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September 29, 2019

Lessons learned and feedback from community informs Port Hope Project progress

With a busy year of work completed in the community by CNL as part of the Port Hope Project, there have been a number of lessons learned. These lessons as well as feedback being received from residents (through neighbourhood and individual meetings as well as observer and focus groups) were highlighted as part of the quarterly PHAI update to Municipality of Port Hope Council on September 17.

Scott Parnell, General Manager at CNL’s Port Hope office started the presentation by giving a brief overview of PHAI work completed to date and highlighting upcoming work for the remainder of this construction season with reference to the challenges the lake level presented to work in the waterfront area.

“We have completed cleanups on a number of sites this year, including sixteen private properties and three locations where waste was temporarily stored. While the high water levels did impact work at the west beach and in the harbour, work has continued at these sites,” said Parnell.

Parnell explained that the common theme – from both the lessons learned by CNL in the first year of remediation in town and community feedback – is that remediation and restoration is taking too long to complete in some instances. Parnell indicated that “we are working to find ways to speed things up.”

In addition, Parnell said that a review of the overall project timeline has resulted in a move in a schedule extension from 2024 to 2025. Additional sites and waste volumes being discovered have resulted in this schedule change.

“We have also heard that property owners want more say on what happens on their property,” added Parnell. As part of its adaptive management strategy, CNL is exploring ways to give property owners more control over the cleanup on individual properties. The concept of a partial remediation is being discussed with the possibility that there may be areas that are not cleaned up at the property owner’s request.

Similar to the Special Circumstances Protocol agreed upon with the Municipality of Port Hope and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, there may be areas where waste is not removed. In that case, it is because there is a constraint that prevents CNL from being able to get to the waste. In the case of partial remediation it would be the owners restricting access to the waste for a number of different reasons, such as not wanting to remove trees or certain structures.

Council expressed support for the Project with the indication that they were pleased to continue working with CNL throughout implementation, representing the changing community’s needs.

“We continue to listen and adjust to meet the needs of the community, while remaining compliant as we perform this environmental cleanup,” Parnell noted.

Individual discussions with property owners about the plans for the cleanup are ongoing.

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