The TRU’s Environmental Data Justice Lab is launching the Pollution Reporter App that begins to address some of the pollution data gaps in Canada’s Chemical Valley. The app will be available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores on October 19, 2019 and will be launched during the Canada’s Chemical Valley Toxic Tour.
Lack of public data about dangerous pollutants in Chemical Valley, as described by the recent Ministry of Environment whistleblower, underlines the urgent need to have pollution data connected to responsibilities for health effects. The inadequate pollution prevention, monitoring, and data provided by the government and corporations in Chemical Valley presents an ongoing serious concern for Aamjiwnaang First Nation.
The Pollution Reporter App hopes to be a step in the right direction. It offers an easy and accessible way for community members and the public to easily make reports about pollution, or search for information by symptom, health harm, or chemical. The app is focused on the Imperial Oil Refinery in Sarnia, one of the oldest refineries in the world, a major industrial player, and the biggest polluter in Ontario’s Chemical Valley.
The Pollution Reporter App can be used in two ways. First, users can report pollution incidents, spills, leaks, and flares to Ontario’s Ministry of Environment using their email. Currently, community members report incidents to the Ontario’s Spills Action Centre by telephone. The app makes reporting simpler and more accessible, and users will have a copy of their reports to share. Second, users can connect pollution emissions data with research about known health harms. The app works by linking publicly-available data on refinery emissions from the federal government’s National Pollutant Release Inventory to known health harms based on peer-reviewed medical literature.
Pollution Reporter does not just use data, but provides an analysis of how existing data sources fail to hold polluters responsible. The app is built for community users and translates technical and obscure jargon about pollutants into accessible information. The Technoscience Research Unit team hopes the Pollution Reporter App will be useful for community members to advocate for the health of their lands, waters, and community. While this first version of the app focuses on one refinery, future versions will include all facilities in Chemical Valley.
The App will be launched at the 2019 Chemical Valley Toxic Tour in collaboration with Aamjiwnaang Solidarity Against Pipelinesg
Where: 1972 Virgil Ave, Sarnia, Ontario.
When: Saturday, October 19th from 1PM-6PM, with a media event from 10AM-12PM in the Maawn Doosh Gumig (Seniors Room).
“We are asking for you to experience for one day what many of us experience our whole lives. Come and see the amount of aging petrochemical plants surrounding Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Witness the pollution with your own eyes, ears, noses, and feel what it has done to our land and our people.”