An important milestone for the Randle Reef sediment remediation project has been reached, with the partners announcing today that all legal agreements to fund and implement the project have been completed and signed.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario, the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Port Authority, U.S. Steel Canada, the City of Burlington, and Halton Region are working together on this $138.9 million clean-up project.
“We are pleased with the cooperation between partners that is allowing this project to move ahead. The clean-up of Randle Reef is important for the future of this community and reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to clean water for Canadians,” said Canada’s Environment Minister, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq.
“Today’s announcement means that all the money is in place to undertake the Randle Reef sediment-capping project that will protect water quality and improve fish habitat in the harbour. This is cause for celebration. Cleaning up Randle Reef is a major step in returning Hamilton Harbour to a healthy state,” said Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin on behalf of Ontario’s Environment Minister Jim Bradley.
“I am so very pleased that we now have a signed agreement and can move forward,” said Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina. “I want to thank our local, industrial and government partners for their continued commitment to the clean-up of Randle Reef and Hamilton Harbour. The results of this agreement will pave the way for continued investment and improvement of our waterfront.”
“Hamilton Port Authority is committed to seeing the Randle Reef project through and has been an active contributor of financial support and engineering expertise,” said Bruce Wood, President and CEO, Hamilton Port Authority. “We share the goal of having Hamilton Harbour removed from the list of Great Lakes toxic hot spots, and leaving a legacy of a clean, active harbour for future generations.”
“The success of this collaboration is that future generations will only know about Randle Reef by virtue of what they read in history books. We are proud to be part of building a sustainable environment and bright future for the City of Hamilton,” said Anton Jura, President of U. S. Steel Canada.
“Burlington is a forward-looking city, a place where people, nature and business thrive, and where we safeguard the quality of life for future generations,” said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring. “We are committed to preserving our waterways, and are fortunate to have partners with an equal commitment to the natural environment.”
Randle Reef is an area of contaminated sediment located in Hamilton Harbour. The proposed clean-up project involves constructing an engineered containment facility on top of a portion of the most contaminated sediment, then dredging and placing most of the remaining contaminated sediment in the facility. In total, this project will address 675,000 cubic metres of sediment contaminated with coal tar (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and heavy metals.
Environment Canada, as the project lead, can now engage Public Works and Government Services Canada as the procurement authority and project manager.
Cleaning up Randle Reef will improve water quality and reduce contaminant levels in aquatic organisms, making it safer to consume fish caught in the harbour. It will also remove current restrictions on navigation and generate economic returns through the creation of valuable port lands.
In 1985, Hamilton Harbour was identified as an Area of Concern under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
While many improvements have been made to reduce pollution in the harbour, the problem of contaminated sediments remains.
Press Release, September 30, 2013