Public health update: Canadian National train derailment north of Gogama, March 7, 2015

The Sudbury & District Health Unit has received a number of inquiries about the seasonal use of Minisinakwa Lake in the wake of the March 7, 2015 train derailment. The following public health comments (May 22, 2015) on the use of Minisanakwa Lake are based on information known to the Health Unit to date.

RE: Public Health Update regarding Canadian National train derailment which occurred north of Gogama on March 7, 2015.

Environmental sampling is ongoing and the Sudbury & District Health Unit continues to review results as they are reported and will share updates with the public as new information becomes available.

The Drinking Water Advisory issued on March 7, 2015 by the Sudbury & District Health Unit for residents drawing their drinking water directly from Minisinakwa Lake remains in effect. Residents obtaining their water from the Gogama Water System are not affected by this Drinking Water Advisory. The Sudbury & District Health Unit continues to assess surface water sampling data and will notify residents once the Drinking Water Advisory has been lifted.

Water sampling data reported to date does not indicate that swimming or other recreational activities in Minisinakwa Lake pose a health concern.

In response to queries about fish consumption, the Sudbury & District Health Unit continues to recommend that residents follow the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Guide to Eating Ontario Fish. Testing of fish is ongoing and results so far are reassuring. Petroleum products in trace quantities are not known to cause any immediate health risk and they can be detected by smell and taste at extremely low levels.

The Health Unit continues to work in close collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Environment Canada and Health Canada. The public will be informed if there are any changes in public health recommendations.

For additional information, please contact the Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 398.

This item was last modified on October 7, 2015