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Port Colborne residents sue Inco for $750 Million

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Almost every citizen in and around Port Colborne, Ontario has joined a $750 million class-action lawsuit against International Nickle Company (Inco). It's the largest case of its kind in Canadian histor.

Almost every citizen in and around Port Colborne, Ontario has joined a $750 million class-action lawsuit against International Nickle Company (Inco). It's the largest case of its kind in Canadian history.

The lawsuit alleges decades of heavy metal pollution from Inco's local refinery and it cites damning new evidence, compiled in part by Inco's recently retired director of environmental affairs. The allegation that it was not inert nickle but carcinogenic nickle oxide that's contaminating the town and area farms was confirmed by the Ontario environment ministry. Inco has been told to clean up the worst sites immediately.

Parents of children who live in these neighbourhoods are instructed to keep their children indoors and ensure no dirt is tracked inside. The area's soil contains as much as 14,000 parts nickle per million, 70 times the level considerd safe for residential areas in Ontario. Touching and inhaling nickle has increased local rates of cancer.

--Globe and Mail, March 27, 2001

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