« We are gathering information and have not yet identified the cause of the incident, » stated Michael Séguin, Cornwall area supervisor for the Ministry of Environment (MoE), responding in an email to a Tribune Express inquiry. « Natural causes have not been ruled out. »
Séguin also stated the at present there is no indication of any cause for concern about well water quality on properties adjacent to the river.
MoE investigators responded September 2 to sightings of numerous dead fish in the Rigaud River along County Road 10, east of St-Eugène. There were also reports of a strong, unpleasant smell from the river and the presence of a thick surface scum seen on a section of the river.
Ministry staff collected waters amples from the river at several locations. Test results from the samples will help determine water quality at the time of the incident and may also assist with determining if the fish-kill and river smell are part of a natural occurrence or the result of some kind of substance that spilled into the river.
Staff are also collecting information from local property owners and other witnesses to the fish-kill . Séguin could not say how long the investigation will take or how soon before the township receives a report on the incident.
« As soon as we have completed our assessment, » he stated, « we will share the information with interested public agencies. »