More PCBs removed from New Harbour dumpsite
When further testing in Location A turned up more PCBs that exceeded the guidelines of 33 mg/kg, Environment asked to have an additional 75 to 80 tonnes removed.(Further testing on Location B showed levels within guidelines.)
An additional 76.78 tonnes of PCB contaminated material was removed from Location A. Soil samples ranged from 0.71 to 600 ppm.
In January more soil sampling was done. Five trenches adjacent to Location A were dug and soil samples tested. Some are above guidelines and ranged from 47.9 to 68.2 ppm.
“So we’re not there yet,” Riggs said.“...More work is needed on Location A.”
Derrick Maddocks told the residents the plan will focus on continuing regular testing, PCB removal and closure of the site.
A request for proposals to carry out the work closed June 1. The consultant will go through reports and files and review and make new recommendations if required; abandon and re-install one of the monitoring wells already in place; continue a test pitting program along the perimeter of the landfill to assess PCB levels in surface soil and subsurface; sample ground water and surface water; inspect the leachate control system and the geomembrane; and close the site.
“We may need to purchase an additional liner,” Maddocks said.
A question and answer period followed the presentations. The first question was: when is the site closing? The tender for closure and shipping the waste to another site appears to have been awarded.
“Each of the local services districts are reviewing the price and if it’s approved it will take about six weeks.”
Winterton, in Lower Trinity South is no longer an option and waste in Upper Trinity South communities from Markland to Green’s Harbour will have to go to Robin Hood Bay.
New Harbour resident Allan Williams brought up the fact that recent sediment samples taken from various ponds are not reflected in the report.
“The latest request for proposals asks the consultant to do a review,” Maddocks told him. “Yes, you’re right it has not been done, so we’re reviewing that.”
Williams also pointed out that maps of the area and samples supposedly taken in certain ponds do not match up.
“We will try to determine if we somehow made a mistake and we’ll clarify that with you. That’s not a problem,” Maddocks assured him.
Riggs told Williams, “we can get our lead guy to talk to you directly.”
Green’s Harbour resident Shannon Hillier suggested she and Williams go to the site with Riggs and Maddocks and point out the ponds where coordinates don’t match up.
Maddocks apologized for the fact there were three different maps with differing coordinates.
Someone asked about the cost of shipping waste to Robin Hood Bay.
Riggs said as far as he understands, if waste has to be shipped any more than 100 kilometres from a community, government would subsidize some of the cost.
Someone else wondered about the life expectancy of the geomembrane, which it appears, will be used to seal off the site.
Riggs said the rigid plastic cover should last from 50-100 years.
“It goes over the whole, entire site and it’s welded on as it’s laid,” he said.
There were questions about drainage ditches and PCBs getting into ground water.
However according to an Amec representative there is no evidence to show to date that PCBs are getting into groundwater.
“PCBs are not on the known carcinogens lists,” Andrea Lundrigan said. “These are fairly high levels, we’re not denying that. We wouldn’t expect them to migrate into the soil. They can get into the groundwater and there are negative health effects, but at this stage we’re (only) seeing evidence of it in soil.
Allan Williams contends transformer casings were buried at the site in the 1980s and the 1990s, in an area that encompasses 15,000 square feet. But Amec and government appear to continuously refer only to those deposited in the 1990s.
According to the officials, as of now the plan for removal of PCB contamination will only be carried out in the testing areas already indicated. When results within that area show levels within guidelines the testing will be deemed complete.
When results show the concentrations are below acceptable standards, Maddocks said,“then we’re finished.”
QUESTION PERIOD - A question period followed the presentation of reports on New Harbour dumpsite June 11. Officials from Environment and Amec, the consultants carrying out work at the site presented an overview of work done and plans for the future. From left: Christa Simmons, Department of Environment; Charlie Riggs, Amec; Derrick Maddocks, Environment and Andrea Lundrigan, Amec.
CHAT - New Harbour resident Allan Williams chats with Amec’s Andrea Lundrigan after the meeting.