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Backgrounder

Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern Sediment Capping Project

Pollution has left Jellicoe Cove in the Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern with sediment contaminated with elevated levels of mercury and PCBs. To create clean habitat for plants and animals and to accelerate natural recovery, Environment Canada and Ontario Ministry of the Environment are funding the project to cap this contaminated sediment with clean sand.

The project consists of covering the contaminated sediment with 15 - 20 centimetres of clean sand over an area of approximately 20 hectares (200,000 square metres). The capping project will begin this month and is expected to be completed in fall 2012.

Several options were considered to address the sediment contamination in the Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern. Thin-layer capping was chosen after extensive community consultations and technical review.

The thin-layer cap will not limit future industrial development in Jellicoe Cove. The cap and the ecological recovery of the area will be monitored periodically for the next 20 years.

This capping project represents the last major remaining action to be completed in this Area of Concern. Once the project is complete, and post-construction monitoring confirms restoration, Canada and Ontario will consult with stakeholders and the community on removing Peninsula Harbour from the list of Areas of Concern.  

What is an Area of Concern?

“Area of Concern” is the term used to identify hotspots in the Great Lakes where the environment has been harmed to the point that it affects use and enjoyment of that area of the lake or may affect the health of the lake.

Canadaand the United States identified 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and agreed to develop Remedial Action Plans to address the environmental problems identified in each area.

Of the original 17 Canadian Areas of Concern, three have been cleaned up and removed from the list, two locations have been recognized as Areas in Recovery, and all actions have been completed on one additional Area of Concern.

For More Information

Environment Canada:

www.ec.gc.ca/raps-pas/default.asp?lang=En&n=1FEF0867-1

Ontario Ministry of the Environment:

www.ontario.ca/healthygreatlakes

EcoSuperior Environmental Programs

www.ecosuperior.org (English only)

 

(Également offert en français)

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