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2014-08-20 at 15:51

Harbour cleanup

The city
Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
The city's north harbour, near the former Cascades pulp and paper mill, contains mercury-contaminated sediment.
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By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY - Dredging a mercury-contaminated area of the city’s north harbour has been identified as the preferred cleanup option in a recently released report.

The report, prepared by Cole Engineering for the Thunder Bay North Harbour Sediment Remediation Project says dredging the area, which has been contaminated from years of industrial activity on the lakefront, and then moving the toxic material to the Mission Bay Confined Disposal Facility is the preferred technical option.

It would cost between $40 million and $50 million.

But the project, still needs the support of the community, says Jamie Saunders, program coordinator with EcoSuperior.

“We won’t have a final decision until we’ve fully incorporated public input into the selection process,” he said Wednesday afternoon, adding he encourages people to look at the report and offer their comments and opinions.

EcoSuperior will also host an open house in early October to discuss the project.

Other options included capping or excavating the toxic sediment but Saunders said dredging was the best choice based on factors like environmental effectiveness and cost.

Public consultation will continue until winter of next year and Saunders said once that process has concluded, they will need to seek funding partners for the project and finalize a detailed cleanup design.

“We’re still looking at a number of years in the future before we have any machines digging material out of the harbour,” he said.

The contaminated area is north of where the Current River flows into Lake Superior, along the shore where the former Cascades pulp and paper mill is located.

The mill is one of the main contributors to the mercury contamination in the lake, said Saunders.

There is a level of risk associated with the toxic material, but Saunders said there is no reason to panic.

“We’re looking to contribute to a healthy, ecologically vibrant harbour and 350,000 to 400,000 cubic metres of mercury-contaminated sediment does not bode well for that. There is certainly an impact on the ecology of the area,” he said.


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Comments

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tiredofit says:
Yet another blunder the tax payers will be on the hook for.
8/20/2014 4:42:37 PM
ou812 says:
How is this the cities fault? Industries dumped the toxins there for decades!
8/22/2014 11:03:33 AM
DougMyers says:
I still have big issues with this.

Think about it. We are going to spend $50 million to dig up a toxic are of the waterfront and move te material to another part of Lake Superior, Mission Bay. This so called confinement are is just a dumping ground in Lake Superior between the city and Chippewa park.

How does equate to a good use if $50 million?
How does this help Lake Superior?

Are we not just spending millions to move a problem farther down shore?
8/20/2014 5:01:23 PM
Watchmaker says:
The confinement area is exactly that - contained behind coffer dams and holds dredged sediment already. Where exactly would you have this material disposed??
8/20/2014 6:38:14 PM
Eastender says:
Wouldn't dredging stir up the contaminants and help spread them throughout the harbour? I would be more in favour of building a breakwall around the contaminated area and then filling it in, thus burying the contaminated lake bottom, and at the same time creating more land area, for condos or whatever.
Seems like taking contaminated lake bottom from one area, and depositing it in another area, just moves the problem, and sort of creates a no mans land. The cost to cap and/or fill in the area may be the less expensive way to go, and at the end of the day, you have some useable new real estate. No?
8/21/2014 1:52:19 PM
gotta ask says:
So who's gonna pay for the clean up??? The people who polluted it or the city taxpayers that didn't??? My guess is that it will be the taxpayers....
8/20/2014 5:11:41 PM
humnchuck says:
Well the last operators went bankrupt, so it's going to be pretty hard to go after the companies involved.

Corporate responsibility is awesome, eh?
8/20/2014 5:47:50 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Good to know the City's drinking water plant is the next door neighbor . Where do I sign up for the next class-action lawsuit ?
8/20/2014 5:29:55 PM
freedom54 says:
The water intake pipe for treatment plant is on the other side of the breakwall and extends a long way out into the lake.
The contaminated soil is inside the Harbour.
8/20/2014 6:23:31 PM
Watchmaker says:
The treatment plant may be "next door" but the intake is way out past the breakwall. The direction of circulation makes it unlikely that any contaminants from this area would pose risks to Thunder Bay's drinking water supply. Additionally, municipal drinking water is (post Walkerton) very highly regulated and tested - I trust the water from the taps more than the bottled crap sold in stores for more $$ per litre than gasoline.
8/20/2014 6:43:35 PM
papercut says:
So the companies who operated the mill and made the polution, as well as the 2 companies whom owned it after it shut down and made millons on the scrap are going to pay for the clean-up???????

I certainly hope that is the case.
8/20/2014 5:52:02 PM
nvjgu says:
Human's, Lol. You should see what humans are doing in Alberta. I don't give this planet another 100 yr's.
8/20/2014 7:49:41 PM
SBJforever says:
How in the world could moving this contaminated material by any known means be a good idea not a barge in the world is capable of containing all its material well being moved and trucking it would also be a total loss. The blob ofshore at northern woods is capped why wouldnt this be the same? Cap inplace seal of the area and build a condo there WTF London and New York are built on garbage lets extend our foot print(sic) .
8/20/2014 10:52:19 PM
nvjgu says:
Anybody for a nice cold glass tap water. Flavours available are, Whole grain, silver mercury, spruce bark And our very own flavor of the month, Caustic soda with a topping of real foam. While quantities last.
8/21/2014 3:32:48 AM
Dockboy says:
Thank God I'm on well water.
8/21/2014 10:46:26 AM
communistguy says:
This is something that has to be addressed and dealt with before anymore waterfront projects, instead of this put it under the rug business! Why spend the money to make look nice when its practically an environmental hazard! Its like painting a wall, you don't just paint over the old wall or else the stuff caked on it over the years will slowly show through, then you have another dirty wall! clean it up then make it look good!
8/21/2014 1:28:03 PM
dynamiter says:
Last night on the cbc news the pointed out that it is OK to p in the ocean. Even the city of Victoria believes that as they according to the same news item dumps 41 million liters of untreated raw sewage into the ocean. Seems to me that we should be either spending the money to help them, or even better spend it on our storm sewers so that road salt and dog poo (in the spring run off) and other contaminants are not getting into the harbour and that in lures controlling the goose population. And as far as the blob is concerned, let sleeping dogs lie.
8/21/2014 2:55:53 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
And the city gave up a spring fed lake source, that was gravity fed ?

Imagine the health benefits and the saving in hydro, and pumping costs ?

Has anyone done a study to see the differences in diseases between the two water sources to the citizens of Thunder Bay ?
8/21/2014 8:21:22 PM
tudor says:
simple question and maybe it should be asked.

out of the estimate 90 million price tag that was quoted in the paper, what is the amount the city is expected to pay????

someone

anyone out there want to ask

anyone on council???
8/21/2014 11:27:38 PM
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