Emergency Task Forces have expanded the evacuation order in Norfolk County around the gas leaks from a 400-meter exclusion zone to an 800-meter exclusion zone around the wells as they are going to be working on capping the first of the leaking wells this weekend and expect this will temporarily increase the amount of toxic gas in the air.
There still is no time-table for the second well, though a meeting is set for Thursday to discuss it.
The expanded evacuation area now includes 22 homes, an increase form the original 6, and there is no indication of when they will be allowed to return.
Affected residents can expect to receive ongoing communication directly from Norfolk County officials.
At a special meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday, people learned it could be a while before a natural gas leak in an area between Silver Hill and Langton is resolved.
The issue is over Jurisdictional conflicts.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry deal with natural gas issues, so the majority of repair work at two wells affected are out of the County’s hands.
Norfolk’s Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Malcolm Lock says that is one of the reasons why he issued an evacuation order for six residents living on Concession 10.
At the special meeting, elected officials hired a company to monitor the air-quality for hydrogen sulfide emissions.
Council also directed Mayor Charlie Luke to reach out to the MNR, local MPP Toby Barrett, and Premier Kathleen Wynne to ask for immediate action.
Work, such as capping the 1st gas leak, which happened a week and a half ago, could start by the end of the week.
No word on when repair work on the second well will take place.
At the meeting, attendees also learned that two families are not fully complying with the evacuation order, despite that the area is closed to the public due to safety concerns.
A flammable and potentially lethal gas leak has caused Norfolk County to activate its Emergency Control Group in an area between Silver Hill and Langton, Ontario; 30 km west of Port Dover.
To protect the safety of local residents, North Walsingham Concession 10 will be closed between Forestry Farm Road and East Quarterline Road until Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Through traffic will NOT be allowed. Local access will be maintained from each end. 6 homes have been evacuated as a precaution.
The leak of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas poses potential threats to human health. The gas is flammable and at high concentrations can be lethal. Only authorized staff may enter the two adjacent 400-meter exclusion zones with appropriate Personal Protection Equipment. The public is strongly advised to stay outside of this zone, including hunters, recreational users, and passers-by.
Mayor Charlie Luke has called a Special Meeting of Norfolk County Council on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, at 3:00 pm, to review the situation and provide strategic decision-making with respect to future implications. “We are asking for cooperation from the public to ensure safety,” said Mayor Charlie Luke.
Information and images from Norfolk County.