Canadian Consulting Engineer

AMEC to help Sydney Tar Ponds Agency

Consulting engineering firm AMEC has been given the contract to prepare an environmental impact statement for the c...

October 12, 2004   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consulting engineering firm AMEC has been given the contract to prepare an environmental impact statement for the clean up of the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens in Nova Scotia. The site is Canada’s most notorious blackspot for industrial pollution and has been waiting remediation for decades. It is believed to contain 45,000 tonnes of sediments, including PCBs and cancer-causing toxins such as benzene, Kerosene and napthalene as a legacy of the steel industry which once thrived in the Cape Breton town.
AMEC, whose Canadian headquarters are in Oakville, Ontario, will be preparing the impact statement as part of the environmental assessment of the clean-up process. The plan is to treat the worst contaminants on site with incineration and other methods, and then cap and contain the remainder. Conestoga-Rovers & Associates of Waterloo, Ontario are the lead project management consultant for the clean-up, but many other firms are involved (see CCE website news 5/17/2004). With a federal and provincial funding commitment of $400 million, the clean-up is expected to take 10 years.
It hasn’t been decided yet what level of environmental review the clean-up project must undergo; it could be a screening, a comprehensive study, or a full panel review by independent experts and with public hearings. As well as preparing the environmental impact statement, AMEC will be doing social and economic studies, and helping the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency make representations to various government regulatory bodies. AMEC has been working on the project for five years, doing peer reviews of the engineering studies, as well as soil and air quality testing.


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