Smell in Whitney Pier neighbourhood traced to cleanup of former Sysco site

Cape Breton Post
Thurs., Sept. 24, 2009

Sydney - A pungent odour that floated through a Whitney Pier neighbourhood Wednesday has been traced to a cleanup project on former Sysco lands.

Dominion Street resident Kelly Grant said a haze, accompanied by a strange odour, was hanging over the neighbourhood in the morning. He immediately reported the problem to the Department of Environment, which is investigating the problem. "We tracked it back to the high dump on the former Sysco site and it appeared to be emanating from coal tar that they were mixing onsite," said Jason Catoul, an inspector specialist from Nova Scotia Environment. "It had a really strong odour." Catoul said the smell was the result of mixing coal tar with fly ash as part of remediation work being carried out by Crown corporation Nova Scotia Lands Inc. at the former Sydney Steel Corporation site.

Remediation work continued despite the smell. Department investigators said they did not perform any tests Wednesday in relation to the odour. "When we were onsite it was decided we should review the approval before we take any action," said Catoul. "I canít say what will happen in the future if that were to occur again."

Environment officials will meet today with the contractor to discuss what air monitoring Nova Scotia Lands Inc. has in place and what can be done to prevent the smell from returning.