Plan to re­me­di­ate for­mer radar base un­veiled

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS/WEATHER - BY ERIN POTTIE epot­tie@cb­post.com

SYD­NEY — The Depart­ment of Na­tional De­fence has pro­vided a clearer im­age of its re­me­di­a­tion plans to re­move more than 58,000 tonnes of hy­dro­car­bon con­tam­i­nated soil at the for­mer radar base.

Dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing at a Syd­ney ho­tel, Tues­day, Lisa Ri­p­ley, a civil en­gi­neer with DND in Ottawa, said plans to clean the site in­clude re­mov­ing con­tam­i­nated soil and haul­ing it to a land­fill where it can be used to cover garbage.

A pri­vate con­trac­tor will be hired to move the soil from Dry­den Av­enue in the Whit­ney Pier neigh­bour­hood ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 kilo­me­tres away to the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity-op­er­ated dump.

Ri­ley said land­fill op­er­a­tors are will­ing to take the soil as its con­tam­i­na­tion lev­els are within in­dus­trial guide­lines.

Re­me­di­a­tion work will be­gin this sum­mer, while the project — com­plete with new top­soil — is ex­pected to be com­pleted by 2013.

Re­me­di­a­tion of the site comes af­ter heat­ing oil con­tam­i­na­tion was dis­cov­ered in 2004.

Since that time, New Dawn En­ter­prises, a com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment cor­po­ra­tion and the site’s cur­rent owner, has been ne­go­ti­at­ing with DND for com­pen­sa­tion and re­me­di­a­tion of the prop­erty.

Last month, DND said part of its $11.2-mil­lion project is to erect a fence around the prop­erty and tear down 40 res­i­den­tial hous­ing units and re­move the af­fected soil. The project also in­cludes ground­wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing.

Lesa Ke­hoe, a mini-home owner who rents a nearby lot from New Dawn, was one of about 35 peo­ple who at­tended Tues­day’s meet­ing.

Ke­hoe said mem­bers of the mini-home group are con­cerned the project will have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on nearby roads. She’s also con­cerned about pos­si­ble con­tam­i­na­tion at the mini-home park.

“We want to know where (soil con­tam­i­na­tion) stops too,” said Ri­p­ley, who is also the Pine Tree Park project man­ager. “Be­cause for us to pay to dis­pose of clean soil is a waste of tax­pay­ers money ... so it’s in our best in­ter­est to do con­tin­u­ous sam­pling.”

Ri­p­ley said test­ing hasn’t in­di­cated con­tam­i­na­tion near the mini-home site or a nearby well.

Whit­ney Pier area Coun. Jim MacLeod raised con­cerns over lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion about the project. MacLeod added that project con­trac­tors will need ap­proval from CBRM coun­cil to truck the soil on the Lin­gan Road, as there are cur­rent freight re­stric­tions in place.

As part of a sec­ond piece of the project, civil lit­i­ga­tion is be­ing han­dled by le­gal ad­vis­ers for both DND and New Dawn. Ri­p­ley said le­gal teams have been meet­ing over the past two days, but ac­cord­ing to a New Dawn rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Sr. Margie Gil­lis, noth­ing has been fi­nal­ized.

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