282 / 285 Ontario St. Update

282 / 285 Ontario St. Update

On December 5, 2022 the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and MTE presented to council regarding 282 and 285 Ontario St., and 10 Pleasant Ave.

The MECP presented the results from their site testing at four manhole locations: two at 282 Ontario St and one near Woodruff Ave. Results showed PCB levels at 282 Ontario St and 10 Pleasant Ave., significantly higher than the threshold. But at the Woodruff location, the results show a reduction in PCBs; PCBs levels were marginally above the threshold.

All parties agree that more needs to be done to deal with the legacy PCBs on the site.

MTE Consultants and Peters Construction provided a detailed overview of the cleanup and a communications plan with MECP and the City and a plan to stop the discharge of stormwater from the Site to the municipal storm system to be completed by March.

Councillors were allowed to ask questions of the MECP and MTE Consultants and Peters Construction. The presentations were informative and provided clear plans for dealing with the legacy PCBs on the site.

Key Takeaways

  • 2022 Woodruff Manhole PCB testing results lower than 2020
  • NPCA does regular testing of Twelve Mile Creek – results show non detects in creek. MECP is regularly updated by the NPCA on testing results.
  • Niagara Public Health believes there is no increased health to persons living in the vicinity
  • Temporary Stormwater Management System to be completed and commissioned by March 31, 2023

Site Safety & Clean-up Progress Highlights

  • Repair of fences and installation of hoarding around the site
  • Removal of large demolition debris piles (~16,000 tonnes)
  • Installing sediment control measures for catch basins and perimeter silt fencing
  • Cleanout of the 10 Pleasant Ave Oil/Grit Separator
  • Removal of Accumulated Storm Sewer Sediment
  • Demolition and Backfilling of 26 GM Machine Pits
  • Machine pits liquids were removed and transported off-site for disposal at a Ministry approved facility
  • Additional surface clean-up is being completed concurrent with pit backfilling

Testing and Stormwater Plan

  • Groundwater samples are being collected from monitoring wells across the entire site
  • Concentrations of PCBs in groundwater are below the Ministry’s residential land use standard
  • GM Machine Pit liquids were not identified as a source of PCBs
  • PCBs were detected in some concrete core and surface materials samples.
  • PCBs were detected in accumulated sediment in the storm sewer pipes.
  • A temporary Stormwater Management System will retain & control all surface stormwater onsite and will control the quantity and quality of water
  • Treatment is approved and governed by the MECP through an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).

The presentations were informative and a very positive step to helping inform and update residents on what has been accomplished so far and what the next steps are.

I appreciate all parties for their communication plans, the clean and site improvements so far. The plans for containing the water run off and the solution to manage and treat the legacy PCBs on the site are good news for residents living around the site, living downstream and for the entire city.

The reality is that it will be some time before the entire 56 acres are completed.  As a City, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to envision together what happens on Ontario St and we need to come together as a community to create this vision and be willing to all work together to achieve that vision.

To learn more about the Ontario Street Secondary Plan visit https://www.engagestc.ca/ontariostreetstudy.