Laboratory test results regarding fish kills announced

    DARTMOUTH, NS, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Environment Canada announced today
that it has completed its testing of samples taken after fish kills at Dunk
River and Tryon River, Prince Edward Island, in July 2007 and it concluded
that it cannot determine the exact cause of either incident.
    Samples of water, vegetation, sediment and fish were analyzed at the
Environment Canada lab in Moncton, New Brunswick.
    The pesticide Chlorothalonil was found in samples taken from the Tryon
River and the pesticide Metribuzin was found in samples taken from the Dunk
River. The levels of both pesticides detected were not high enough to cause
fish kills.
    The low amount of pesticide found in the fish tissue samples is not
surprising given the amount of time between when the fish kills occurred and
when the samples were gathered. The Tryon River fish kill was reported two
days after it took place, and the Dunk River fish kill was reported three days
after it occurred. Government officials gathered samples immediately after
each kill was initially reported. However because the fish were dead for at
least two days before the sampling began, the amount of pesticide in them may
have degraded in that time.
    There is not sufficient evidence at the present time to determine the
cause or origin of the fish kills. As a result, no one can be charged with
violating the pollution prevention provisions of the federal Fisheries Act.
Environment Canada environmental enforcement field officers will continue to
inspect properties adjacent to water bodies on Prince Edward Island and they
will continue to take all the necessary actions to detect and deter practices
that could endanger the water systems and fish habitat on the Island.
    Officials emphasize that more sustainable land-management practices will
also offer greater protection for these rivers and other bodies of water in
the future. The examination of the Dunk River and Tryon River fish kills was
conducted jointly by Environment Canada and the Prince Edward Island
Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry.


     Details About the Analyses of Samples Taken Regarding the Fish Kills
               on the Tryon River and Dunk River in July 2007

    The results for the water samples from the Tryon River showed levels of
the pesticide Chlorothalonil five times higher than the Guideline for
Protection of Freshwater Aquatic Life, established by the Canadian Council of
Ministers of the Environment. These samples, however, did not contain levels
of Chlorothalonil sufficient to kill fish. Officials believe that the
pesticide was present at higher levels immediately after the rainfall event,
which occurred three days before the samples were collected.
    No Chlorothalonil was detected in the Dunk River water samples, nor in
any of the fish tissue samples. Water samples taken at the Dunk River
contained the pesticide Metribuzin, at levels three times higher than the
Guideline for Protection of Freshwater Aquatic Life. However, Metribuzin is
less toxic than Chlorothalonil and is not considered the cause of the fish
kill in the Dunk River.
    The pesticide Linuron was also detected in very small amounts in Dunk
River and Tryon River water samples. These detections were in amounts much
lower than the Guideline for Protection of Freshwater Aquatic Life and the
amounts detected would not be considered toxic to fish. Linuron was also found
in fish tissue samples, but also at levels that would not be considered toxic
to fish. Additionally, three other pesticides, Carbofuran, Metalaxyl and
B-Endosulfan, were also found in trace amounts in some water and sediment
samples, at levels that would not be toxic to any aquatic life.

For further information:

For further information: David Aggett, Director, Office of Environmental
Enforcement, Environment Canada, (902) 426-1925; Sandra Lambe, Communications
Officer, PEI Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, (902) 368-5286;
(Egalement offert en français)

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