The five-member independent panel will determine if the water from private wells in Chatham-Kent is safe for consumption.
“Our government made a promise to strike this panel,” said McNaughton, MPP for nearby Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. “Today we are fulfilling that promise.”
The panel will consist of four toxicologists and one local geologist. All members are independent from government and are experienced toxicology professionals who have served on advisory committees, McNaughton said.
- Dr. Keith Benn, PhD – A local geologist and past professor of geology at University of Ottawa.
- Dr. Glenn Ferguson, PhD, QPRA – An environmental health scientist with 25 years' experience in toxicology, epidemiology, and human health risk assessment.
- Dr. Shelley A. Harris, PhD – An epidemiologist and associate professor at University of Toronto who specializes in exposure measurement.
- Dr. Ron Brecher, PhD – A specialist in toxicology, risk assessment and risk communication.
- Mark Chappel, MSc, DABT – A toxicologist with significant experience in supervising and managing comprehensive toxicity studies.
"People can trust the results this independent panel delivers," McNaughton said.
On June 5, NDP MPP for Essex Taras Natyshack held a news conference at Queen’s Park with representatives of families that struggle to use contaminated water wells. Also speaking at the news conference were Matt Wilson, president of the Ontario Ground Water Association; Kevin Jakubec, co-founder of citizen activist group Water Wells First; and Joel Gagnon, head of the heavy metals lab at the Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research, who after carrying out a preliminary investigation proposed multiple studies of the region’s geology in relation to wind turbine development patterns.
For more information about the well-water issues in Chatham-Kent, read the Summer edition of Ground Water Canada.