Property Radiological Survey Results Q & A

PRS_collageThe results of the Property Radiological Survey are made available to property owners after the testing is complete, which takes approximately two years from start to finish. Here are more answers to frequently asked questions about receiving results.

1. Why do you have to make so many visits to my property?

The four radiological investigations require five visits to each property. Depending on the preliminary results from these visits, additional appointments may be required.

Here’s what happens:

When soil sample results indicate or confirm the presence of historic low-level radioactive waste on a property, the contractor conducting the work will have to return to take additional samples. If results have indicated that waste may be present, samples are taken around the location of original boreholes to confirm the presence or absence of waste. If results have already confirmed waste, additional samples are taken around the location of the original borehole to find the outer limits of the contamination; this work which may require several visits.

2. When will I get the results of the testing?

Radon Testing Results:
Written notification of radon monitoring results are provided to property owners approximately three months after the radon monitors, which are left in place for six months, have been collected, in other words, about nine months after the monitors are deployed. If your radon monitor was collected more than three months ago and you have not received your results, please contact us at 905.885.0291 or info@phai.ca.

Complete Results:
The results of all tests – radon monitoring, interior and exterior gamma surveying, borehole drilling/soil sampling – are made available to the property owner through either a Compliance Letter indicating that the property meets PHAI Clean-up Criteria or a Notification Letter indicating that the property has waste that will be cleaned up through the PHAI (after which a Compliance Letter will be issued). The complete suite of tests takes approximately two years from start to finish, after which the results are analyzed, a final report is produced for each property, and the Compliance/Notification Letters are issued.

3. If the tests show that a property has no waste, why can’t CNL issue a Compliance Letter right away?

In some cases, there can be a longer period of time between the completion of radiological testing on a property and the issuing of a Compliance Letter to the property owner. If, for example, one or more adjacent properties has not yet been tested, CNL will not issue Compliance Letters to that group of owners until all testing is complete and results for all properties are available. This is done to provide additional confidence to property owners and the broader community that all historic low-level radioactive waste, which does not always stop at property boundaries, has been identified and will be cleaned up.

Because of the complexities of obtaining consent from owners of 4,800 properties, and scheduling and conducting multiple tests at each property, not all properties in a neighbourhood can be tested at the same time. There are many reasons related to owner preference that properties in each of the five campaigns are not investigated at the same time, including personal issues and change of ownership. Staff work with each owner to accommodate his/her requests, which may mean rescheduling the testing of one property in a neighbourhood to a later date in a later campaign.

4. If an adjoining neighbour does not participate in the testing, will I still receive a Compliance Letter for my property?

Yes, ultimately you will be issued a Compliance Letter if your property investigation results meet the PHAI Clean-up Criteria. CNL is working to test all urban and a few rural properties in Port Hope. However, in cases such as this, CNL may opt to take additional soil samples on your property if contamination is suspected on an adjacent or adjoining property.

5. What actions will CNL take with property owners who refuse to participate in the survey?

CNL, along with the Municipality of Port Hope, is working to provide reluctant property owners with the facts about the testing and to outline the benefits of participating in the radiological investigations. CNL has a multi-step communications approach designed to help property owners understand that their participation is critical to success of this project that will benefit the entire Port Hope community into the future.

September 7, 2017