Cleaning up Lake Ontario – final stage of the Randle Reef remediation

State and local government officials yesterday announced the start of Stage 3 of the Randle Reef Contaminated Sediment Remediation Project.

Photo courtesy of the minister Filomena Tassi

Sustained action to restore and protect the Great Lakes is key to the economic prosperity of the region and the well-being of millions of Canadians who rely on them for clean drinking water.

Randle Reef, in Hamilton Harbour on Lake Ontario, was once the largest contaminated sediment site on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes.

By working together, federal, provincial, regional, and municipal governments, along with local stakeholders, are making real progress to restore ecosystem health in the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern and enhance economic development for the community.

Yesterday, Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, on behalf of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, joined by local Members of Parliament and Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of HOPA Ports, kicked off the Stage 3 of the Randle Reef Contaminated Sediment Remediation Project.

The Randle Reef site has a legacy of industrial contamination dating back more than 150 years. During the first two stages of remediation, over 615,000 cubic metres of contaminated sediment was managed.

Following a successful competitive bidding process, a contract of $29.2 million was awarded to Milestone Environmental Contracting Inc. (Milestone) to complete the first phase of Stage 3 construction, which involves the installation of a multi-layered environmental cap, as a final step to isolate contaminants.

The Randle Reef Contaminated Sediment Remediation Project is a joint initiative of the Government of Canada, the province of Ontario, the city of Hamilton, Halton Region, the city of Burlington, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, and Stelco.

The over $150 million clean-up is funded through a public-private approach, with the federal government and the province of Ontario each contributing a third of the funding, and the remaining third collectively funded by local partners.

The final stage of the project is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Once Stage 3 is completed, responsibility for the engineered containment facility will be transferred to the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority and will provide valuable port lands for the community.