IADC: Spotlight on Hamilton Harbor Remediation Project

Image source: IADC

The International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) has just released a new article named “Randle Reef Sediment Remediation: Current Status of Construction and Next Steps”, introducing some very interesting facts about the Hamilton Harbor remediation project.

As Canada’s largest port on the Great Lakes, Hamilton Harbor has a long history of industrial activity, especially steel-making, said IADC in the article.

In 1985 the port was identified as an Area of Concern (AOC) under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) between the United States and Canada, with the environmental effects of the contaminated sediment serving a key reason for this designation.

Randle Reef at Hamilton Harbor is the largest site on Canada’s side of the Great Lakes contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Partnership Propels Project

Led by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation project is jointly funded by Canada, Ontario, the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA), U.S. Steel Canada, the City of Burlington and the Regional Municipality of Halton.

The Randle Reef site itself is a water lot owned by the HPA, a crown corporation affiliated with the Government of Canada.

The approach to manage Randle Reef’s contaminated sediments is unique, combining a blended remediation method with a unique partnership between governments, municipalities and local industry.

Removal in Stages

To manage PAH and heavy metal-contaminated sediments, the Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project involves the completion of three stages.

The primary remedial approach is to construct a 6.2 hectare Engineered Containment Facility around the site’s most severely contaminated sediments, followed by hydraulic dredging of sediments in priority areas to be placed within the ECF.

When all stages are finished, 695,000 cubic meters of PAH contaminated sediment will have been remediated, isolating it from the local ecosystem.

Destination: Delist Harbor

Completion of the Randle Reef project will eliminate a significant source of contamination to the Great Lakes, improve the water quality and environmental health of Hamilton Harbor, ultimately setting the stage for the Government of Canada to remove Hamilton Harbor from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern.