Wheatley Updates

Key Dates

June 2, 2021 - a state of emergency was declared in downtown Wheatley after the presence of hydrogen sulphide gas was detected. The state of emergency resulted in an evacuation order for several properties in the immediate vicinity of where the gas was detected.

June 19, 2021 - based on the advice of technical experts, the evacuation order was narrowed to two properties.

July 19, 2021 - Hydrogen sulphide was again detected by monitors that were installed. This resulted in an evacuation of 23 residential properties and 13 commercial properties.

August 26, 2021 - Chatham-Kent emergency services were on the scene after gas monitoring devices placed at the site indicated the presence of gas. First responders had evacuated the buildings closest to the alarm and were in the process of evacuating a wider area when an explosion occurred. A two-block area around the blast site was evacuated and the evacuation order remains in effect to date.

September 20, 2021 - the Municipality signed an agreement with the provincial Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to take the lead in the investigation.

September 21, 2021 - Premier Doug Ford visited the affected site.

September 22, 2021 - Minister Greg Rickford announced that the province has allocated $2 million to help businesses affected in Wheatley get back to business. He also confirmed that the province has entered into an agreement with Golder Associates to locate the source of the gas.

March 29, 2022 - Tait Well Re-Drilling Work Imminent - An oil and gas drilling contractor is anticipated to begin re-drilling the Tait Well, located in the APEC 2 area.

December 7, 2022 - Fencing to be installed along Erie Street North in preparation for street re-opening.

Key Dates

June 2, 2021 - a state of emergency was declared in downtown Wheatley after the presence of hydrogen sulphide gas was detected. The state of emergency resulted in an evacuation order for several properties in the immediate vicinity of where the gas was detected.

June 19, 2021 - based on the advice of technical experts, the evacuation order was narrowed to two properties.

July 19, 2021 - Hydrogen sulphide was again detected by monitors that were installed. This resulted in an evacuation of 23 residential properties and 13 commercial properties.

August 26, 2021 - Chatham-Kent emergency services were on the scene after gas monitoring devices placed at the site indicated the presence of gas. First responders had evacuated the buildings closest to the alarm and were in the process of evacuating a wider area when an explosion occurred. A two-block area around the blast site was evacuated and the evacuation order remains in effect to date.

September 20, 2021 - the Municipality signed an agreement with the provincial Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to take the lead in the investigation.

September 21, 2021 - Premier Doug Ford visited the affected site.

September 22, 2021 - Minister Greg Rickford announced that the province has allocated $2 million to help businesses affected in Wheatley get back to business. He also confirmed that the province has entered into an agreement with Golder Associates to locate the source of the gas.

March 29, 2022 - Tait Well Re-Drilling Work Imminent - An oil and gas drilling contractor is anticipated to begin re-drilling the Tait Well, located in the APEC 2 area.

December 7, 2022 - Fencing to be installed along Erie Street North in preparation for street re-opening.

  • Wheatley Update December 16

    Wheatley Update December 16

    Erie Street North between Talbot Road and Elm Street will re-open to vehicular traffic Monday, December 19.

    Fencing has been erected along both sides of the street which has been closed since an explosion in August of last year. It was the last remaining road closure due to the incident.

    he street will remain closed to large truck traffic. There will be a pedestrian walk way on the east side of the street.

    Buildings along the west side of the block have Prohibited Access by CBO Order.

    The east side of the street contains the revised evacuation zone. The zone was recently reduced and there are no longer any single-family residences within that area.



  • Wheatley Update December 7

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    Media Release

    December 7, 2022

    Plans Underway for Erie Street re-opening

    Fencing will be erected along both sides of Erie Street North in Wheatley in preparation for the re-opening of the street which has been closed since an explosion in August of last year.

    Fences will be placed along much of the block immediately north of Talbot Road. Buildings along the west side of the block have Prohibited Access by CBO Order.

    The east side of the street contains the revised evacuation zone. The zone was recently reduced and there are no longer any single-family residences within that area.

    Officials are planning to open the street to two lanes of traffic within the next two weeks. Options to allow pedestrian traffic along the street are being discussed. The street will still be closed to large truck traffic.

    A scrubber system designed to capture H2S gas emissions at the site of earlier incidents in downtown Wheatley is now operational.

    Filters in the unit will trap any H2S gas and reduce it to zero. The system will remain on site for six months after which a determination will be made for long-term action.

    The current flare stack onsite will remain as a backup system for the time being as an additional safety measure.

    Officials are preparing a report for Chatham-Kent Council for its December 12 meeting. That report will be listed on https://www.chatham-kent.ca/localgovernment/council/meetings/Pages/Council-Meetings.aspx by noon this Thursday, December 8.

  • Wheatley Update November 22

    Media Release

    November 22, 2022

    Wheatley Scrubber System to be Installed this Week

    A scrubber system designed to capture H2S gas emissions at the site of earlier incidents in downtown Wheatley is scheduled to be delivered today and installed this week.

    Ryan Brown, Chatham-Kent Director of Public Works, said once the system is installed, testing will be undertaken and the unit should be fully operational within the next few days.

    The unit, which is being brought in from Ohio, will be placed in the municipal parking lot. Filters in the unit will trap any H2S gas and reduce it to zero.

    The current flare stack onsite will remain as a backup system for the time being as an additional safety measure.

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  • Wheatley Update November 7

    Media Release

    November 07, 2022

    Elm Street and Foster Street to be Reopened Tuesday, November 8

    Elm Street between Erie Street North and Little Street and Foster Street between Erie Street North and Victoria in Wheatley will reopen for traffic Tuesday, November 8 by the end of the day.

    Ryan Brown, Chatham-Kent Director of Public Works, said the provincial drilling contracting firm has completed its work and demobilized from the site, providing the ability to open the roadway.

    Security personnel will remain at the site of the reduced evacuation zone on a 24-hour basis.

    The municipality is planning to implement a scrubber system to capture any H2S gas at the site from the monitoring well during the interim monitoring period of the well. This could lead to a further reduction of the evacuation zone and the reopening of Erie Street North between Elm and Talbot Road. The current flare stack onsite will remain as a backup system for the time being as an additional safety measure.

    Options to allow pedestrian traffic along the street are being discussed as part of that plan.

    Brown said reopening the streets will provide a much improved east-west traffic flow through the community.

  • Chatham-Kent Public Library as the Wheatley Branch Re-opens For Regular Service

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    Today is the day! The Chatham-Kent Public Library as the Wheatley Branch re-opens for regular service.

    The space has been shined up and is ready for your return. We have fresh paint on the outside doors and have professionally cleaned our space from top to bottom! We’ve also invested in a collection refresh. All library services will be available including wifi and computer access; printing and photocopying service and of course all the books, magazines and DVDs that you’re used to enjoying!

    Staff can’t wait to welcome you back to the Wheatley Branch! Hours of operation are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Wednesdays and Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

  • Testing Update

    Tuesday into Thursday early morning, contractors and a team from the University of Windsor were on site as they conducted a production flow test of the monitoring well in the municipal parking lot. The test ran smoothly, gas was flared off, and all equipment worked as planned. The water from the well was discharged into the sanitary sewer.

    Information from the sampling will be used to determine next steps for monitoring.

    Residents are reminded, when they see the flare, that means the planned process and equipment is working as intended.

    In the meantime, residents are reminded that if at any time you detect the smell of gas, to immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Continued Testing on Site This Week

    On September 28th, the provincial contractor completed the cut and cap of the well.

    Today, contractors and a team from the University of Windsor will be on site as they conduct a production flow test. Extra air monitoring will occur as they begin pumping the well. The test involves pumping the well for six hours, putting the water and gas through separator and sampling and testing the by-products from the test. Testing will continue into October 5th.

    Information from the sampling will be used to determine next steps for monitoring.

    Most of the site restoration work has been undertaken, however there is still some contractor equipment on site and some miscellaneous cleanup work to complete.

    In the meantime, residents are reminded that if at any time you detect the smell of gas, to immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Production Flow Test of Monitoring Well

    The Municipality’s contractors will be performing a production flow test of the monitoring well in the municipal parking lot for the duration of the day Tuesday, October 4th.

    Safety systems are in place to pump water out of the well for 6 hours and measure the quantity and concentration of any gasses emitted. This data is needed to further review the evacuation zone and for future right-sizing of equipment.

    Preparations for this work will commence today, Monday, October 3rd starting at 12:00 pm.

    All air monitors will be operational, and the Chatham-Kent Fire Department will be onsite. If residents smell any gas, they should immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Capping of the Well

    Final work on APEC 1 will continue today as contractors complete cutting the well and capping. Testing will continue with clean-up and restoration of the work area later this week.

    In the meantime, residents are reminded that if at any time you detect the smell of gas, to immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Work Continues This Week

    The provincial contractor is currently demobilizing equipment for the site of APEC 1. Yesterday a gas migration survey was completed around the municipal parking lot with some trace amounts of methane being detected at the location of APEC 3. The team will be sequestering the gas to try to collect enough volume for a sample. The gas analysis will be reviewed and compared with previous samples to determine the next steps. The methane levels are extremely low, there is no H2S detected and there is no risk to the public or staff on site.

    The Municipality of Chatham-Kent would like to thank Don Shropshire for his work and leadership in the Municipality’s response to Wheatley. Don will be retiring from his duties as lead for Wheatley. Fire Chief Chris Case will assume the role of lead, working closely with Chief Administrative Officer, Michael Duben, provincial officials and local residents.

    In the meantime, residents are reminded that if at any time they detect the smell of gas, to immediately call 9-1-1.

Page last updated: 16 Dec 2022, 11:22 AM