Status of work done in compliance with the Director’s Order relating to the former Coal Gas Plant
Posted: September 12, 2018
City of Belleville – During a September 12, 2018 conference call with the Environmental Review Tribunal (the “ERT”), the lawyer for the City of Belleville reported on the status of the work done in response to the Director’s Order issued on August 31, 2015 by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (now Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks or “MECP”) to the City, and to two current property owners (the “Orderees”) with respect to the former Coal Gasification Plant. The Order required the Orderees to complete certain environmental investigations and to prepare a plan to address the findings.
The City has led the work required to be completed by the Order. The work included the completion of an Environmental Investigations report, August 2, 2017 (the “Report”), prepared by Golder Associates. The Report was submitted to the MECP, and additional supplemental investigations were also undertaken and submitted to MECP.
The Report and the supplemental investigations have confirmed:
· contamination of surface soils in the area are from historic land uses not associated with the former Coal Gasification Plant; and
· the absence of ecological and human health risk associated with the surface soils and any other materials associated with the former Coal Gasification Plant, provided that certain risk management measures are put in place.
The Report contained recommendations for the following risk management measures:
· administrative controls; and
· hygiene advice for personal protection
Recently (July 19, 2018) the MECP forwarded the results of its review of the investigations completed and work done by Golder Associates, accepting the conclusions that:
· risk management measures are not required to address soil vapour issues;
· measured shallow soil impacts off-site are related to prior industrial and other uses in the area;
· there are no identified impacts to surface water; and
· there is no adverse effect in harbour sediment related to potential impact from the former gas plant
MECP has now requested the Orderees prepare and submit a Risk Management Plan (“RMP”) for MECP approval. Currently, the City is preparing the Risk Management Plan and following review by the Orderees, will be submitting the Plan to MECP. The MECP approved Plan will then be provided to the ERT for acceptance.
In summary, the City has been conducting ongoing environmental investigations, which began well before the proceedings before the ERT. The City’s primary concern has been the protection of human health, safety and the environment. The results of the investigations, as confirmed by MECP, are that the City has both properly characterized the risks, and that those risks can be properly managed through the risk management measures so as to ensure human health and safety, and the environment are protected.
City of Belleville
Environmental Project Manager