Public to have say in
By MATT HUNT GARDNER
SYDNEY - The provincial agency charged with cleaning up
Sydney's tar ponds and coke ovens sites says the public will
have a chance to comment on where contaminated material will
Parker Donham, spokesman for the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency,
said that the definitive site for the mobile PCB incinerator
to be used to burn material hasn't been decided yet.
AMEC Earth and Environmental Ltd. is preparing the 200-page
technical description of the work to be done. The final draft
was expected to be delivered to the agency Friday.
An appendix will include a list of possible incinerator
sites and the pros and cons of each site. AMEC will also rate
Mr. Donham couldn't comment on the contents of the
He did say that the public will have a chance to comment on
the appendix during a one-month review period and during the
environmental assessment of the technical definition - whether
it be a government-led comprehensive review or a full panel
review led by a government-appointed expert.
"I expect that appendix will probably be quite
controversial," Mr. Donham said, "but the public will have
plenty opportunity to comment on this or any other part of the
He said the definition and its appendix should be made
public in mid-January.
The tar ponds and coke ovens sites are the result of 100
years of steelmaking under private- and public-sector
ownership. There is 700,000 tonnes of sludge rich with
potentially cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
inside the two tar ponds, which cover over 32 hectares in the
downtown core. The 72-hectare coke ovens site also contains
300,000 tonnes of sludge.
Bruno Marcocchio, who represents the Sierra Club's Cape
Breton chapter, said his group welcomes the opportunity to
comment before the environmental assessment is chosen.
"We'll be insisting to the federal government to choose a
full panel review, which is the only environmental assessment
empowered to examine alternatives to incineration," he said.
"Incineration anywhere in the Cape Breton Regional
Municipality is unacceptable."