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Brownfield redevelopment on the west coast


Cleaning up and redeveloping old industrial sites (brownfields) may not at first seem directly connected to waste management, but recycling contaminated soil is just as important a “waste management” matter as recycling aluminum cans and kitchen scraps.
I think this news item from BC neatly summarizes interesting developments in the realm of brownfields redevelopment on the west coast. My only concern is that I philosophically don’t like to see taxpayers subsidize the cost of redeveloping polluted lands, and think polluters should pay. That being said, I recognize that government can act as a partner and “catalyst” for getting projects underway that can yield a net benefit. Anyway, here’s the news item (and you can learn more about brownfields in our “Brownfields Marketplace” supplement to our quarterly HazMat Management magazine):

HEMMERA CONGRATULATES COMMUNITY OF SQUAMISH IN NEXT PHASE OF BROWNFIELD REVITALIZATION

Vancouver, BC – June 14, 2011 – Hemmera congratulates the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC)’s GBA site on being one of 14 redevelopment projects accepted into the 2011 Brownfield Funding Renewal Program, administered by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Formerly used for industrial operations such as railway and logging, this site will benefit greatly from funding. This will feed into the site’s proposed renewal as a residential area as part of the SODC’s overall park, employment and residential development plan for the 59 acres of former industrial land extending from downtown Squamish and forming a peninsula fronting Howe Sound, the Mamquam Blind Channel and the Cattermole Slough.
This acceptance is an enormous opportunity for the District of Squamish. SODC Board Chair Bill McNeney enthused, “This exciting project is an important part of the redevelopment and renewal plan for the SODC lands. The SODC is grateful to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for their significant contribution towards bringing this project into reality and initiating a key transformational step for the Community of Squamish.”
Brownfield Renewal Funding will move the environmental investigation and remediation process forward at this Site, with funding granted specifically for Stage 1 and 2 Preliminary Site Investigations and a Detailed Site Investigation. Hemmera project staff have previously worked with the SODC on different parts of these Brownfield lands, including managing the decontamination and decommissioning of a former waste water treatment plant (the ‘Blue Barn’, which received 2010 Brownfield Renewal Funding), and the application for an approval under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for the development of an Oceanfront Park. “We’re thrilled that SODC received this funding. It will allow them to address more of their Brownfield areas, ultimately contributing towards the development of this unique and sustainable community” says Greg Quandt, Business Leader at Hemmera, who has facilitated work between Hemmera’s planning and management, and engineering and sciences groups, on behalf of the SODC.
The final step in the project process could include an application for a Certificate of Completion from the BC Ministry of the Environment, the awarding of which would signify that the risks associated with the site have been addressed. Once a Certificate is obtained, the site will be ready to be re-incorporated into the community of Squamish, and will help create a vibrant, sustainable, world-class “work-live-recreate” community showcasing the spirit, cultural heritage, and values of surrounding Squamish citizens.
Contact Information:
Claire Lewis, Senior Environmental Engineer
clewis@hemmera.com
About Brownfield Funding Renewal Program
Since the Brownfield Funding Renewal Program’s inception in 2007, 44 projects in 32 communities have received $3.4 million to support Brownfield redevelopment. As one of 14 successful projects in 2011, the GBA Site Renewal project has received $121,500 of funding towards the revitalization of this Brownfield, which will provide economic, environmental, and social benefits for the community of Squamish. www.sodc.ca
About Hemmera
Hemmera is a boutique environmental consulting firm that is recognized for its strong client focus, diverse expertise, and technical excellence. We act as a trusted partner to our clients, providing solutions that safeguard the environment and the community, while advancing economic opportunities. The strength of our team has made us the firm of choice for some of the largest environmental projects in Western Canada. Hemmera is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. www.hemmera.com


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