By Belle Hatfield
For The Vanguard
A half-million-dollar contaminated soil remediation facility has just opened at the Hardscratch Road solid waste park and the site’s general manager says it is already saving contractors trucking fees. Within days of opening, the facility last week had already accepted 500 tonnes of petroleum-contaminated soil that would otherwise have been shipped to Queens County for remediation and disposal.
The Yarmouth County Solid Waste Park’s general manager, Glendon Ring, says the facility has just obtained all of its operating permits from the Department of Environment and has begun accepting contaminated soil. Construction of the contaminated soil site was overseen by the Yarmouth County Solid Waste Management Authority, which is jointly managed by the county’s three municipal units.
Both economic and environmental factors have propelled the project. Since the closure of the Town of Yarmouth’s landfill in 2007, the closest contaminated soil disposal site is in Queens County near Liverpool. Trucking contaminated soil nearly 200 km has been costly to the county’s residents. Consultants anticipate, based on previous years’ findings, to see an annual savings of nearly $120,000 through the diversion of nearly 6,000 tonnes of contaminated soil, which has been going to the Queens County facility.
In its environmental assessment (EA) documentation, project consultant ABL Environmental Consultants Ltd. suggested that the absence of a local disposal site was a factor that may be inhibiting property owners from conducting cleanups of properties with contaminated soils.
“This has significantly increased the costs of site remediation in the Yarmouth area and is inhibitory to undertaking site remediation,” the report concluded.
Argyle and the Municipality of Yarmouth received $257,000 from the Building Canada Fund to help defray those units’ share of capital costs. Under the authority’s cost-sharing formula, the Town of Yarmouth footed the bill for around 29 per cent of the project costs, in the neighbourhood of $145,000.
Tenders were called last July and low tenderer Garian Construction Ltd. was awarded the contract. The bid was $496,909.11 plus HST.
The facility is designed to allow the contaminated material to leach out of the soil over time rendering the soil usable as a topper for the construction and demolition disposal operations at the Hardscratch Road site. The site will utilize liners and tarps to minimize the production of leachate and prevent what is formed from escaping into the environment.
The EA registration document describes the containment system as “the ultimate barrier.”
It is designed to capture all the leachate and direct it into an oil water separator. The residual water will then be contained in a storage pond.
Tipping fees to use the facility are $55 a tonne and at the expected rate of usage, the capital costs of developing the site are expected to be recovered within five to 10 years.
Prior to the closure of the Yarmouth landfill site, contaminated soils were accepted there and were used as landfill cover without remediation.
The new facility is designed to produce soils that are treated by controlling aerobic and moisture conditions. After 15 months of active treatment, the soils are expected to be safe for use as on site fill material.