'No Ferrochrome Sudbury.'
The group wants Noront Resources to guarantee clean drinking water if they decide to build the smelter in the Sudbury area.
"The Wahnapitae water intake provides 60% of Sudburians with their household drinking water, and that includes all of New Sudbury, Garson, Wahnapitae, and Coniston. So, we wanted to draw attention to that issue because the proposed site for the ferrochrome smelter sits less than 4 kilometres away from here." said Kearney.
City of Greater Sudbury is supporting the proposed smelter location and Mayor Brian Bigger is offering reassurances on environmental concerns.
"There are environmental processes and there's an entire five-year process of permitting that the chosen community will go through." said Bigger.
In a release, the group says hexavalent chromium, or Cr(VI), is expected to be released into the natural environment directly as a by-product of ferrochrome smelting, and they say it's a carcinogen.
Frank Schieman is a concerned citizen.
"I know our city says it's going to produce maybe 2-300 jobs, but what's more important? Our health is more important. You’re going to have people dying of cancer. It doesn't make sense. So, people open up your eyes." said Schieman.
"I can say one thing for sure, as mayor, I would never put our citizens in harm's way." said Bigger.
Coniston is the Sudbury-area location that was preferred by the city in its presentation to Noront Resources.
A decision on where the new smelter will be built is expected this summer.
The smelter would provide about 400 jobs.