A Picton citizens’ group says salt being stored at the Picton Bay Terminal is damaging the environment.
The “Save Picton Bay” group claims the salt is being improperly stored and is leaching into the bay.
Resident Bob Bird lives across the bay from the Picton Bay Terminal, where thousands of tons of salt are delivered by ship and stored.
He says some residents are now testing their wells for salt contamination.
“Salt has washed onto their property and killed their trees and in one case, it’s also killed a pond,” he said.
Salt isn’t the only concern for members of “Save Picton Bay,” as treasurer David Sutherland says there is an engineering recommendation to move Picton’s water intake closer to the terminals.
“They’ve yet to answer our questions about the turbulence created by the shipping stirring up bay bottom sediments which are analyzed to have both arsenic and mercury in them,” Sutherland said.
Ben Doornekamp owns the Picton Bay Terminal and says they are working on a long-term solution to drastically reduce the amount of salt getting into the water by building a new dry storage area.
“We came up with the idea of using a grinder grind out the rock about 80 feet wide about 200 feet long into the rock away from the water and then put a coverall on top of that.”
Save Picton Bay board member Wendy Murphy says they’ve launched a legal challenge against Prince Edward County over the interpretation of county bylaws.
“Our lawyer believes that the town of Picton is not applying their bylaws correctly and that this operation is, in fact, illegal,” she said.
The court case is expected to be heard in Ontario Superior Court early next year.