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MRA Letter to Elected Representatives – Sept 2023

To our elected representatives:
City Councillor Amber Morley
MPP Christine Hogarth
Ontario Environment Minister David Piccini

September 11th, 2023

Subject: Impact and clean-up of chemical run-off in Mimico Creek after a six-alarm fire on August 11th, 2023 at Brenntag Canada

Dear Ms. Morley, Ms. Hogarth, and Hon. Minister Piccini,

We are writing today on behalf of the residents of the community of Mimico, regarding the spill of “sludge” into Mimico Creek from the industrial fire at Brenntag Canada one month ago and the resulting impact to the Mimico Creek, surrounding areas and local wildlife. Needless to say, Mimico Creek and Humber River are key parts of our way of life in Mimico, and we take their care very seriously.

We have heard from many residents here in Mimico who are deeply concerned about the impact of this spill and have many unanswered questions about the handling and clean-up. Most recently, there is strong concern in the community about the apparent reduction and even halt of on-site cleaning efforts at Mimico Creek in the last few days, despite large visible chemical slicks still on the water.

As a result, we are seeking information we can share with our concerned community members and neighbors regarding the spill. In particular, we would like to know:

● Key details about the spill: What pollutants were spilled in the creek? What was the magnitude of the spill?
● Long-term impacts: What potential short-term and long-term impacts can these pollutants have to our community, our waterway, and our local wildlife?
● Clean-up: Who is responsible for cleanup efforts, and what timelines and processes can we expect? Why has there been a reduction in on-site clean-up efforts in recent days?
● Accountability: What preventative mitigation protocols (i.e. emergency or “disaster” procedures) were in place at Brenntag, and why were they ineffective in this situation?
● Immediate response measures: How was “sludge” able to migrate all the way down to the creek and into the lake given that Brenntag is ~15 KM from Mimico Creek? What measures were taken to contain the spill further upstream and why did they fail?
● Future prevention: What is being done to ensure that a situation like this never occurs again? Will there be an investigation into this incident to determine how harm to waterways and wildlife could have been better mitigated?
● Community Engagement: In what ways can the community assist and support these efforts?

We also want to extend our deepest gratitude and well-wishes to all the public servants and first responders who have worked to address this crisis, put out the fires, and conduct the cleanup. We are looking forward to working together with them and with you to restore and protect our
beautiful waterways.

Warm regards,

Rozhen Asrani & Tim Ellis
On behalf of the Mimico Residents Association

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