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GEOG 2EI3 (39)

Lecture 2- January 6th.docx

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McMaster University
Maureen Padden

Environmental Resources and Society IIthJanuary 6 2012Why sciencebasedExample of where science based method did not work really wello The Sydney Tar PondsSydney Tar Ponds in Sydney Nova Scotia Disappearing quicklybeing cleaned up400 million dollar solution was the most contaminated site in Canada Hamilton now has the most contaminated site in Canada Hamilton Harbour Randle ReefTar ponds are deposits of coal and iron ore due to coal mining and steel production o Coal tar byproduct of making steelCoke ovens coal was being baked at high temperatures to produce higher quality fuel source these sites are contaminated Area labeled as tar ponds was created by deposit of chemical byproducts form coking process runoff of water for cooling in coke ovens and steel mill and discharge of sewage from residential and commercial areasin late 80s lobster that was caught from these areas were found to have high amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAH and high in heavy metals such as lead and arsenico PAHs largest group of cancer causing chemicals in worldo Discovery of PAHs in those waters led to closure of lobster fishery in harbor Cleanup cost of such sites varied from 30 million40 million 400 millionThis estuary that was later known as the tar pond was divided by a causeway or bridge divide into the North and South tar pond o Two ponds contained sediments contaminated with PAH and PCBs polychlorinated biphenylsCoal tar deposits in the estuary want to clean it up o What are they going to do with itCan dig it up and move it somewhere ie landfillCan cap it with cement or clayBuries it in place rather than lifting it up and depositing it into a landfill Could burn it need to dig it up and then burn itTar Ponds and HealthConcern in 1980s about health concernsIn Sydney NS reduced life expectancy to be 5 years less than for Canadian population as a wholeSignificant higher cancer rates and CVD compared to rest of Canadapossible link to toxic wastes from coke ovens
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