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.

  • Remediation at APEC 1 Site Expected to Resume Next Week

    Additional testing at the APEC 1 one site will push back remediation efforts until next week.

    Work crews are examining several procedures related to how to best cap the well.

    Work had been expected to resume Friday, however, additional time is needed to before entering the next phase due to the testing.

    When work resumes, an odour of gas may be detected. If residents at any time detect the smell of gas, they are asked to immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Work was Paused at the APEC 1

    Work was paused at the APEC 1 site while crews prepare to do additional testing following last Wednesday’s gas release.

    The two-hour release was measured at 24 parts per billion in the atmosphere, less than one-hundredth of the amount that would represent a safety hazard. Some smell was noticeable at the site.

    There has been no gas emission since that time.

    A thorough review of the gas monitoring system and health and safety plans confirmed that no further action is required.

    Work is expected to resume by the end of the week at which time an odour of gas may be detected. If residents at any time detect the smell of gas, they are asked to immediately call 9-1-1.

    Workers were in the process of excavating around the well in preparation for driving a larger conductor pipe over the existing well when the release occurred.

    At the time Chatham-Kent Fire Chief Chris Case confirmed that the safety plans guiding the operations worked as planned. “Gas was collected and directed to the vent to be flared. At no time was there a risk to our community located beyond the evacuation zone.”

  • Gas Release Reported at APEC 1 Site

    At approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, monitoring systems picked up a release of gas while crews were working at the APEC 1 site.

    Work stopped and samples of the gas were taken for analysis.

    At approximately 5 p.m. the release of gas ended.

    Officials are gathering and reviewing data to determine when work can resume.

    Workers were in the process of excavating around the well in preparation for driving a larger conductor pipe over the existing well when the release occurred.

    Chatham-Kent Fire Chief Chris Case confirmed that the safety plans guiding the operations worked as planned. “Gas was collected and directed to the vent to be flared. At no time was there a risk to our community located beyond the evacuation zone.”

    Chief Case noted that a sufficient amount of gas was present for those nearby to detect a smell. He noted that instruments detected 24 parts per billion in the atmosphere, less than one-hundredth of the amount that would represent a safety hazard.

  • Additional Equipment has Arrived On-site

    Additional equipment has arrived on-site and work crews will start the process of driving a larger conductor pipe over the existing APEC 1 well.

    The initial work completed on the well indicates it is approximately 100 feet deep and was most likely constructed as a source of water.

    Once the pipe-driving is completed, remediation will begin. It is estimated that drilling and remediation will be completed during the next two to three weeks.

    No gas has been detected so far throughout the process, however, the team will sample for analysis if this changes.

  • Awaiting Additional Equipment

    Work crews are awaiting additional equipment to continue coring the APEC 1 well nearest the site of last year’s explosion. Work on the well started this week.

    The intent of this work is to learn more about the construction and depth of this well. No gas has been detected throughout the process.

    Work has been paused until additional equipment arrives on site. The equipment is expected to be on-site Monday.

    Once the investigation is complete the activities will switch over to remediation on APEC 1.

    A total of 58 properties, residential or commercial have been affected by the reductions in the evacuation area. Each of those properties was deemed unsafe by Building Development Services and orders prohibiting use or occupancy were issued.

    To date, orders on 15 residential and 6 commercial properties have been rescinded which allows those property owners to move back into their homes or open their businesses.

    Of the 34 homeowners who were evacuated after the explosion, 10 homeowners, have returned home with another expected shortly.

  • Work begins on APEC 1

    Work crews Monday began coring of the APEC 1 well nearest the site of last year’s explosion. The intent of this work is to learn more about the construction and depth of this well. No gas has been detected throughout the process.

    Work is continuing today, and residents may see more activity and heavy equipment on-site in the coming days. Once the investigation is complete the activities will switch over to remediation on APEC 1.

  • Work Completed on APEC 3

    Work crews have completed driving a conductor pipe into the bedrock at the APEC 3 site at the northern end of the municipal parking lot.

    Work will begin on APEC 1 early next week.

    Work has already been completed on APEC 2 (also known as the Tait Well).

    Wheatley team will be coordinating request from those still evacuated up until the work starts.

  • Work Proceeding on APEC 3

    Work crews have completed driving a conductor pipe into the bedrock at the APEC 3 site at the northern end of the municipal parking lot.

    The 13” pipe surrounds the actual well and material brought to the surface will be used to help determine the nature of the well.

    Drilling work is finished, and cementing is scheduled for Thursday.

    Work has already been completed on APEC 2 (also known as the Tait Well). Once APEC 3 is completed, remediation will begin on the APEC 1 well. (nearest the explosion site).

  • Talbot Road and Erie South Re-opened

    Following the activation of street and traffic lights today, Talbot Road and Erie South have been re-opened. Fences were moved Monday.

    The new emergency site map showing boundaries Is attached.

    Operations on APEC 3 are underway, and work will continue through the week. A conductor pipe will be driven over the original well and residents may notice hammering sounds that are different from the work that was done on the APEC 2 well.

    Property owners have had Orders placed on their buildings from the Chief Building Official. The Chief Building Official will be rescinding the orders on each property once Municipal Water (PUC), Electrical Authority (ESA), and Natural Gas (Enbridge) have been reinstated by the utility and an inspection by Building Development Services has taken place.

    Upon reconnection of the utilities, property owners are to call 3-1-1 and ask to be directed to Building Development Services to schedule an inspection. It is expected that Building Development Services will complete this inspection within 24 hours of receiving the request.

  • Work has Progressed on Site

    Work has progressed on site that will allow a further reduction to the Wheatley Emergency area. Fences will be moved Monday, May 30 for the properties along Talbot Road that are outside the area identified in purple, yellow and red hatched on the attached map.

    Talbot Road and Erie Street South will remain closed and be re-opened as soon as they are deemed safe to allow through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted for property owners and tenants to start the recovery of their buildings.

    Pleased be advised that property owners will have Orders placed on their buildings from the Chief Building Official. The Chief Building Official will be rescinding the orders on each property once Municipal Water (PUC), Electrical Authority (ESA) and Natural Gas (Enbridge) have been reinstated by the utility and an inspection by Building Development Services has taken place.

    Upon reconnection of the utilities, property owners are to call 3-1-1 and ask to be directed to Building Development Services to schedule an inspection. It is expected that Building Development Services will complete this inspection within 24 hours of receiving the request.

    For more details on the reasons for the Order, please refer to page 4 of the Resources and Information for Residents and Business – Building Owners document found, which can be found at:

    https://www.letstalkchatham-kent.ca/wheatley-updates

    Operations on APEC 3 well are underway, and work will continue through the weekend. A conductor pipe will be driven over the original well and residents may notice hammering sounds that are different from the work that was done on the APEC 2 well.

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