CNL is committed to continue working closely with property owners to quickly resolve any issues that may occur as a result of Port Hope Project construction and cleanup activities in residential neighbourhoods. This message was reiterated during the quarterly PHAI update to Municipality of Port Hope Council on June 18. The update, delivered by Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Alex Mahabir, also identified PHAI work that CNL has recently completed in Port Hope, and some of the challenges that have affected the progress of work, in particular at the waterfront sites.
“We recognize that the cleanup is extensive work in the middle of a vibrant community and it does come with unavoidable impacts that we will work with all parties to address, where possible, as quickly as possible” said Mahabir.
Work will continue at residences this year and dialogue with property owners is ongoing to ensure that where possible, adjustments are made to provide results that are desirable to them, while still meeting the obligations of the 2001 Legal Agreement, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission license and environmental assessments. In addition, neighbourhood information sessions are held to discuss potential impacts, sequence of work and other considerations, like parking and traffic flow.
In other news, waste temporarily stored at three sites across the Municipality has been transported to the Port Hope Long-Term Waste Management Facility for safe management. Mahabir noted that the Sewage Treatment Plant site, located in Port Hope’s east waterfront area, is the most recent temporary site to be restored through the PHAI. Work in that area also includes the first industrial waste site – the Sewage Treatment Plant Storage Cell – that has been cleaned up as part of the PHAI.
While work continues in the Port Hope harbour and at the waterfront site near the West Beach, the significantly high water levels have necessitated the implementation of strategies to manage the excessive water encountered. “We are using strategies such as the treatment of water on the site and at the Port Hope Waste Water Treatment Plant, as well as reducing the depth of excavation at the site, and reinforcing erosion control measures, all of which have made a significant difference.”
Mahabir also indicated that work will begin at the Mill Street site this summer, following bird nesting season, and also noted that the permitting process is underway to facilitate work under the viaducts.
Ongoing work at the Long-Term Waste Management Facility includes the receipt of waste from various sites in town as well as the construction of the two remaining storage cells. Mahabir shared that safely managing the waste remains an area of public interest as indicated in the results of the recent PHAI public attitude survey. Specific concerns about unknown future impacts and long-term containment of the waste continue to be top of mind for some residents. “I want to reassure the community that the mound has been designed to isolate contaminants from the environment,” said Mahabir. She also indicated that monitoring systems have been installed in the mound that confirm that the liner system which encases the waste is working as intended. “After the mound has been closed, the facility will continue to be operated and maintained by qualified staff,” she added.
Mahabir concluded the presentation by reminding the audience that the “PHAI is a community –requested solution to a long-standing environmental concern” and that CNL continues to work with property owners, residences and the Municipality to address any issues.