In January 1999, the Ministry of the Environment initiated a detailed study of the Moira River system. The purpose of the study was to:
In the first phase, all known studies of the river were examined and gaps in information identified. Following this review, a detailed study design was created. Phase 1 was completed in February 1999 by consultants B.W. Kilgour, Water Systems Analysts, and C. Portt and Associates, both from Guelph, and D.G. Dixon of the University of Waterloo.
Golder Associates, in partnership with Global Tox International Consultants Inc., carried out the second phase of the Moira River, which involved sampling, analysis, and preparation of the final report. Golder Associates has extensive expertise and experience in surface water assessment, particularly in relation to impacts from the mining sector. Global Tox specializes in assessing the data from samples collected to determine the likelihood of human health risk.
The draft report was reviewed by leading independent experts in Canada and the U.S., and was released for public consultation in August 2000.
The study found that despite the presence of historical contamination in the river system, there is no adverse effect on acquatic organisms, and little or no health concern for residents.
On August 26, 2000, the ministry held an open house in Madoc to release the results of the draft Moira River. Ministry staff, expert consultants and representatives from the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit were available to explain the results of the study and answer questions. About 50 people attended and participated in the one hour presentation and follow-up question and answer session.
The August 26th open house marked the beginning of a month-long period of public consultation on the draft Moira River. Information packages were sent to over 600 residents and cottagers in the Moira River watershed.
The draft Summary Report and supporting material were posted on the ministry's Web site. Copies were also sent to local municipal offices and public libraries for reference.
All comments were carefully reviewed and considered by the Moira River Steering Committee before the report was finalized. The final report, released in April 2001, reflects changes made as a result of public input.