Convincing communities to deal with tar ponds sludge may be difficult: official
By Tanya Collier MacDonald
Convincing another community to burn contaminated waste from the tar ponds and coke ovens sites may prove to be difficult. "It's a pretty big problem," said Gary Campbell, executive director of the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency.
And it's not a surprise for the team tasked with co-ordinating all provincial activity in the cleanup of Canada's worst toxic waste site.
Sludge from a Domtar tank located
on the coke ovens site was transported
to an Ontario landfill-a move vehemently
opposed by residents in that province.
Since that time, workbook surveys on cleanup options for the contaminated sites were conducted in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, with close to 1,800 residents participating. From that exercise, a recommendation of co-burning the waste was listed as the most favourable option.
The closest facility capable of burning most of the contamination is the Point Aconi Power Plant.
During a community meeting Wednesday, residents living near the power plant strongly stated they are unwilling to have the waste incinerated in their community.
More than 100 citizens attended the session and comments noted were "why bring it to Point Aconi when you have your own fluidized bed incinerator in Sydney." And, "I don't want poisons burned in my community."
Campbell was asked if there's no way
to take it off the site because all
the other communities are saying they
don't want it in their backyards, what
are the options?
One of the alternatives is using the
twin-fluidized bed incinerator initially
created in the early 90s to burn the
tar pond sludge but failed to properly
transport the waste, said Campbell.
That effort cost taxpayers $55 million.
Campbell said the incinerator can be moved but it may not be feasible. since it's hooked up to a big boiler used to make steam and to generate eight to 10 megawatts of power. He added the big issue would be to "make sure there is nothing that would come off the site that would impact on any other person no matter where they are. You would never use a facility that would endanger anybody's health."