Monthly Tar Ponds Reports Must Be Regularly Made Public Gosse

News Release by Gordie Gosse
NDP Caucus
feb. 26, 2009

Sydney - NDP MLA for Cape Breton Nova, Gordie Gosse, says the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency should routinely release the monthly reports of the Independent Engineer. The 2008 reports on progress at the tar ponds clean-up were released yesterday to the Public Accounts Committee of the legislature.

"These reports give the real story about how things are going with the clean-up," says Gosse. "The most recent report, written only three weeks ago, identifies five high-risk problems with the clean-up. Some we knew about, some we didn't. This information should already have been public."

The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency is the lead agency in the clean-up. The complex reporting structure sees the agency reporting to a joint federal-provincial committee. Engineering work is reviewed by an Independent Engineer, currently Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, to ensure it complies with the federal-provincial cost-sharing agreement. "It's only because of NDP questioning at the Public Accounts Committee that this information is public," says Gosse. "But local residents should be informed every step of the way. This kind of information, which takes out all the spin, should be posted on the Agency's website every month."

The Public Accounts Committee was provided with a copy of the STPA's quarterly reports for 2006-2008, plus the Independent Engineer's reports for 2008.