Funding murky as lagoon clean-up continues

Wastes seen as major



The first phase of a clean-up of wastes

from the former Canadian International

Paper waste lagoon in Hawkesbury is

down in 1985, however, the adjacent

scheduled to be completed this summer.


However, money remains a murky factor

into residential units.



continues with the rehabilitation of the 40-

for the lagoon.

acre riverfront site.

At the time the mill closed, there were

“The work is expected to be completed by

no regulations in place requiring the

the summer of 2015, if we get the funding,”

company to clean it up. Waste disposal

said MNR regional engineer Mark Stephen

sites are now required by law to have

following a recent presentation to town

approved closure plans in place.


The completion of the clean-up and

the undertaking is not guaranteed since the

restoration will be followed by a period of

province is now governed by a minority

monitoring by the MNR.



But MNR district manager Ken Durst was

heavy metals. Plus, because the sludge

more optimistic.

includes hydrogen sulfide, thewaste often


emits unpleasant smells during the

An idea of what the former Canadian International Paper waste lagoon inHawkesbury


summer. In its present state, the lagoon is

is expected to look like when a clean-up of the 40-acre site is completed.

to move ahead,” he said.

considered to be a huge impediment to

The wastes are to be consolidated in one

developing large tracts of riverfront land.

$7,000 flood relief study

area and covered with earth, with the final

However, once the wastes have been

result being a recreational area. The “pilot

removed, the waterfront property would

construction” phase of the earthworks is

have great potential, a study presented to


Hawkesbury council in late 2007


to funding approval” and the go-ahead from


the environment ministry, full-scale

A development strategy envisages the

construction is scheduled to begin in the

establishment of housing and commercial

The town of Hawkesbury has awarded a $7,000 contract to a local engineering firm

summer of 2013.

ventures, such as a marina and a theatre,

to draw up a plan to resolve sewage backups that flood basements on Chamberlain

The current stage consists of partially

over the next 30 years on the 254 acres of


enclosing the work area with a gravel berm

privately-owned land west of the former

Levac Robichaud Leclerc Associates Ltd. had submitted the lowest of four tenders on

and investigating options for dredging,


the job to evaluate the problem and present a solution to the municipality.

relocating, and dewatering the wet cellulose

some of which are situated in Champlain

The municipality decided to act after receiving in October a petition signed by 11

materials from the lagoon.


residents demanding a remedy for the chronic troubles. The most recent backups in

Originally estimated at $20 million, the

The lagoon encloses an estimated

September caused heavy damage to nine homes at Lansdowne and Chamberlain Streets.

price tag of the partial clean-up of the basin

190,000 cubicmeters of sludge, which is 92


has since jumped to $31 million. The intent is



to divide the lagoon into two sections. Sludge

the paper mill demolition.

a preferred plan of action and a cost estimate.

will be pumped from the east lagoon to a

The sludge contains an assortment of Galerie Arbor Gallery Centre pour l’art contemporain Centre for Contemporary Art


substances, such as phosphorous, iron,

36, avenue Home, BP 869, Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0 1 877 616-5086

will then be covered.

boron, zinc, arsenic, chromium, copper,

Stephen related that the final design has

cadmium, toluene, benzo(A) antracene,

not yet been determined.


The Canadian International Paper

chrysene, dibenzo(ah)anthraracene,

Company began operations in the 1890s and

fluoranthene, fluorine, phenathrene.

continued until 1982 when it closed the mill.

Lagoon water also exceeds the town’s

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Most of the buildings on the site were torn

sanitary sewer discharge criteria for iron.


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