The province has taken further regulatory action after receiving new information about contaminants found in the soil of a former wood processing plant in northeast Edmonton.

An unoccupied area, referred to as “Parcel Y,” is proposed for residential development and was subject to further testing as part of the ongoing investigation.

Developers – Cherokee Canada and 1510837 Alberta Ltd. – hired consultant Thurber Engineering Ltd. to conduct more soil samples in the spring.

Thurber drilled six boreholes, and results found high levels of dioxin and furan from two locations near the middle of the parcel.

The information was shared with the province on July 13.

The province said the levels represent could be potentially dangerous to the workers who are currently conducting tests on the site, and are “disappointed information was not provided sooner.”

The workers are now wearing additional personal protective equipment and using decontamination facilities before they leave the site.

The province said the developers have not taken steps to ensure residents are protected, and as a result, is now intervening by reinforcing the fencing around areas with known contamination and ensuring potentially contaminated soil does not blow off the site.

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Ensuring residents in new development are safe 

High levels of dioxins and furans were also found in the berm where a new development, Verte Homesteader, is located.

The province said the area is already fenced off and poses no risk to the public.

Two sub-surface samples from other parts of the neighbourhood showed dioxins and furans at higher than health screen guidelines.

One was found in an area that’s already fenced, and another was found in the north end of the park at the centre of Verte Homesteader.

The province said the samples from the park were below human health guidelines, residents are not at risk of exposure or human health impacts.

Results of the final sub-surface testing will be released in the fall, along with the human health risk assessment.

Cherokee Canada has not responded to requests for comment.