It has been more than 40 years since Japanese experts discovered the extent of the mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows, Ontario. Now, however, the Ontario government is finally announcing its steps to remedy the situation.  


The mercury, which was discovered to be the result of chemical dumping done by the Dryden paper mill between 1962 and 1970, has been estimated to affect approximately 90% of Grassy Narrows residents, although only 30% receive any type of disability compensation for their poisoning symptoms.


The cleanup, which First Nations have been demanding for over 40 years, has created concerns for critics such as Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who has questioned whether the process may actually have the effect of spreading the contamination.  

Now, scientist John Rudd will be in charge of determining what methods will be used in the different contaminated areas along the river. The old mill site will also be undergoing an assessment in order to determine whether the area is “an ongoing source of mercury”, and if so, what can be done to stop to stop it from contaminating the remainder of the English-Wabigoon River system. They province has vowed that they will be working closely alongside First Nations throughout the entire remediation process.  


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