Residents in Belleville’s Foster ward will soon have an opportunity to give their opinion on the upcoming coal tar contamination cleanup.
During the latest hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal a few days ago, the Ministry of Environment gave its approval to the cleanup work plan and new time lines.
MOE lawyer Robert McCulloch told the hearing that, given the contamination had been many years in the ground and would need many years of additional monitoring, the new time lines seemed “wise.”
He said, “Most likely risk management will be imposed on neighbouring properties” but indicated there is “no evidence of immediate danger to people.”
Tribunal hearing Chair Robert Wright noted that “the parties in mediation did a lot of hard work that was not easy to do.”
This fall, the consulting firm hired by the parties, Golder and Associates, will be asking people of the area to participate in a survey, providing information on their properties.
The work plan calls for soil sampling, examination of the sewer as a migration pathway, installation of new monitoring wells and groundwater and sediment sampling.
There has been no agreement on cost-sharing, and mediation sessions held this year will probably not resume until after the consultant’s report next spring.
Eight parties have been ordered by the Ministry of Environment to clean up the site where a coal gasification plant had operated in the 1800s.
The provincial order includes Belleville, 105 Pinnacle Limited, Kent D. Hawkins, Darlene Hawkins, Anthony J. McGarvey, 835267 Ontario Inc., Naomi Spiegel and Sidney Spiegel.