Contaminated material slated for removal
Quebec company contracted to help clean up New Harbour dumpsite
A Quebec company has been awarded a $200,000plus contract by the provincial government to remove some 100 tonnes of PCB contaminated material from the controversial dumpsite in New Harbour.
The material is expected to be removed by the end of this month, according to a presentation delivered at a public meeting in Dildo last week. A copy of the presentation was provided to The Compass by the Department of Environment and Conservation.
The company, Sanexen Environmental Services Inc., specializese in PCB management and dealing with contaminated sites. It will dispose of the materialat an approved treatment facility in Grandes-Piles, Quebec. The facility will treat the PCB material using chemical reduction, said an official with the environment department.
Environment Minister Charlene Johns was not available last week to discuss the clean-up.
It’s the latest in a series of efforts to clean up the dumpsite, which has been making headlines since it was revealed nearly a decade ago that PCB-laden transformers and other contaminated material had been dumped at the site.
The contract is one of a series of steps being taken this year and in 2011, and also includes the completion of groundwater, surface water and sediment sampling. An inspection is also being carried out on the geomembrane storage and leachate collection system.
Future steps include the preparation of a closure plan, compaction and grading, the removal of scrap metal and tires, and a final site closure.
About a dozen area residents attended last week’s meeting, according to Allan Williams, a New Harbour resident who has been lobbying for the past nine years to have the dump cleaned up.
Williams said he wasn’t pleased with the tone of the meeting, and said he left with a lot of unaswered questions. He also criticized the lack of public notice about the meeting.
Williams is especially troubled by the results of soil and water samples. He said the results of tests done in recent months show dramatically lower levels of aluminum, cadmium, copper, lead and manganese in comparison to tests done several years ago.
“ Where did it all go?” Williams asked. “ There’s got to be an explanation, but I didn’t get any answers.”
Williams said he has “ lost faith” in the clean-up process and, without offering any specifics, said he is preparing to step up his campaign.
“ That’s a bombshell in there,” said Williams.