Tar ponds agency seeks bids for $50M remediation project

Cape Breton Post
Fri., Dec. 19, 2008

Sydney- Tenders are being sought to contain 700,000 tonnes of toxic sediment found within Canada's most notorious industrial waste site

The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency is seeking bids for a $50-million remediation project to solidify and stabilize grounds at the former Sydney steel plant. The tender is a bulk part of the overall $400-million capping of the site by the federal and provincial governments.

Agency spokesperson, Tanya Collier MacDonald, said the contract will be awarded in five months. Interested companies must prove they can mix cement and other ingredients into steel and coke waste to harden its surface and prevent contaminated leakage.

Companies may use recipes tested in a lab by tar ponds engineers, or adapt their own recipe assuming it meets the established criteria.

The successful contractor will also be responsible for building a channel that allows water from two brooks to pass over the solidified mass and flow into Sydney harbour.

" We have to show the regulators that we can solidify and stabilize the sediment," said Collier MacDonald. " It's a performance-based contract which means if they don't meet the criteria than they don't get paid.

Included in tender evaluations is a local economic benefits program, where off-island companies, including those from the international community, are encouraged to partner with Cape Breton companies for local labour and community involvement.

Results from the pilot-scale testing completed this fall, must first be submitted to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment for regulatory approval before a full-scale project can proceed. The results will be ready for review in early 2009.