Mr. Scott Sheriff, Ministry of the Environment
The City of Thunder Bay constructed a pumping station on land that is not part of Phase 1 of the Prince Arthur’s Landing. The land that it is built on is part of Phase 2 of Prince Arthur’s Landing. There is an Environment Assessment Study presently going on for Phase 2 of Prince Arthur’s Landing. This structure was not mentioned in the EA completed by the City of Thunder Bay for the first phase of construction. Because of this absence, the public was not allowed to comment on the construction of the pumping station on this location. Because of this, I must now direct my questions to you.
I only have a portion of the report and site plan completed by Trow Associates Inc. The report is dated November 2007. I assume that you have been given the full report. According to the report that I have, the area where the pumping station will be constructed was not tested. This is because of a convenient “misunderstanding” by Trow. I must believe that once this “misunderstanding” was discovered. the consultant should have been sent out to complete the testing. I do not know if this happened. I am sure the City of Thunder Bay supplied your ministry with the soil information for the pumping station construction area. Your office would require that, especially with the industrial history of the area.
As you can see from the report, the adjacent area contains metals such as boron, mercury and zinc as well as Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). You have to assume that unless proven otherwise, these contaminants must also be present in the area of the pumping station. Also, if my memory is correct, the pumping station is being constructed on the former location of the Woodside Foundry. This foundry operated there for over 100 years.
The construction of the pumping station has required several excavations. The material that resulted from these excavations is very likely contaminated. It was put somewhere.
I am asking what measures were taken by the City of Thunder Bay to safely deal with the contaminated material over the short and long term? If the contaminated material is simply left in a pile, exposed to the elements, is that considered a suitable storage plan?
This is the problem when decisions are made behind closed doors. The public is left out of the process. The public has a right to know what is going on. Especially when we are dealing with mercury, boron, zinc and possible beryllium contamination.