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.

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