On April 16, 2024, Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Sarnia, Ontario, issued a warning to its members as benzene emissions from the nearby chemical plant INEOS Styrolution sent the levels of cancer-causing chemical soaring.

Days later, the petrochemical giant announced it was temporarily shutting down its Sarnia plant to “address a mechanical issue.” Despite this, on April 25, levels of benzene were detected at even greater levels! This resulted in Aamjiwnaang declaring a State of Emergency.

Since then, Ontario’s Environment Ministry issued requirements that INEOS Styrolution must follow if it wants to restart its facility. However, these requirements do not go far enough to ensure long-term protection from benzene pollution.

Members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation were at the global plastics treaty in Ottawa to demand immediate action. Within 24 hours, 100+ organizations across the globe signed a letter to the federal environment minister Steven Guilbeault. The ask is simple: Keep the Ineos plastic plant shut until Aamjiwnaang First Nation says it’s safe.

We need your help to push this over the line. Send an email now urging the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to listen to the demands of Aamjiwnaang. Make sure INEOS Styrolution does not reopen until it can show that it can meet the community’s demands and health-based air quality standards.