Released June 26, 1998

Environmental clean-up
of Harmon properties continues

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) is soliciting proposals from consulting firms for a contract to proceed with a Sediment Investigation Program and Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment of Noel's Pond and environs. In addition, a joint project is being initiated in conjunction with Transport Canada to undertake the decommissioning of fuel lines on the Harmon base property. A joint announcement was made today by Kevin Aylward, Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and MHA - St. George's-Stephenville East, representing Art Reid, minister responsible for NLHC, and Gerry Smith, MHA - Port au Port. It is expected that approximately $750,000 will be spent for this phase of the environmental clean-up.  

Mr. Aylward said: "Since first commissioning an environmental site audit in 1995, NLHC, as management agent for the provincial portion of the former Harmon properties, has continued to take a responsible approach to managing the environmental investigation and clean-up activities of its properties."  

Further detailed environmental site assessment of Noel's Pond water treatment plant area has been completed which included a Phase 3 field investigation and development of site remediation plans for the area. Reports indicate there is no known contamination of the water supply. "An estimated $1.5 million is scheduled to be spent on the Harmon base clean-up this year alone," Mr. Alyward said. "While this is a significant amount, it is important for us to keep pressure on the federal government to ensure that an adequate level of funding for the clean-up is secured." 

Underground fuel line location and mapping by AGRA Earth and Environmental Limited has also been concluded. The reports have provided information to allow for the proper decommissioning of the fuel lines which is to be undertaken in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport's work in clean-up of the airport properties. 

The proposal call now being announced will select a consultant to undertake sediment sampling of Noel's Pond and Phase 1, Environmental Site Assessment of land adjacent to the Noel's Pond water treatment plant area and assess future risk of contamination to the water supply. NLHC will be coordinating with the Ministry of Transport for a tender to decommission (drain and degas) the abandoned fuel lines which run through much of the Harmon area and intersect airport property. 

In addition to these clean-up activities, over the coming months further work is planned to review appropriate remediation options for the Noel's Pond water treatment plant site based on the Phase 3 report. As well, a Phase 3 Environmental Site Assessment and remediation plan will be conducted for the removal of a number of underground fuel storage tanks.  

NLHC will be accepting proposals at its head office located at 2 Canada Drive in St. John's. Interested proponents are invited to contact the Technical Services Division at 724-3022 to obtain an information package which outlines the conditions and responsibilities of tender call. Tenders will be accepted up 12:00 noon, Newfoundland time, Friday, July 17, 1998. 

For further information, contact: 
Jenny Bowring, Corporate Communications 
Telephone:  (709) 724-3055