C.B. health board wants full review of tar ponds plan |
By MATT HUNT GARDNER
SYDNEY - The Cape Breton district health authority announced Tuesday that it
prefers a full-panel review of the plan to clean up Sydney's tar ponds and coke
The authority's board and medical staff both agreed that the federal Department
of Public Works and Government Services should recommend a full-panel review to
the environment minister when the current community consultation is complete.
The authority says there are several things the assessment must do, like make
sure there's lots of community consultation and continued public participation,
that the panel have the ability to assess cleanup alternatives, and that an
ombudsman be appointed so community concerns are addressed in a way people will
The authority also wants to make sure the health impacts of any discussed
cleanup alternative are fully disclosed so the community will know how
appropriate each option is.
The authority's board is putting together a group to look at the environmental
risks associated with the cleanup plan.
Public Works and Government Services is collecting the opinions of Cape
Bretoners on their preferred method of environmental assessment of the tar
ponds and coke ovens project.
In May the department is expected to notify the Environment Department of its
recommendation - either to continue with an in-house comprehensive study or to
switch to a full-panel review led by an independent expert.
The debate in Cape Breton over the two methods has been raging since late last
year, with the Sierra Club of Canada leading the pack of those seeking a
On Tuesday, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality announced that it had
officially sent its recommendation to Public Works.
Municipal council prefers a comprehensive study.