MOE Assists Police with Hamilton Investigation

The Candian Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is assisting the Hamilton police in their investigation of Fine Analysis Laboratories Limited in Hamilton, Ontario.

Hamilton police have executed two search warrants at the Fine Analysis premises in Hamilton. MOE has been assisting in the investigation since the ministry brought concerns about the possibility of forged analysis to the attention of police in January 2001.

MOE has taken a number of steps to safeguard public health and safety, including retesting at MOE's own lab of drinking water from three municipal waterworks that have contracted with Fine Analysis. The three municipal waterworks are: Parry Sound, Nobel and Cainsville. During the past year, MOE has also notified municipalities of the parameters that Fine is accredited to test for.

As far as the Ministry of the Environment is aware, Fine Analysis is not performing microbiological testing required by municipalities under Ontario's drinking water regulation.

Fine has done testing for the three municipalities for such parameters as nitrates, metals and alkalinity. MOE testing has confirmed that water from these three municipalities meets the Ontario drinking water standards including those for e-coli and coliform.

Staff from the ministry's Laboratory Services Branch and its Investigation and Enforcement Branch are involved in the Hamilton police department's search at Fine.

The ministry has notified owners of the three municipal waterworks about the police investigation. MOE has also notified the Standards Council of Canada and the Canadian Association of Environmental Analytical Laboratories that Fine Analysis is under investigation. This information has also been shared with public health officials.

Laboratories that perform drinking water analysis under Ontario's regulation 459 must be accredited through the Standards Council of Canada upon the recommendation of the Canadian Association of Environmental Analytical Laboratories.

The ministry will continue to assist the Hamilton police throughout the investigation. The ministry is committed to ensuring that drinking water is safe.

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