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OTTAWA – The federal government announced Thursday that it too will be investigating a massive sewage leak in the City of Ottawa that saw roughly 350 Olympic-sized pools worth of raw sewage and storm water expelled directly in the Ottawa River in August 2006.
The event went unreported to provincial environment officials for eight months and to senior city staff, city council and the public for two years.
The federal environment investigation is the fourth into the incident. The city manager’s investigation has already led the dismissal of an employee, Jean-Pierre Boisseau, who falsely said he reported the incident to the province when it was detected, then lied more to cover his tracks. The provincial environment ministry launched an investigation Monday, and city council ordered its auditor general to conduct an investigation Wednesday.
Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien said he didn’t want the investigations to turn into “witch hunts,” but that exactly what happened, and more importantly why it wasn’t reported properly needs to be determined in order to avoid this type of thing in the future.
“The fact that the federal government has decided to investigate this incident is further evidence of the importance of discovering the facts and determining who knew what and when,” the mayor said.