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Update on Attawapiskat Hospital

The Attawapiskat Hospital is facing some issues with reopening its doors to patients.

A second round of testing has been done after the diesel spill. The carcinogenic Benzine was still found in the air, and although the levels were below residential standard, they are too high for industrial standards.

A third round of tests will be carried out before any further action can be discussed.

Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson says the he will be in talks with the province, as they should be helping to fund the clean up of the spill.

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*Full update, from Gilles Bisson’s Facebook page*

We had an all day meeting Wednesday in Attawapiskat with Chief Spence and her council along with folks from Weeneebayko Hospital to discuss current status of the fuel spill under the hospital.

The second round of air quality tests found Benzine levels to be above allowable residential standards but bellow the industrial standards. Benzine as we know is a known carcinogen and what was clear at this meeting is no one wants to put patients or staff at risk. The hospital remains closed for the time being.

The good news is that this second round of testings did show that benzine levels are decreasing which shows what is being done to manage the air quality is having a positive effect. Weeneebayko has ordered that a third round of testing to be carried out. Once the testing is done we will meet again to review the data and decide where to go from there.

We have set up an ad-hock working group to deal with the larger issue of cleaning the diesel spill under hospital. What makes the clean up difficult and expensive is that there are pre existing diesel spills in the hospital area and these will need to be dealt with at the same time.

We will need to move the fill needed to replace the contaminated soils as part of clean up. What make things complicated is winter is the only time the community can get access to the sites were the proper fill is located. Should we not be able to get the fill this winter we will be unable to carry out the work till next winter.

As this is a provincial hospital on provincial lands we need the province to provide funding for the clean up. I will be contacting the minister directly so as to ask for his support in getting this done

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