Sierra Club of Canada News Release
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Sierra Club to Present Environment Minister Anderson
with Petitions Requesting A Full Panel Review
of Tar Pond Clean-Up Options

Pictured (L to R): Neila MacQueen, Elizabeth May, Bruno Marcocchio

(Sydney, N.S.) – The Sierra Club of Canada today announced it would deliver a petition with over 3,000 signatures from local residents to the Honorable David Anderson, Federal Minister of Environment. The petition requests a full panel environmental assessment be initiated to examine the full scope of the contamination and examine safe and effective remediation options.

Federal law requires that federally funded projects be subjected to an environmental assessment process. “A project cleaning up Canada’s worst hazardous waste in the middle of a city deserves the highest level of assessment” Elizabeth May, Executive Director, Sierra Club of Canada, said today. “The significant public concern our petition demonstrates should convince Minister Anderson that a panel should be convened to look at all options that are effective and protective of human health,” Ms May stated.

The required EA should, in light of the significant public concern, convene a panel that looks at all of the technological options not just those advocated by the JAG consultants. The JAG options did not take impact on residents into account. A federal panel would be able to look at all the technological options including JAG’s consultant proposals. “The scope and potential impact of this cleanup on human health demands that a full panel examine all possible options in an impartial manner,” urged Doug MacKinlay, Chair of the Cape Breton Sierra Club Group. “A flawed JAG workbook is not adequate public participation”

The impartial panel would look at the proposals that JAG recommends as well as other options that are safe, effective and that don’t release any emissions. “Residents that live next to this waste can’t be ignored as though they don’t matter. We need to find a way to eliminate the gases from affecting residents like my family that already suffer health impacts from living here,” urged Neila MacQueen, Dorchester Street resident.

The failure in the past to look at reasonable public process has resulted in two failed projects. “Ignoring requests to conduct a full panel a dozen years ago resulted in selecting inappropriate technology that has wasted a hundred million dollars and fifteen years,” said Bruno Marcocchio, Sierra Club Atlantic Conservation Director. “For our children’s sake, let us not repeat the same mistakes.”

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Elizabeth May, Sierra Club of Canada, (613) 241-4611
Bruno Marcocchio, Sierra Club of Canada (902) 539-3303

SCC Sydney Tar Ponds page

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