Government of Yukon



FOR RELEASE
October 31, 2012

Keno health impact assessment released

WHITEHORSE—Residents of Keno City met Tuesday with Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, and representatives from the departments of Environment, Community Services and Energy Mines and Resources to review the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Mining Activities near Keno City, Yukon.

“We made a clear commitment to community residents that they would have an opportunity to review the health impact assessment prior to any public release,” Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham said. “Residents received the report last week and had the opportunity yesterday to ask questions. The meeting also gave government the opportunity to advise them of the next steps.”

The health impact assessment was conducted at the request of Dr. Hanley, as part of the Yukon government’s due diligence to ensure the integrity of the water supply in Keno. The community is located within a current and historical mining area.

The HIA looked at groundwater as well as other issues of concern, including the potential risks from exposure to dust and noise.

“The Yukon government has taken the extra step of having a health impact assessment conducted, in response to concerns raised by Keno City residents that their health was being adversely affected by past and/or present mining activities in the area,” Dr. Hanley said. “The HIA acknowledges that the community has undergone considerable stress, and goes on to make recommendations in several key areas.”

While the HIA confirms that there is no immediate health threat to Keno residents, it does contain recommendations regarding appropriate monitoring, evaluation and assessment of drinking water and air quality.

“The Yukon government has established an interdepartmental team to look at additional mitigation measures, as recommended in the report, to ensure the protection of public health,” Graham added.

A copy of the health impact assessment can be found at www.hss.gov.yk.ca.

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Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca  
Michelle Boleen
Communications, Health & Social Services
867-456-6145
michelle.boleen@gov.yk.ca 


News Release #12-208