In Canada, city officials fear that asbestos is in a wider portion of an Ontario park's soil.
A city manager stated that there are traces of asbestos in all tests results, which included 131 holes. Earlier this year in mid-May, tests revealed asbestos in the soil near the playground, which prompted the city to take safety precautions by fencing a large portion of Centennial Park. Half of the park, where Sarnia's summer festivals are usually held, is closed off to the public.
Now, the city will work with the Ministry of the Environment and the Medical Officer of Health to make a risk assessment. There are many options for a remediation plan, but the city manager said they did not know which plan of action was appropriate to take at this time.
The issue has gained high priority on the public radar since it is a popular venue featuring annual community competitions, particularly the Communities in Bloom competition on July 21.
For more than six decades, the designated area that is now known as Centennial Park was one of Ontario's major resources for salt.
In 1903, Empire Salt Co. began producing salt there and later closed in 1964 under Was Domtar Chemicals' Sifto Salt Division. There were ten salt wells drilled at the site and three were still being operated when it closed. In 1966, The Observer reported wells leaking of natural gas and it had to be re-capped. Soil saturated with salt was removed and replaced with dredged material from Sarnia Harbor, which was then covered with topsoil. The park officially opened the year after.
More information will be released in the coming days.
What happens to asbestos drilling mud?
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SOURCE: Dobson, Cathy. "City Gets Test Results Back Confirming More Widespread Contamination." Theobserver.ca. Sarnia Observer, 17 June 2013. Web. 17 June 2013. <http://www.theobserver.ca/2013/06/17/city-gets-test-results-back-confirming-more-widespread-contamination>.