One of the worst environmental hot spots in Canada is right in our backyard. The Randle Reef site in the Hamilton harbour contains toxic coal tar and after decades of build up, the clean-up will switch into high gear. The first shipment of steel to build the wall around the dangerous sediments will arrive this month.
One million tones of coal tar is at the bottom of Randle Reef, enough to fill FirstOntario Centre three times over.
“The people of Hamilton are dying to see this project underway now and then completed. It’s the best of a terrible situation at this point.” Chris McLaughlin, Bay restoration council.
Preparations are being made to receive steel sheets over 100 feet in length. They are coming from Cambridge and Mississippi, the only two locations nearby that can fabricate the steel into the size needed for the engineered containment facility, a steel box that will hold toxic sediments at the bottom of the bay.
Randle Reef is located just west of US Steel Canada on the Hamilton harbour, it is the worst coal tar contaminated site in the country. After decades of research, planning and preparing the cost, finally the work for this project is underway. The steel walls of the container will be in place by 2019, at that point it will take another three years to cap the structure.
Once the Randle Reef facility is complete the land on top will be used as a port facility owned and operated by the Hamilton Port Authority. This approach of containing contaminated sediment and creating usable land is a first in Canada.