Hess Street in­dus­trial waste cleanup de­layed

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL -

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.

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