CNL sewage issue “troubling”: KFN

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The Algonquin community challenging the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) at Chalk River says the issue of “non-compliant” discharges from the labs’ sewage treatment plant raises “concerns” about the site’s impact on the Ottawa River watershed and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ “transparency and accountablility.”

CNL first announced at the end of March that “routine sampling” of effluent (treated discharge) from the sewage plant on the Chalk River site showed some results were “non-compliant with requirements.”

In an update April 24, CNL said that on discovering the issue, it had “notified all relevant regulatory agencies and initiated an investigation to identify the cause of the disruption.”

“CNL remains fully committed to the protection of the environment and continues to work diligently to bring the effluent back into compliance with provincial standards,” the company said.

But in an open letter Tuesday morning, Chief Lance Haymond said CNL’s announcement is “troubling, particularly given the sensitive environmental context of the Ottawa River watershed, which holds immense spiritual and cultural significance for our communities on the unceded territory of Kebaowek First Nation.”

“It is shocking and unacceptable that this non-compliance was first discovered by CNL in February 2024, yet the public is still not being informed about which contaminants are exceeding limits, the extent of the exceedance, and whether any of them are radioactive,” Haymond added…

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