Coal plant picked as tar ponds incinerator site

CBC Nova Scotia
CBC News - WebPosted Feb 8 2005 02:45 PM AST

SYDNEY, N.S. An abandoned coal wash plant near Sydney has been chosen as the site for an incinerator, where toxic waste from the tar ponds would be destroyed.

The 255-page plan for cleaning up the contaminated tar ponds and coke ovens site was released Tuesday at a technical briefing in Sydney.

The portable incinerator would be placed at Victoria Junction, between Sydney and Glace Bay, and would operate for three years. The site was chosen partly because it's a large area with rail access and good power sources. It's also only a few kilometres east of the tar ponds site.

But some critics have already spoken out against the plan to burn waste in the Sydney area, saying it will only further pollute a place already contaminated by its steel-making past.

The $400-million cleanup project was announced last May after years of community consultations and reports. Under the plan, material that's not incinerated with either be turned into cement-like blocks or exposed to hydrocarbon-eating microbes. People in Cape Breton have 30 days to give their opinion about the cleanup proposal. An environmental assessment will follow.

The entire cleanup is expected to take 10 years.