The federal and provincial governments have confirmed some of the funding breakdown for the $138.9-million Randle Reef sediment remediation project in Hamilton, Ontario.
Testing got underway earlier in December 2012 to determine the force required to drive piles at the site of some 630,000 cubic metres of sediment contaminated with coal tar (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and heavy metals.
The contamination came from previous industrial operations at the site.
In addition to the $46.3 million in funding from the federal government, the province of Ontario has committed to provide $46.3 million. An additional $14 million is being contributed by the City of Hamilton, plus $14 million from U.S. Steel Canada and another $14 million from the Hamilton Port Authority. The city of Burlington is putting up $2.3 million with Halton Region kicking in another $2 million.
“Cleaning up Randle Reef is vital for Hamilton and the region,” announced Minister of the Environment, Peter Kent, in a December 18, 2012 statement to media. “This initiative will deliver environmental, health, and economic benefits to the local community over the eight year life of the project, including the creation of approximately 60 jobs.”
A dry cap-dyked containment facility about 9.5 hectares in size will be constructed of double steel sheet pile walls. Piles for the outer walls are being driven to depths of up to 24 metres into the underlying sediment.
U.S. Steel is also contributing 10,000 tonnes of hot rolled steel sheet and another 700 tonnes of steel products to build the containment facility.
The site will be dredged, followed by most of the remaining contaminated sediment being placed in the new containment facility.
In 1985, Hamilton Harbour was identified as an Area of Concern under the Canada–United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement due to significant water quality impairments. While many improvements have been made to reduce pollution in the harbour, the contaminated sediment at Randle Reef remained a principal environmental challenge.
"When those in the future look back, this is the time and the event that they will say presented a new face for Hamilton to the world. The water that provided us with our identity will now be restored to the standards of civilization. For this we will be forever grateful to our partners in the federal and provincial governments,” said Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina in the media announcement.
Funding for the implementation is contingent on completion of the Environmental Assessment process.
Read more on Randle Reef here.