Federal scientists here to study DDT levels in alpine lakes
By David F. Rooney
Two environmental scientists employed by the military are here to study DDT levels in Mount Revelstoke National Park’s alpine lakes.
Nick Battye and Megan Lord-Hoyle are employed by a civilian scientific unit based at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont. Their group performs scientific studies for a variety of federal departments, including Parks Canada which is employing them to test Eva, Miller, Upper Jade and Lower Jade Lakes for DDT levels.
The duo was flown to Lower Jade Lake — Upper Jade was covered in a two-inch layer of ice — on Tuesday along with Parks’ Photographer and Videographer Rob Buchanan and environmental scientist Sarah Boyle. They carried equipment that would permit them to grab samples form the surface of the lake bottom as well as core samples to a depth of 30 centimetres.
The two want to determine the levels and ages of the residues of DDT and its daughter toxins DDE and DTD. DDT was a powerful pesticide that was widely used in Canada before it was banned in the 1970s. It is still used in parts of Asia and their tests will help determine whether the DDT levels present in the lakes date back to the bad old days of domestic use or whether the the poisons were blown here from regions where they are still used.
The group was flown to Lower Jade by Selkirk Mountain Helicopters Pilot Jamie Ryga and found eight inches of fresh snow awaiting them on the lake shore.