Forty percent of Canada's petrochemical industry is packed into a 25-square-kilometre area in Sarnia, Ontario, called the Chemical Valley. Over 60 chemical plants and oil refineries operate there 24/7. As a result of the Chemical Valley's emissions, in 2011 the World Health Organization gave Sarnia the title of the "worst air" in all of Canada. To further complicate things, the Chemical Valley circles a First Nations reserve called Aamjiwnaang where just under 1,000 people live. The people there have been consistently reporting adverse health effects that they blame on their proximity to the massive industry that surrounds them, but the Canadian government has not stepped by to do a proper health study.
We went to visit Aamjiwnaang—a place where their own cemetery shares a fence with a desulphurization plant—to check out the situation for ourselves.
Watch Part one of The Chemical Valley now.