Pollution Reporter: Media Roundup

The Toronto Star and the Sarnia Observer report on the launch of the Pollution Reporter app.

Pollution Reporter: Media Roundup:

On Saturday, October 19 the Technoscience Research Unit launched its Pollution Reporter app, currently available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store. The app is designed to support the residents and community of Aamjiwnaang First Nation by providing a database and reporting system to track ongoing pollution in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley. The app was launched on site in Aamjiwnaang, during a Toxic Tour hosted by environmental activist Vanessa Gray.

  • Tyler Kula covered the event for the Sarnia Observer, featuring discussions with Gray, TRU director Professor Michelle Murphy, and lab member Reena Shadaan. Kula also shared details about the larger project of which the app is a part, The Land and the Refinery, observing that Pollution Reporter points to the team’s larger effort to shift the conversation about pollution and climate in this country. “It’s not just a matter of climate change, it’s a matter of colonialism,” states Murphy.

Image of Pollution Reporter project team standing in front of screen showing images of the app on mobile phones.
Vanessa Gray, left, Reena Shadaan, Kristen Bos, and Michelle Murphy. Image Credit: Sarnia Observer.
  • Mary Ormsby from the Toronto Star also reported on the Toxic Tour and spoke to the Pollution Reporter team, sharing the following statement from Gray on the urgency of the project:

The need for the app is crucial and the lack of (public pollution) information is allowing industries to get away with more than what we really know here on the ground. The most important thing to me about the app is thinking about the families here when there’s a spill or release. We know it’s not whether (industrial facilities are) going to spill or release; it’s always ‘When?’”

Ormsby also points to a lack of action on behalf of Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks, who have received numerous formal complaints calling for appropriate action by the government toward Imperial Oil and the other petrochemical companies based in Chemical Valley.

  • The University of Toronto shared the news of the app’s launch on their website as well, posting links to coverage in the Star and a recent profile of TRU director Professor Michelle Murphy.