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July 30, 2009

Results of recent environmental testing at Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital and Shiretown Nursing Home

Pictou, NS – Due to the finding of petroleum products previously reported on 4 June 2009, additional environmental testing has taken place at the site.

Results of indoor air quality testing in both the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital and the Shiretown Nursing Home indicate there is no threat to human health resulting from the contaminated soil. All vapour port samples indicated that levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were well within Nova Scotia Environment Accepted Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality.

“Our testing has determined that there are no risks to human health. The indoor health risk will continue to be monitored and any safety concerns, should they arise, will be addressed immediately,” said Pat Lee, CEO of the Pictou County Health Authority.

The external monitoring wells were found to contain residual oil, most likely fuel oil, and will require immediate attention. The Pictou County Health Authority will be taking steps in the next few days to remove this product from the site and to dispose of it safely. Further analysis of the test results and ongoing monitoring of the site will help the Health Authority to develop an on-going clean-up strategy.

“We should see a vacuum truck on site in the next few days to remove this contaminate,” said Lee. “Further analysis of the activities will ensure we continue to have a safe facility for the patients, staff, visitors and tenants.”

Nova Scotia Environment has been updated. The Health Authority will continue to follow the advice, guidance and recommendations of expert environmental consultant Jacques Whitford Stantec.

Contact: Pat Lee
752-7600, ext. 4400

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