Minister’s Decision

Hello CCOB supporters!

After many months of waiting the Minister of the Environment has made his decision. Very disappointing yet, with what we have learned through our experience, it was not unexpected. A great many people told us over the last 5 years that the system is rigged and to them we say… 

you are right!!

Was it worth the effort?


With your help the CCOB were able to effect a number of firsts.

  1. This pit has the most stringent monitoring programs ever stipulated.
  2. This is the first time that the fines or settling pond water have ever been tested.
  3. The Environmental Compliance Approval Permit was not initially open for comments, only through the efforts of the CCOB was this possible. And because of this, more conditions were added to the pit operations.

It’s not what we wanted but we have significantly raised the bar for the monitoring and protection of source water.

See the link below to read the entire Appeal Decision.

We continue to be a watchdog for our community’s water, thank you for being there and for your ongoing support!!


Link to PDF file:

or see all the tribunal docs on this page:

FIGHTING DIRTY:  How a Small Community Took on Big Trash

FIGHTING DIRTY:  How a Small Community Took on Big Trash

An inspiring read by our Paris Pit Expert Witness Toxicologist, Poh-Gek Forkert  about a community in Ontario who appealled the contaminant risks to their water and environment and won!!

Their story is about many of the same challenges and costs we know well. It is about the courage and  leadership that local community members, farmers, the Indigenous community members and others showed in their battle to protect their water and the health of their community.

Forkert’s book has been listed by NOW Magazine as a ‘must read for the fall of 2017:

Books can be purchased at Green Heron Books, Northville Pharmacy and through CCOB members.

40% of all sales directly supports CCOB’s efforts to protect our drinking water.

Dr. Forkert speaking at a recent CCOB event.


Postcards From Paris 2018 calendar

Postcards From Paris
CCOB’s 2018 calendar features pictures of Paris from the early 1900s. Calendar sales support the protection of your drinking water. You can find CCOB members at Wincey Mills this Friday & Saturday or get your calendar now at:

Green Heron Books

Northville Pharmacy

Paris Museum

Advance Printing

Wincey Mills

Action Alert by Council Of Canadians

Here is the action alert from the Council of Canadians in support of our efforts. Click this link to send a letter to Minister Murray:

And here is the blog that Mark Calzavara posted about the action alert


This well supplying drinking water to Paris is beside the gravel pit.

Desperate appeal to Minister Murray is all that stands between contaminated gravel and the drinking water of thousands.

by Mark Calzavara – Council of Canadians’ Ontario-Quebec regional organizer.

People in Paris, Ontario are anxiously waiting for a decision from Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray – their last hope to protect their drinking water from being contaminated by the activities of a new gravel pit situated between two of the town’s Wellhead Protection Areas. We have been supporting the Concerned Citizens of Brant ( in their five year long struggle and we are asking everyone to sign on to a letter encouraging Minister Murray to make the right decision.

Although the gravel pit was approved more than 40 years ago, Dufferin Aggregates didn’t start to develop it until 2012. Unbelievably, the Ontario government allowed development to proceed and even approved a gravel washing facility on the site despite serious concerns from groundwater experts that the washing process could concentrate and release poisonous herbicides such as Atrazine and glyphosate that have been applied on the land for decades.

Atrazine is ranked highest of 83 pesticides in the Agriculture Canada priority scheme for potential groundwater pollution.

“Atrazine demasculinizes male gonads producing testicular lesions associated with reduced germ cell numbers in teleost fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, and induces partial and/or complete feminization in fish, amphibians, and reptiles. These effects are strong (statistically significant), consistent across vertebrate classes, and specific.”- Demasculinization and feminization of male gonads by atrazine: Consistent effects across vertebrate classes-Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 127 (2011) 64–73

Atrazine is an endocrine disruptor and has been rated as a Category 1 substance of high exposure concern by the European Union which banned its use in 2004. It is now under federal government review because of mounting evidence that it is harmful at levels much lower than previously suspected.

When Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) officials approved Dufferin’s application, the CCOB appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal, asking for additional conditions to be put on the MOECC approvals for the pit. Expert witnesses such as Dr. Ken Howard (one of the key scientists involved in the Walkerton Inquiry) testified to the risk of contamination posed by the pit’s operations and exposed serious flaws in the studies paid for by Dufferin which the MOECC based their approvals upon.

“Despite being requested to do so, the proponents have not made any serious effort to determine the presence and distribution of atrazine at the site. Their investigation program – design, implementation and number of samples collected is entirely inadequate.” Ken Howard

In the end, the Environmental Review Tribunal ruling did not grant the conditions that the CCOB were seeking to protect their drinking water.

The appeal to Minister Murray is the last chance to get those prudent and responsible conditions in place to ensure the safe operation of a facility that should never have been allowed in such a sensitive location. Please take a moment to sign and share this letter of support now.

paris pit june2017

The Dufferin pit has opened but the gravel washing operations have not begun.



bottle feeding_babyAtrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in Canada, and is applied to kill both broadleaf and grassy weeds. The greatest use of atrazine is in the production of corn.

In 1991, Italy and Germany banned the use of atrazine. The European Union (EU) followed suit and banned the use of atrazine in 2003 on the basis that it was virtually impossible to keep water contamination below its regulatory limit of 0.1 ppb (0.1 part per billion or 0.1 µg/L – micrograms per Litre) due to its widespread use and health concerns. In 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced it was seeking public comments on a potential ban on atrazine.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) initiated a special review of atrazine in 2013 and issued a report in 2015 for public comment. On March 31, 2017, the PMRA announced it was initiating a second special review of atrazine as it had become aware of additional information relating to the toxicology of atrazine and its impacts including potential human health (drinking water) and environmental risk. After completion of this evaluation, a report will be issued for public consultation.

Health Canada’s “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Atrazine” first published in September 1993 was reissued in January 11, 2011. The guideline is 5 micrograms per litre, fifty times higher than the EU standard. The Canadian guideline was based on scientific data dated from 1964 to 1993. Significant scientific advances have occurred in the fourteen years that has elapsed and the guideline has not undergone re-review and updated.

Atrazine has the ability to disrupt the endocrine system, and has been linked to abnormal sexual maturation and weakened immune functions. It has also been linked to a variety of adverse effects including breast and prostate cancer, reproductive defects including reduced sperm quality. Epidemiological studies suggest that it is carcinogenic to humans.

Importantly, atrazine has non-monotonic effects i.e. it does not exhibit a traditional dose-response that produces increasing effects with increasing doses of exposure. Rather, the effects are more severe at lower doses than at higher doses. The Health Canada guideline was developed without considering the non-monotonic effects of atrazine.

An aspect of atrazine exposure that has received less attention than through drinking water, relates to atmospheric transport of atrazine through volatilization or attached to fine soil particles or dust that are dispersed by wind and air currents. These could be re-deposited on land surfaces, streams and lakes by dry deposition, rainfall or snow. They could be transported for significant distances, and were detected >180 miles from the nearest application site. Potential human exposure occurs through inhalation.

Referring to the atrazine guideline of 5 micrograms per litre for drinking water quality, the Health Canada guideline states, “It is therefore considered to provide adequate protection for the bottlefed infant.” This conclusion was based on the results of a rat reproduction study that used body weight as an endpoint.

In view of studies that showed abnormal sexual development and non-monotonic effects of atrazine, the approach used cannot be considered precautionary.

Should pregnant women and babies be drinking atrazine-contaminated water?

The answer is, “No.”

Poh-Gek Forkert, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita
Queen’s University
May 1, 2017

PDF can be downloaded at this link: DrForkert Atrazine SummaryHealthRisks PrecautionaryMeasures2017


For Immediate Release

Paris, Ontario May 18, 2017 — The Concerned Citizens of Brant (“CCOB”) have filed an appeal with Environment Minister Glen Murray seeking to overturn the Environmental Review Tribunal’s decision to allow Dufferin Aggregates to establish sewage works for an aggregate washing operation. In its appeal, CCOB argues that the Tribunal failed to consider the toxicological aspects of atrazine and its potential to cause adverse health effects. CCOB is seeking an order from the Minister revoking the Tribunal’s decision with respect to certain conditions and substituting CCOBs’ proposed revised conditions.

“Many members of the community continue to be concerned about the proposed aggregate washing operation given that it will be taking place on lands which were sprayed with the herbicide atrazine for approximately 40 years” said Jeff Broomfield, CCOB’s co-chair, “We strongly believe more rigorous conditions should have been imposed.”

Mary Parker, a member of CCOB, added “We are concerned that the decision fails to include measures which are necessary to protect our drinking water supply, given that the aggregate operations will take place adjacent to a well head protection area, which has also been identified as an area of high vulnerability. We hope Minister Murray will reconsider the matter and revise the Tribunal’s decision and strengthen the measures which we believe are necessary to protect our health and the environment.”

For more information, please contact :

Jeff Broomfield – 519-754-6229


Please join us Wednesday, June 14 for a very special event in Paris featuring Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow and other guest speakers. This event is presented by the Concerned Citizens of Brant and the Council of Canadians.

When: Wednesday, June 14 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Where: St. Paul’s United Church, 48 Broadway W., Paris (Map)

Featured speakers:

• Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
• Graham Flint, P.Eng., President, Gravel Watch Ontario
• Paul General, Manager of Six Nations Eco-Centre and Wild­life Officer, Member of Seneca Nation, Six Nations of Grand River
• Dr. Sheri Longboat, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph, Haudenosaunee Mohawk, Six Nations of Grand River
• Ron Norris, Co-Chair, Concerned Citizens of Brant
• Dr. Gerald Tetreault, Aquatic Toxicologist, Research Associate, University of Waterloo

Admission by donation and open to all – please bring a friend!

For more information, please email the Concerned Citizens of Brant –

We hope to see you there!


P.S. Please share this email & poster.

Atrazine – Pesticide banned in Europe found in Toronto’s tap water

Atrazine has been one of our bigger concerns and NOW magazine has reported that Atrazine has been detected in the drinking water for both Montreal & Toronto.

The company that manufactures Atrazine says that it disappears, a defence relied upon by the MOECC & Dufferin & accepted by the tribunal. So if Atrazine disappears then how did it get in Toronto’s drinking water?


Pesticide banned in Europe found in Toronto’s tap water

Research around atrazine has found endocrine-disrupting properties connected to hermaphrodite frogs, feminized fish and low sperm counts in humans living in agricultural areas

BY   MARCH 19, 2017

Toronto may be an hour from the nearest farm, but environmental groups say unsafe levels of a top-selling herbicide used on cornfields for the last 50-odd years are turning up in our tap water.

Tests commissioned by Environmental Defence and Équiterre have found atrazine in both Toronto and Montreal’s drinking water at levels that would flunk European safety standards.

“It’s quite alarming,” says Environmental Defence’s toxics manager, Muhannad Malas. “Torontonians are probably exposed to atrazine on a daily basis.”

Research around atrazine, manufactured by agrochemical giant Syngenta, has found endocrine-disrupting properties connected to hermaphrodite frogs and feminized fish, as well as low sperm counts and reproductive problems in humans living in agricultural areas. The EU banned atrazine in 2003 because of widespread pollution of groundwater from farm runoff.

A 2013 lawsuit filed by Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation and Équiterre triggered a review by Health Canada of 23 ingredients found in 383 pesticide products banned in other countries, including atrazine.

As part of its assessment, Health Canada tapped groundwater monitoring data and found the chemical in 20 per cent of 14,455 groundwater samples from Canada and the U.S., but its research says levels detected “did not exceed the Canadian drinking water guidelines for atrazine (5 micrograms/litre).”

Toronto Public Health spokesperson Christine Navarro tells NOW that “the levels of atrazine in drinking water are well below the maximum acceptable concentration for drinking water.” And that “the level of exposure in drinking water is very low.”

Navarro notes that 99 per cent of the 2,500 Canadians aged three to 79 tested in a Canadian Health Measures Survey “had levels of atrazine metabolites that were below laboratory detection levels, indicating no or very low exposure to the general population.”

The thing is, the EU’s threshold for safe levels of atrazine in drinking water is 50 times lower than Canadian drinking water guidelines allow.

Maryse Bouchard, associate professor at Université de Montréal’s School of Public Health, says, “Even at concentrations close to the European standard, several effects of atrazine on amphibians and animals have been demonstrated, including impacts on reproduction and development.”

Bouchard says some studies “also suggest harmful effects on human reproduction and development at concentrations in water similar to those analyzed in the Montreal and Toronto tap water samples.”

Environmental groups say Health Canada’s reassessment was far too narrow, limited to groundwater and failed to consider surface water sources like Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, from which Toronto and Montreal, respectively, get their drinking water.

Considering what researchers have already found with endocrine disruptors like atrazine, Malas says that even exposure at very low levels can be harmful. “There’s no safe level of exposure. The only solution is to ban atrazine so it doesn’t contaminate our water in the first place.”

You can find the article on Now’s website here: