Remediation areas outlined in red
As part of the transfer of Port Stanley harbour to the Municipality of Central Elgin,
Transport Canada conducted and initial environmental risk assessment in 2010 and
held public information sessions in June and December of that year. To voluntarily
comply with new regulations in effect as of July 1, 2011, it was decided in 2011
that an updated risk assessment would be completed.
This required first updating the environmental risk assessments of Phase I and Phase
II, completed in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Risks above the Ministry of the Environment
(MOE) targets were identified in certain areas of the Harbour lands for both human
and ecological receptors from certain chemicals including inorganics, metals, polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs). The results indicate
that intervention should take place in certain areas to reduce risks to acceptable
levels. These range from:
- i) remediation involving removal of the contaminants from the site through treatment
- ii) risk management approaches whereby exposure is controlled using covers, caps
or other engineered controls; and
- iii) administrative controls where the land use is restricted or carefully managed
to avoid elevated risk.
The risk assessment uses values that the MOE has developed for a residential/parkland
use for the East Headlands (berm) and the Parkette, and industrial use elsewhere
n the Harbour land. Yes, the Municipality has provided their preferred redevelopment
option for the East Headlands (i.e., East Berm) and that option is being considered
in the development of risk management measures.
Remediation has been recommended for two areas of the Harbour land where liquid
PHCs have been identified on top of the groundwater table. Areas that have been
recommended for remediation are shown above, outlined in red, and include locations
where free=phase product may form (PHCs). Free-phase product can occur when contamination
in soil or groundwater is present at levels where the contamination may become liquid.
The liquid (or "product") can usually be seen in soil or groundwater. Free-phase
product has been found at the Harbour lands on the West Pier (by the bridge and
the D.O.C. building) and the East Headlands (the old P.U.C. site for the Village
of Port Stanley).
In addition to the recommended areas for remediation, other chemicals found to potentially
pose elevated risks at the Harbour land can be readily managed with Risk Management
Measures (RMMs) which include a combination of a clean soil cap over the exiting
soils (which can be landscaped) and/or hard caps (such as paved parking lots, paving
stones or concrete. These caps effectively block contact of people and ecological
receptors with contaminated soil. They are used in conjunction with administrative
controls establishing additional protective measures be put in place for construction
workers who could be working in deep soil, development restrictions and land use
and ground water use restrictions.
What happens next?
There will be a Public Comment Period on the project from January 6th to February
28th, 2014, and a Public Information Session on January 28th, 2014
from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Port Stanley Arena and Community Centre, 332 Carlow
Road in Port Stanley. This session offers another opportunity to ask questions and
provide comments. Display information from the session will be posted on the Municipality
of Central Elgin's website after the session.
The risk assessment report will be completed following these activities and submitted
to the MOE Standards Development Branch for review in Spring 2014. The Municipality
will have an opportunity to review the draft risk assessment report, which includes
the Risk Management Plan (RMP), prior to submission to the MOE. The MOE will review
the report for up to 22 weeks and then either approve the risk assessment or issue
comments on the report that need to be addressed. Typically, risk assessments are
not approved after the initial submission and may require one or more rounds of
review and revision.
Implementation of remediation and risk management measures will occur after the
risk assessment has been completed and accepted by the MOE and a Certificate of
Property Use (CPU) has been issued by the MOE District Engineer. Detailed plans
and specifications will need to be developed. Implementation of the RMMs and remedial
works is anticipated to begin in the latter half of 2015. The estimated
costs are dependent on the remediation and risk management methods ultimately selected
as well as the review and acceptance of the risk assessment. Under the agreement
between Transport Canada and the Municipality, Transport Canada has agreed to pay
for appropriate environmental remediation and/or risk management measures.