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Cleanup Criteria

Developing criteria to direct the cleanup of contaminated sites has been fundamental to the Port Hope Area Initiative. Cleanup criteria establish the levels to which each radioactive and non-radioactive contaminant found in soil, harbour sediments, water and groundwater contaminated with historic low-level radioactive waste will be cleaned up. Criteria also apply to radon levels in houses. Cleanup criteria are important because they address the question, “When is a property clean?”

The criteria were developed through a co-operative effort involving the PHAI, scientific specialists, federal and provincial government agencies, peer reviewers, the municipalities and members of the public. Principles to guide the clean-up process were built on the statement in the Legal Agreement that:

“Canada shall clean up properties contaminated with historic low-level radioactive waste so that all such properties will be able to be used for all current and foreseeable unrestricted uses.”

Contaminants associated with low-level radioactive waste are mainly radium-226, thorium-230, uranium and arsenic. Cleanup (excavation) will meet or go beyond the criteria to ensure the long-term safety of the public and the environment.

Learn more about Port Hope Cleanup Sites and Testing Port Hope Properties.

Application to change the PHAI Cleanup Criteria