April 12, 1999, Cape Breton Post

History of cleanup much revised in JAG membership controversy

by Rob Jessome

To the Editor:

In some quarters, thinking on the tar ponds cleanup is as clouded as the water in Muggah Creek. For example, consider Mary Ruth MacLellan's recent letter (It's the same for Kellogg's, April 5).

She would have us believe that Sydney Environmental Resources Limited, formerly Sydney Tar Ponds Clean-Up Inc., is under criminal investigation. This is simply not so. Ms. MacLellan knows as much.

SERL and its predecessor corporation had nothing to do with the design and construction of the cleanup. The corporation is not under investigation nor are its employees.

JAG's ethics committee ruling in response to Ms. MacLellan's complaint against SERL is equally imprecise. In effect, it states that Sydney Tar Ponds Clean-Up Inc. was mandated to construct and operate the incinerators. Further, it offers that construction of the incinerators began in 1994. Both statements are incorrect.

The incinerators were constructed as part of a Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement under the direction of Environment Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. Construction began in 1986, not 1994.

Rob Jessome
Local 1064-2 USWA, SERL
Concern for community predates personal battle to escape toxic hazards
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