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No reason for concern after soil testing in St. Boniface: Province

Rochelle Squires, Matt Allard, Dr. Francis Zvomuya and Don Labossiere released the province's findings after soil testing was conducted in St. Boniface.
Rochelle Squires, Matt Allard, Dr. Francis Zvomuya and Don Labossiere released the province's findings after soil testing was conducted in St. Boniface. Randall Paull / Global News

Soil testing done by the University of Manitoba and the province show there’s no reason for concern over contaminants in St. Boniface.

Initial testing done in the summer showed increased levels of lead, zinc and copper, in some spots they were 15 times the recommended levels.

The province conducted a more extensive round of testing and released their findings Monday morning. In six of the eight sites tested, the results were within suggested guidelines. The other two were beyond recommended guidelines but lay within the industrial park.

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“Of the other two sites, one is located within the St. Boniface Industrial Park where there are known impacts and the second is adjacent to an active, impacted site where lead and copper may have migrated,” Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sustainable Development said.

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“Finding contaminants in the industrial park is not a surprise and I would like to reiterate public risk is very low.”

The province said simply washing your fruit and vegetables to reduce risk would help.

The province will be conducting more testing in the area with a focus on air quality.

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“We’re going to be starting monitoring for particulate in the neighbourhood starting next month,” Don Labossiere with Manitoba Sustainable Development said. “Just to get a better handle as to what the situation is. Particulate is another thing that is not unique to an industrial park but I think we also want to determine what the levels are, whether there’s a level of concern.”