Hess Street industrial waste cleanup delayed
The planned removal of barrels of industrial waste Monday from an infamous Hess Street North property has been delayed.
Robert Hall, from the city’s health department, says a special truck required for the “safe and regulatory required removal of the waste” will not be available until next week.
The planned start of the removal at 249 Hess St. N. has now been set for Feb. 23.
“This is not great news but rest assured that the waste will get removed, safely and according to regulatory compliance starting Feb 23. This long-standing waste site will get cleaned up, it will just take a few more days than originally expected to get started,” Hall said in an email to Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr.
The vacant former asphalt plant was ordered fenced off by the Ministry of the Environment in 2010 after activist Matt Jelly highlighted hundreds of carelessly stored barrels of unidentified waste.
Last March, vandals dumped around 50 barrels of reddish liquid — which tested positive for high levels of heavy metals — onto the ground and into the sewer system.
Farr said Saturday that incident created urgency to deal with the property — especially since the current owner, Dave Maden, has so far ignored a court order to clean up the barrels and assess the property for other possible pollution underground.
Maden owes more than $380,000 in unpaid taxes, cleanup fees and fines linked to the property — and as a result, the city has a rapidly closing window to seize the property. The Spectator was unable to reach the Scarborough resident, but in the past Maden has said he doesn’t have the money to comply with the order and believes the barrels contain mostly water.