Compensation to be discussed

Cape Breton Post
Thurs., Oct. 16, 2003

MEMBERTOU - Possible compensation for a loss of fishing resulting from contamination from Sydney's tar ponds will be discussed next week between Membertou officials and the federal government.

Bernd Christmas, chief executive officer of Membertou, said both parties will meet in Dartmouth on Oct. 24. To be discussed is monetary reimbursement for the community, located about three kilometres from the Sydney tar ponds and coke ovens sites.

Sludge from the tar ponds has been seeping into the Muggah Creek Watershed and Sydney harbour from the steelmaking process at the Sydney steel plant since it began operations in the early 1900s.

There was a native community located along Sydney harbour until the turn of the century. That community was forced to relocate to what is now known as Membertou, which has a population of just under 1000.

It's also been reported that talks will centre around remediation options selected by residents of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality via a workbook exercise. About 1,800 residents participated and the majority selected permanent removal and destruction as the way of remediating the 700,000 tonnes of toxic sludge and 60 hectares of highly contaminated land.