Government of Canada takes further action to clean-up the ḰEL¸SET (Reay) Creek Pond this summer
July 3, 2020 Sidney, British Columbia Transport Canada
A healthy waterway is essential for the well-being of fish who live there. Fish health is threatened when high concentrations of metals that don’t break down remain in the environment, threatening the marine food web.
Today, the Government of Canada awarded a contract to complete the second phase of the ḰEL¸SET (formerly Reay Creek) Remediation Project that will remove sediments with elevated levels of metals from this 200 metre long pond. Last summer, the first phase of creek sediment remediation was completed within the Victoria Airport boundary.
The pond clean-up work will begin this summer and is expected to be complete by fall 2020. The clean-up work involves diverting the creek around the pond area, excavating contaminated sediment in the pond, transporting the sediment to an approved facility for treatment/disposal, and backfilling the pond. It is estimated that approximately 3,900 cubic meters of sediment will be removed from the pond, which is about seven times more than the volume excavated during last year’s work.
The contract awarded to QM Environmental for $1,144,350 will be closely monitored by Transport Canada to ensure the safety of workers and the community. The work will be conducted in accordance with all federal and provincial guidelines, including those addressing COVID-19. Construction and environmental monitoring will be conducted throughout the project to ensure that clean-up activities comply with Town of Sidney bylaws and do not adversely impact the surrounding environment.
ḰEL¸SET is the Indigenous name for Reay Creek used by the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples. In recognition of this and in the spirit of reconciliation, the project name has been changed.
“Completing this phase of the ḰEL¸SET (Reay) Creek remediation project demonstrates our government’s commitment to remediating contaminated sites and protecting the environment. Cleaning-up the pond will reduce threats to the pond ecosystem and the food web, in addition to providing a healthier home for cutthroat trout and coho salmon.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
“Remediating the pollution caused by past actions is an important part in ensuring the future uses of this space for the community. By providing procurement and project management services for the second phase of this remediation project, Public Services and Procurement Canada is supporting this clean-up work safely while minimizing impacts to the environment and the local community.”
The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement
The ḰEL¸SET (Reay) Creek Remediation Project is funded through Canada’s Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP). FCSAP provides funding to assess and remediate federal contaminated sites and is coordinated by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
The remediation work will be restricted to a short window of time between the cutthroat trout and coho salmon’s critical spawning timeframe in the ḰEL¸SET (Reay) Creek.
The initial phase of the remediation project, conducted in 2019, removed and treated 923 tonnes of contaminated sediment from portions of the creek bed located on the Victoria Airport.
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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