More PCBs re­moved from New Har­bour dump­site

The Compass - - OPINION -

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.”

Lil­lian Sim­mons pho­tos

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.

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