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The Sarnia Area Environmental Health Project (SAEHP) was launched in 2020 to help address concerns of Sarnia area communities about air pollution and other environmental stressors from local industries in the area. The project helped enhance understanding of the links between the environment and health in the community, with a focus on assessing exposures to chemicals in air.

Since 2017, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has worked closely with provincial and federal government departments, health agencies and First Nations to develop the SAEHP. The scope of the project was guided by previous foundational work of the Lambton Community Health Study Board and informed by input from local stakeholders, such as municipalities and industrial associations.

To help guide the work of the project, the ministry formed a multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee to share information and informed perspectives and advice during the project. The Advisory Committee included representatives from provincial, municipal and federal governments, First Nations, health agencies, community groups, industry and environmental groups.

Over the course of the project, the ministry held several community meetings to share progress updates. In November 2023, the ministry shared project conclusions and key findings on all components of the project.

Click here for previous meeting materials and key reports.

History of the SAEHP: Establishing the Project Scope

History of the SAEHP diagram

Project Scope

Based on the concerns of local communities, the SAEHP was scoped to focus on the following components:

Project Scope SAEHP diagram

The Air Exposure Review

air icon The Air Exposure Review (AER) is a scientific assessment of community exposures and associated risks from chemicals in outdoor air.  This component was conducted by a team of consultants (Intrinsik, CanNorth, 4 Directions of Conservation), who reviewed both monitored and modelled data for relevant chemicals in the area.

Click here for more information on the Air Exposure Review.

The Plants Study

plant icon The Plants Study assessed whether medicinal plants growing in Aamjiwnaang First Nation had different levels of chemicals of concern, compared to the same plants growing in another First Nation distant from industry. This study was conducted by an academic team from Toronto Metropolitan University in collaboration with Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

Click here for more information about the Plants Study.

The Environmental Stressors Review

environmental stressors icon The Environmental Stressors Review characterized how quality of life is impacted by disturbances from industrial operations, such as noise/vibration, odour and light. This review was led by the ministry with input from the project's multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee.

Click here for more information and key findings of the Environmental Stressors Review.



Study Area

SAEHP Study Area map

Project Committees

Government Air Exposure Review Panel

The Government Air Exposure Review Panel (GAERP) provides direction to the Air Exposure Review consultants (Intrinsik, CanNorth, 4 Directions of Conservation), to support the quality, accuracy, and relevance of the consultant’s deliverables. The GAERP is comprised of the following members:

  • Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks
  • Aamjiwnaang First Nation Health and Environment Departments
  • Walpole Island First Nation Heritage Centre
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Public Health Ontario
  • Health Canada

Advisory Committee

The multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (AC) supports the delivery of the Sarnia Area Environmental Health Project, by providing informed perspectives and advice. The AC includes representatives from provincial, municipal and federal governments, First Nations, health agencies, community groups, industry and environmental groups

  • Aamjiwnaang First Nation
  • Canadian Fuels Association
  • Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
  • City of Sarnia
  • Community Representative, co-chair
  • County of Lambton
  • Indigenous Services Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Indigenous Affairs Ontario
  • Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, secretariat
  • Public Health Ontario
  • Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association, co-chair
  • St. Clair Township
  • Victims of Chemical Valley
  • Walpole Island First Nation

Working towards improving Sarnia's air quality!