Committee discusses tar ponds projects

Members drawn from number of areas

By Tanya Collier Macdonald
Cape Breton Post
Fri., Apr. 13, 2007

SYDNEY - Members of a newly struck environmental management committee met Thursday to discuss upcoming tar ponds projects and ways to track ongoing success.

The full-day event, which was closed to the public, was held in Membertou, said Ken Swain, project director at Public Works and Government Services Canada. It was one of several monthly meetings the committee has held since it was struck in December.

The committee has eight federal representatives, four provincial representatives and a representative from the Cape Breton District Health Authority. The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency and an independent engineer also attend. "The purpose of the committee is to ensure that the environmental obligations that the project has are met and to ensure that we keep the recommendations of the review panel in view," said Swain.

In the committee’s terms of reference, its purpose is described as offering expert advice on the environmental management of the $400-million cleanup and to guide the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency during the development and implementation of a project environmental management plan.

It’s also developing a tracking document to keep tabs on ongoing work. "It methodically lays out the review panel recommendation from number one to number 55 and governments’ response," said Swain. "For the rest of it, it’s a work in progress."

The committee will also serve as a forum for information exchange between federal and provincial regulatory agencies and project experts.


Sitting committee representatives:

  • Government of Canada:
    1. Public Works and Government Services Canada
    2. Health Canada
    3. Fisheries and Oceans
    4. Environment Canada
    5. Transport Canada
    6. Natural Resources Canada
    7. Cape Breton Development Corporation
    8. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation
  • Province of Nova Scotia:
    1. Department of Environment and Labour
    2. Department of Health Promotion and Protection
    3. Department of Transportation and Public Works
    4. Department of Natural Resources
    5. Cape Breton District Health Authority
  • Ex-offico members:
    1. Independent Engineer
    2. Sydney Tar Ponds Agency
(15 members in all)