Hamilton Harbour Cleanup Project Presentation – November 30th
Posted on: November 15, 2016
Construction of the Randle Reef cleanup project in Hamilton Harbour.
Construction of the Randle Reef cleanup project in Hamilton Harbour. A 7 p.m. November 30th presentation at Lakehead University will outline the background and construction for this $139 million project.

The largest environmental cleanup ever undertaken on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes will be the topic of a presentation by Dr. Chris McLaughlin at 7 p.m. on November 30th in room ATAC 3004 at Lakehead University. Dr. McLauglin is the Executive Director of the Hamilton Harbour Bay Area Restoration Committee.

The presentation will be featured at a meeting of the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, where Dr. McLaughlin will provide an overview of Hamilton’s “Randle Reef” cleanup project. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting which is free of charge. Evening parking at Lakehead University is also free of charge. The meeting agenda and directions to the meeting are included in the “Links” section at the bottom of this post.

Infosuperior will livestream meeting audio and presentations. Click the link below to join the meeting online beginning at 6:45 p.m. Thunder Bay time on November 30th.

Meeting Livestream

Access Code: 815-953-517

The Randle Reef site contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other toxic chemicals and is the largest contaminated site of this type on the Canadian Great Lakes. The source of contamination includes Hamilton’ steel industry, also coal gasification, petroleum refining, municipal waste and sewage, along with overland drainage. Dr Mclauglin’s presentation will provide information as to how this $139 million cleanup project is being carried out and how resolution and cooperation was finally arrived at between project partners, after a process lasting decades. Costs for the Randle Reef project are being shared by a consortium including U.S. Steel, the Hamilton Harbour Port Authority, federal, provincial and municipal project supporters.  The Thunder Bay Public Advisory Committee hopes Dr. McLaughlin’s overview of the Hamilton situation will be instructive in finding resolution for a large contaminated area in the northern section of Thunder Bay’s own harbour, off the mouth of the Current River.

By way of comparison, basic Hamilton Harbour and Thunder Bay contaminated site and cleanup project parameters:

Hamilton Harbour Randle Reef                                                                  Thunder Bay North Harbour

Contaminants                            PAHs/other contaminants                               Mercury/other contaminants

Volume (cubic meters)             695,000                                                                 400,000

Area (hectares)                           60                                                                            26

Cleanup cost                               $139 million                                                        $40 to >90 million depending upon method

The Public Advisory Committee will also hear a sub-committee recommendation regarding the health of Thunder Bay fish populations. A presentation on this topic was given by Eric Berglund of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at the September 21st Public Advisory Committee meeting.

Further information about Randle Reef from randlereef.ca:

“The Randle Reef sediment remediation project involves constructing a 6.2 hectare engineered containment facility (ECF) on top of a portion of the most contaminated sediment, then dredging and placing the remaining contaminated sediment in the facility. The facility will be made of double steel sheet pile walls with the outer walls being driven to depths of up to 24 metres into the underlying sediment. The inner and outer walls will be sealed creating an impermeable barrier. The sediment will then be covered by a multi-layered environmental cap”



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