For Release # 12-026
February 16, 2012
WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government has contracted an independent consultant company to conduct a health impact assessment as part of its due diligence to ensure the integrity of the water supply at Keno. The community is located within an historical mining area.
Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham said today that Habitat Health Impact Consulting from Calgary will undertake the study.
“The consultant will work to identify linkages between historical mining activities in the area and possible risks to health or health determinants for area residents,” Graham said.
Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley said the assessment is timely.
“We have been working for some time with Keno residents and mine representatives to identify issues of concern, including the potential risks from exposure to dust, noise, and contaminated groundwater,” Hanley added. “We are also well aware of the additional development that is planned for the area. This assessment should give us a clear and comprehensive picture of present or future risks to the health and well-being of Keno and area residents.”
The health impact assessment will include a review of existing data and interviews with key stakeholders involved in the mine, the community and the health field in Yukon.
Plans are underway for air quality monitoring by Health and Social Services, Environment and Energy Mines and Resources, in addition to the ongoing water testing by Community Services