Burial of black goo not enough - residents
Halifax Chronicle Herald Friday, October 16, 1998
By TERA CAMUS / Cape Breton Bureau
Whitney Pier - A 30-metre stretch of black goo that contains
extreme levels of toxins was covered with plastic and buried
with 45 centimetres of soil this week.
But Frederick Street residents still have the goo in mind and
were to talk to Sydney lawyer Joe Rizzetto on Thursday night
about launching a class action lawsuit against three levels of
The residents want the governments to pay for moving them.
"Relocation is the bottom line," resident Ronnie MacDonald
said before the meeting. "Nobody wants to get rich here ... just
give me what I got, somewhere else. It's an older home, but I
put time, effort and money into it.
"And there's still issues like ... no one can say what the
long-term effects are" from exposure to the toxins.
Frederick Street gained national attention last spring after
numerous toxins were found near the neighbourhood brook,
including higher than acceptable limits of arsenic, lead, polycylic
aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and other toxins.
The black goo was found later, after several days of hot
weather, when it started bubbling and reeking. The stench could
be smelled 100 metres away.
Test results determined the goo contained 9,960 milligrams of
naphthalene per kilogram as well as elevated levels of other
toxins. The Council of Canadian Ministers of the Environment
standard for naphthalene is just 0.6 milligrams per kilogram.
The Cape Breton Development Corp., which owns the railway
tracks near the goo, dug a trench 45 metres long by nine metres
wide and buried the slick Tuesday.
Mr. MacDonald, who stood by as Devco employees did the
work, said residents agreed to the burial as a stop-gap
"The stuff is still there and it's going to surface," Mr. MacDonald
said. "But it's better than having them dig it up and having it
Mr. MacDonald said residents were also told of a plan to build
a fence 480 metres long and 2.4 metres high around the brook.
The fence will be within a metre of the back steps of one home.
"That's pretty drastic," Mr. MacDonald said. "It may be
The neighbourhood will look like it's imprisoned, he said.
Next article - Rocky Jones & Sierra Club take the case
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