Future of faulty tar ponds incinerator up in air

CBC Nova Scotia - On-line Edition
WebPosted Mar 4 2004 09:35 AM AST

SYDNEY, N.S. The multimillion-dollar incinerator that was supposed to burn waste from the tar ponds may be scrapped.

More than a decade ago, the federal and provincial government spent $55 million on an incinerator that never worked properly. It wasn't designed to burn PCBs, which were later discovered in the tar ponds.

The province spends about $300,000 every year to maintain the incinerator in the hopes it can be put to some use in the final cleanup. However, that doesn't appear likely.

The group that oversees the incinerator, Sydney Environmental Resources Ltd., is meeting Thursday to decide the fate of the facility.

"The community recommendation simply says the least desirable option would be using those existing incinerators. So, that puts a different twist on it," says the agency's Gary Campbell.

Critics cite other reasons for scrapping the incinerator, claiming it's too close to houses and schools to ever be used safely.

"It's located only 600 metres from Harbourside elementary school, which means it violated the CCME guidelines," says Marlene Kane.

"Those guidelines require that a hazardous waste incinerator must be located at least 1,500 metres from schools, residences and businesses."