February 2008 Meeting

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#1
The Beach Council Meeting scheduled for next month is an important one, Dr. George Sorger from McMaster will be reporting new results from the tests he has done on the Eastport Dr confined disposal facilities. This issue has been ongoing now for a couple years but the Hamilton Port Authority refuse to accept that these cells, which are directly conected to the Beach Strip, are toxic.
For more info-

http://hamiltonbeachcommunity.com/forum/showthread.php?t=329

The meeting will take place at the Hamilton Beach Rescue Unit hall.
316 Beach Blvd at 7pm
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#3
Mac prof, HPA disagree on toxicity of pond

Posted with permission from the Hamilton Spectator

The Hamilton Spectator
(Feb 8, 2008)
McMaster University professor emeritus George Sorger says water in an Eastport pond where the Hamilton Port Authority dumps material dredged off the harbour bottom is dangerously toxic to wildlife, especially diving ducks feeding in the water.

The port authority, on the other hand, challenges the test results on which Sorger bases his assessment of toxicity.

The issue isn't new; it's been debated for several years. As a result, Sorger recently tested water from the confined disposal area, or CDF, and water outside in the bay. He told the Hamilton Beach Preservation Committee this week that CDF water was more toxic to daphnia or water fleas.

Marilyn Baxter, environmental manager for the port authority, says Sorger concentrated the samples that killed fleas, that unconcentrated CDF water was no more toxic than the bay water. Calling the approach novel, Baxter suggested Sorger discuss it with Environment Canada. She says an independent consultant found little difference between bay water and CDF water.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#4
Port authority claims don't hold water, scientist says

Richard Leitner
Stoney Creek News.
Published on Feb 15, 2008

A McMaster University microbiologist says recent tests at an open-water containment cell for harbour dredgings show it's far more toxic to birds and other wildlife than the Hamilton Port Authority claims.

Dr. George Sorger said water samples taken from the so-called "confined-disposal facility" at Pier 27 killed most daphnia fleas within half an hour - and all within three hours - when evaporated to one-tenth their volume.

By contrast, daphnia fleas in bay water samples, which were similarly evaporated were all alive 24 hours later, he said.

Evaporating the samples to three-quarters of their volume produced similar results.

The daphnia fleas -- a standard organism for toxicity testing -- died twitching, suggesting the presence of toxins that damage nerves, Dr. Sorger said.

"The CDF stuff is really much more toxic," he said in a presentation of his findings to the Hamilton Beach Preservation Committee

"There is a real imperative here to go into this further and find out, what is this toxicity and even more, is that CDF leaking?"

The test results are the latest salvo in an ongoing dispute over the Eastport Drive CDF, a popular resting spot for migratory birds.

Hamilton Beach residents have also long expressed concern the site may be leaking toward their properties.

Dr. Sorger said the port authority's testing has found elevated levels of some toxins, including lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Levels were highest by the dike wall separating the CDF from the rest of the bay.

But he said the federal agency continues to "spin" the data by insisting there is little difference between the bay and CDF water.

"They seem to choose the data they like and ignore the data they don't like," Dr. Sorger said.

"The data are very clear. It's a question of, this is so and you can't deny it."

But Marilyn Baxter, the port authority's environmental manager, said she believes Dr. Sorger's tests confirm the CDF's water isn't a problem when not evaporated.

Only a couple of daphnia fleas died on those samples, she noted. None died in the bay samples, while one died in a control sample of clean water.

"Artificially concentrating the CDF water sample, like a thousand times in some cases, that doesn't represent the actual water quality conditions at the site," Ms. Baxter said.

"The unconcentrated or just regular CDF water samples have about the same low mortality rate as the Hamilton Harbour samples, so that shows that the CDF water and bay water results are the same as the controls," she said.

"So the CDF water is fine for water fleas and for wildlife."

As for the port authority's tests, Ms. Baxter said results were "about the same" and typical for an industrial, urbanized area.

Dredgings are capped with clean fill and there shouldn't be a concern even if the CDF is leaking, she said.

"Our testing that we did shows that the water's fine and it compares to Hamilton Harbour, so we feel that the testing proves our point that the CDF is working as it should."

But Dr. Sorger said that view ignores both the data and the fact such toxins become more concentrated as they move up the food chain.

"Water birds go in there not, obviously, aware there's a problem," he said.

"The ultimate predator is the one that's going to have the highest concentration in its fat, and that's not good for anybody."
 
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