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Great Lakes Article:

Successful Remediation of Thunder Bay Harbour Contaminated Sediment Site Creation of the Northern Wood Preservers Alternative Remediation Concept (NOWPARC)
Environment Canada
Posted September 20, 2005

THUNDER BAY, Ontario, September 20, 2005 - MP Joe Comuzzi, on behalf of the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of the Environment; MPP Michael Gravelle, on behalf of the Honourable Laurel Broten, Ontario Environment Minister; and industry representatives announced today the completion of a $20 million cleanup of contaminated sediment around the Northern Wood Preservers' site in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This site, where wood preserving activities took place for more than 60 years, was one of the most contaminated sediment sites in Canada.

"The restoration and protection of the Great Lakes Ecosystem is a high priority for the Government of Canada and part of Project Green, our policy for environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness", said Mr. Comuzzi. "Our government remains dedicated to ensuring a healthy Great Lakes environment and to working domestically and with the United States to protect the Great Lakes. The successful competition of this project in Thunder Bay is an example of our dedication and commitment."

"This project demonstrates our government's commitment to protecting the Great Lakes system", said Mr. Gravellle. "It is important to balance growth and economic strength with the need to protect Ontario's sensitive environment. I commend all the partners involved in this project for their hard work and dedication to Thunder Bay Harbour."

The cleanup of the site was possible through the combined efforts of Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Abitibi-Consolidated Inc., Northern Wood Preservers Inc. and Canadian National Railway Company.

"This project is an example of the type of collaboration of which we are extremely proud", said Francine Dorion, Vice-President of Environment and Sustainability at Abitibi-Consolidated. "By being able to draw upon the diverse skills and technical abilities of our member parties, the team was able to bring a complex environmental project to completion. We all learned and the Great Lakes environment benefited. It was a powerful example of how synergy can be created through commitment, perseverance, goodwill, knowledge and effort."

This project, referred to as the Northern Wood Preservers Alternative Remediation Concept (NOWPARC), isolated the contaminant source, cleaned up the contaminated sediment, and enhanced fish habitat. Long-term monitoring of the sediment and fish habitat is ongoing to track the continued recovery of the harbour.

Sediment contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorophenols, dioxins and furans around Northern Wood Preservers contributed to the Thunder Bay Harbour being designated as an Area of Concern in 1985 under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Governments, industry and the public have since joined to develop a Remedial Action Plan that identified water use goals and initiatives for the remediation of the harbour.

For details regarding the NOWPARC project, refer to the "NOWPARC Sediment Remediation Project" booklet. To learn more about Canadian Remedial Action Plans for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern, visit To learn more about the Canada-Ontario Agreement respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA), visit To learn more about the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, visit

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