Downtown section of Rideau Canal added to federal contaminated sites inventory - 1310 NEWS
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Downtown section of Rideau Canal added to federal contaminated sites inventory

Ottawa's Rideau Canal

OTTAWA — A section of the Rideau Canal from the Ottawa Locks to Bronson Street is now being listed on the federal contaminated sites inventory, based on findings from testing performed on the sediment on the bed of the canal.

Parks Canada also says this presents a very low risk to human health, since the contaminated sediment is trapped in the bed of the canal. It’s generally only a concern if someone were to have direct contact with the contaminated sediments.

They also say finding contaminated sediment in this section of the canal was not unexpected, since this stretch of the Rideau Canal has a long history of industrial use and is in the middle of a major urban area.

The full statement from Parks Canada, issued Thursday:
“Parks Canada has received the findings from testing performed on the contaminated sediment on the bed of the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa from the Ottawa Locks to Bronson Street. These tests were conducted to identify the scope and extent of contaminated sediment that were identified in January 2017 and to ensure that all appropriate environmental protection measures can be put in place to minimize future disruption of the contaminated sediment on the bed of the Rideau Canal.

Public safety is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. As the contaminated sediment is trapped in the bed of the canal, we wish to reassure the public that this presents a very low risk to human health. It is generally only a concern if someone were to have direct contact with the contaminated sediments on the bed of the Rideau Canal.

Parks Canada adheres to strict standards of environmental protection and will continue to provide safe and meaningful experiences to visitors along the entire length of the Rideau Canal – whether boating or paddling, or enjoying the National Capital Commission’s pathways and skateway along the Canal.

Based on the test results, this section of the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa from the Ottawa Locks to Bronson Street is now being listed on the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory. As this stretch of the Rideau Canal has a long history of industrial use and is in the middle of a major urban area, and given that other parts of the Rideau Canal are already listed on the Federal Contaminated Sites inventory, finding contaminated sediment in this section of the Canal was not unexpected.

Parks Canada will be working with Treasury Board and other partners, including the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission, to explore best practices regarding mitigation or remediation of the contaminated sediment in this section of the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa from the Ottawa Locks to Bronson Street.

Future construction work will proceed with appropriate mitigation measures in place to ensure environment protection and continued public safety.”

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