Traffic blamed for high levels of iron, dust

Cape Breton Post
Fri., Aug. 5, 2005

SYDNEY - Air samples taken in July from a Whitney Pier street show exceedances of both iron and dust, reports the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency.

Sample results taken July 21 from a monitoring station at Frederick Street show dust levels nearly double the Nova Scotia guidelines.

The dust (total suspended particulate), was recorded at 212.2 micro grams per metre cubed. The provincial 24-hour ambient air objective is 120 micro grams per metre cubed.

Iron levels on Frederick Street were at 9.3 micro grams per metre cubed, which is more than double Ontario's Ministry of Environment's 24-hour standard of 4.0 micro grams per metre cubed.

The agency reports that no remediation work was underway at the coke ovens site or the tar ponds. However, consultants report seeing dust plumes rising from heavy truck traffic travelling along an unpaved portion of the street.

"These results do not reflect activity on our sites for the simple reason that no activity was underway," said Frank Potter, the agency's director of operations. "However the fact that truck traffic on a city street registered these results does demonstrate the sensitivity of our monitoring equipment."