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Alberta Environment calls for remediation at Domtar site
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 12:16PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:29PM MDT
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips has issued a ministerial order to remediate the former Domtar wood processing site in northeast Edmonton.
The order was issued Thursday in response to recommendations from the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board, and calls for further testing of the site and a timeline for plans to clean it up.
According to a report based on evidence received at a hearing last fall, the contamination does not pose an immediate danger to residents in the area; however, the recommendations do not take into account the report from Alberta Health Services which say the hazardous materials could pose a human health risk.
The new ministerial order comes after one that called for the removal of all contaminated substances by Sept. 1, 2018 at an estimated cost of $52 million. Cherokee Canada, the owner of the land, appealed the order and won.
Thursday’s report recommends cleaning pockets of contaminated soil, instead of the large mass disposal.
“I want to say I have faith in the process that we’ve set up, and my number one priority is to make sure people are safe,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said.
Cherokee Canada is reviewing Thursday’s report and will work on the “remaining issues.”
The province held an open house at the Clareview Community Recreation Centre Thursday night to explain the situation and hear from residents.
Nick Barnay is concerned that his health issues were caused by the contaminated soil.
“I got lung problems now,” he said. “I’m very upset about it.”
“I’m scared and very frustrated because nobody would answer to anything,” his wife Pat said.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Dan Grummett