Decision on cleanup delayed until January
By Tanya Collier Macdonald
Cape Breton Post
Thurs. Dec. 21, 2006
SYDNEY - Governments won't announce until January how the tar ponds and coke
ovens sites cleanup will be managed.
Bill Turpin, spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Labour, said
the small delay shouldn't be a concern.
"Everything is going fine," he said.
Provincial and federal governments said the announcement would come by the
end of December, but were unable to reach that date. The extension comes as
pressure builds in Ottawa regarding the environment file.
Under heavy criticism for climate change plans, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper said the environment is now among his top priorities. One of his
first changes could be the department's minister. Recent reports say Harper
will replace Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.
The new minister's first job could be signing a cost-share agreement with
the province to get Cape Breton's long-awaited $400 million environmental
project on the go. The agreement follows an intense public consultation
process directed by a three-member joint review panel that ended in May. The
panel made a multitude of recommendations and forwarded them to both
provincial and federal governments for consideration.
Some of the recommendations governments continue to consider are that all
stakeholders, including the public, be prepared to manage the project
indefinitely. As well, further pilot-studies should be performed on proposed
solidification and stabilization technologies before they're applied to the
tar ponds. And, the panel asked government to weigh the incineration of PCBs
in the tar ponds against simply managing them in place.