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The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) is continuing with its efforts to remediate and remove asbestos containing material (ACM) from the community.
On Tuesday, test pits were dug within the Lot 106 area of town in order to assess soil quality and determine whether ACM was still present.
MCK chief Cody Diabo, who is in charge of the file, said that the test pits would help Council to arrive at a final remediation strategy.
“Arcadis will be going in roughly a quarter-acre lot and will dig about four test pits. They are trying to determine the amount of spill that was brought there until they hit natural soil,” said Diabo.
The MCK is working with Arcadis Inc to develop the strategy and determine the actual cost of remediation and removal of all ACM material from the community. In November 2019, MCK announced that it might cost up to $25 million.
Now, it appears that it could be less, according to Diabo.
Diabo also said that most of the areas in Lot 106 that will be tested are vacant, which makes the job easier for construction crews.
“We were hoping to get this done prior – but COVID-19 constraints and resources caused a delay. But we are getting it done now,” he said.
According to MCK, once this work is completed, there will be other phases during the spring and summer as well. A coordinator from the Kahnawake Environment Protection Office (KEPO) will be on-site to provide their expertise.
“KEPO will play a role whenever they can, and they will also panelize the information when it comes in for the ACM working group,” said Diabo.
The chief acknowledged that the entire situation has had the community on “edge” but stressed that everybody involved is working really hard to arrive at a final resolution.
“We are hoping to have a video posted to show the community what this work entails. In the past, people may have seen fences up – air sampling being done- and in this case- there’s going to be no fences being put up,” he said.
The holes will be refilled right after the samples are taken. On Tuesday, six holes were dug up.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience with this – it’s been a long process,” he said.
The work will take three weeks to complete.
Hydro Line 2 decommissioning project
On Tuesday, soil from the JFK Quarry was moved to different locations along Hydro Line 2 after the work was approved by the Land Office at MCK, and KEPO.
“The towers are coming out, and with them is some contaminated soil at the base of the towers and then also the foundation for the towers,” said Patrick Ragaz, the general manager of Field Science at KEPO.
Once the removal is complete, the holes will be refilled with the soil coming from the JFK Quarry.
“The soil is being disposed of outside of the community at a licensed facility,” said Ragaz.
Depending on the weather conditions, the work will take about eight weeks to complete.