Wastes Removed from Sites in Surrey
March 23, 2000
- Today, Ralph Goodale, Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan),
announced the successful completion of the clean-up and removal of
contaminated soil and slag from two industrial properties in Surrey, British
"This initiative resolves a longstanding environmental concern in
Surrey," said Minister Goodale. "Its success is owed in large part
to the active involvement of the public in finding promising
Left over from a 1970s smelting operation, the waste was removed by the
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO), the federal agent
responsible for cleaning up sites contaminated with such wastes. About 5,000
cubic metres of thorium-contaminated soil and slag was removed from 7800
Anvil Way in Surrey for disposal at the Columbia Ridge Landfill and
Recycling Center in Oregon, United States. In addition, a small quantity of
low-level radioactive slag, which had been stored at the Thornton Yard site
in Surrey, was shipped to the LLRWMO's licensed storage facilities at Atomic
Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario.
The Surrey Siting Task Force, an independent group established by the
Minister of NRCan, was tasked with finding a disposal solution for the
contaminated soil and slag. The excavation and removal of the contaminated
soil and slag began in late 1999, after extensive public consultations and
an environmental assessment by Natural Resources Canada.
"The project clearly demonstrates the federal government's commitment
to a public participation process," said Dr. David A. Boyes, the Task
Force's Chairman. "We are grateful that it has been completed without
adverse impacts to public health and safety."
"Now that the contamination has been removed from both sites, radiation
levels are typical of those found in the region and pose no health
risk," said Mr. David Morley of the BC Ministry of Health.
The project required the cooperation and approvals of governments at all
levels, including the B.C. Ministry of Health, the B.C. Ministry of
Environment, Lands, and Parks, as well as the regulatory authorities in both
Canada and the U.S.
This is an example of the Government of Canada's commitment, reinforced in
the 1999 Speech from the Throne, to improving the quality of the
environment, in particular, cleaning up contaminated sites.
For information, media may contact:
Natural Resources Canada