Mired In Gook, Jim Howlett in the News


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Beach resident poised to sue Port Authority
The Hamilton Sun
July 24, 2005
JIM HOWLETT has had enough.
The president of the Hamilton Beach Preservation Committee says if the Hamilton Port Authority doesn't clean up its act soon he will take action- legal action.
Howlett met with Hamilton Central MP David Christopherson, to look at ways to get the port authority to clean up what he says is a toxic mess being dumped into Hamilton Harbour on a regular basis.
A confined disposal facility (CDF) on Eastport Dr. is used by the Hamilton Port Authority for harbour dredging.
A report done by McMaster University last fall showed elevated levels of contaminants, including copper, benzo(a)pyrene and PCBs. The port authority says the sludge is completely contained in the CDF.
Howlett wants to take the port authority to task by forcing it to clean up its disposal sites and stop putting the material from the dredgings into containment cells that are so close to residential neighbourhoods.
"They need to make sure there aren't carcinogens leaking into the water," he said.
He said the port authority also needs to look into other methods of treating the sludge they pull from the harbour.
"If we're going to treat dredgate we can't do it the same way we did 50 or 100 years ago," he said. "We need to find new ways to treat it."
Howlett said he has already contacted an environmental lawyer and' will proceed with charges if the port authority doesn't do anything before Labour Day. Howlett said he and Christopherson will host some public meetings in the coming weeks to discuss the situation and are hoping city councilors will also attend.
"At first glance any reasonable person would have reason to be concerned," said Christopherson.
He said there are enough public health concerns to look into the matter. He said his role will be to bring in high level officials to investigate the matter and either quell concerns if everything checks out or step in if concerns turn out to be valid.
"I see this as an ongoing issue and I intend to stay attached to it," Christopherson said.
Jeff Brookfield, spokesperson for the Hamilton Port Authority, said it has been in contact with Environment Canada about checking its dikes to make sure they are functioning properly.
"I'm not sure that it will happen this year," he said, "but if not we'll budget it for 2006."

Brookfield said the port authority is also working on an initiative to clean up Sherman Inlet (nested between Piers 15 and 16) over the next year. He said the project was sparked by Hamilton's Remedial Action Plan to clean up the
harbour and the port authority will work along side the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Conservation Authority and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, among others. The group will look into the contaminant intake by waterfowl and wildlife in the bay and the port authority is looking to install a trail system around the Inlet.
"If things work out we could see something next year," Brookfield said.
Brookfield said the group will look at issues with contamination and whether it exists in the inlet. Howlett said the port authority is to blame for problems at Sherman Inlet.
"They're the reason Sherman Inlet needs restoration," he said.

THE HAMILTON Port Authority says it plans to work closely with the city and other groups to return the Sherman Inlet to its natural state. Jim Howlett says the port authority is the reason for the mess.
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