Plan to remediate former radar base unveiled
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.