Government of Canada and FCM support testing of on-site remediation measures at Greenwich Mohawk brownfield (22/06/2015)
Biopiles use oxygen, generally from air, to grow aerobic bacteria that will degrade organic petroleum-based contaminants in soil
Brantford, ON — Phil McColeman, MP for Brant, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, with Raymond Louie, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Acting Mayor of the City of Vancouver, BC, today announced a Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) grant of $175,000 for the City of Brantford. The City put the funding toward field testing of remediation techniques for a 20-hectare contaminated site.
"I am proud that our government continues to deliver concrete support for local efforts to clean up the Greenwich-Mohawk Brownfield and restore it to the community," said Brant MP Phil McColeman. "This funding represents another important step forward towards a renewed and revitalized Greenwich-Mohawk Lake District"
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically addresses the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Mr. Louie. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable."
An earlier GMF-funded site assessment found the site to be heavily contaminated from past industrial activities. The City will test three very different onsite ("in situ") approaches to treating 1,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil and groundwater:
- Biopiles are above-ground, engineered systems that use oxygen, generally from air, to stimulate the growth and reproduction of aerobic bacteria. The bacteria, in turn, degrade the organic petroleum-based contaminants in the soil.
- Air sparging will address the petroleum impacts to groundwater. It works by injecting air into the groundwater table and initiating the evaporation of water. Contaminants are removed from groundwater by physical contact with the air.
- Soil vapor extraction is used with the air sparging technique. It uses vertical or horizontal wells drilled near the source of contamination. A vacuum system draws the vapors through the soil to the extraction wells, where they are captured, treated and released.
These onsite techniques are being field-tested to meet the City's objectives of remediating the site, while cost-effectively minimizing negative impacts to the environment as well as the surrounding residential community. Conventional remediation involves the excavation, transportation, treatment and replacement of large amounts of soil. In situ treatment avoids most of the costs and environmental impacts of those activities. Depending on the outcome of the field test, one or more of these approaches could be applied to nearly half of the site, remediating it to levels appropriate for residential, recreational or institutional uses.
"We value FCM's support of this important initiative and take great pride in our role as a municipal leader in brownfield redevelopment," said Brantford Mayor Chris Friel. "The remediation of Greenwich Mohawk is a prime example of Brantford's continuous efforts to revitalize our community while ensuring environmentally responsible and sustainable growth."
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.