This week, the removal of asbestos containing material (ACM) from lot 106 in the New Development Area of town resumed as part of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake’s (MCK) larger asbestos remediation strategy.
“This was in the works since last year,” said MCK chief and the lead on the Asbestos Working Group, Cody Diabo. “It was approved last November, but because of the weather conditions, we were only able to clean up one lot, and that was in January,” he continued.
However, the work that was started in January was not completed, and so the removal company, Sanexan Environmental Services Inc. first had finished it before starting on two new houses.
“Today (June 10), they should be starting a new lot,” said Diabo.
According to Diabo, all necessary precautions and processes were taken and meet or exceed the regulations governing such matters.
The lots were fenced up with tarpaulins to reduce dust, and all soil is being watered before being removed.
Diabo said that homeowners and their neighbours were advised of the work beforehand.
Lots are being cleaned one at a time, and the work is expected to take approximately three weeks, according to MCK.
Diabo explained that once a lot has been cleaned out, the material is then transported to a specialized facility in Drummondville.
“Sanexan recommended the removal of everything, including the soil. The removal is about 18 inches to three feet, generally, depending on how much soil the property has and the size of the lot,” said Diabo.
The cost of the removal of the two lots, including the disposal of the material and the workforce, is in the ballpark of $150,000, said Diabo.
“Some of the lots were pre-approved before, based on the information we had then, but since then, we have gathered more information, so we have hired a consultant to give us a global remediation strategy and a plan of attack. That is what we are going to utilize now. They estimated at least a month before we have that plan of attack.”
The MCK hired Arcadis Canada, a global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm.
The remediation work was halted first by the rail blockade and then by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why it has taken time for MCK to address the problem, according to Diabo.
Because the MCK is still waiting for the remediation strategy to be completed by Arcadis, Diabo couldn’t provide a timeline for the next phase of the clean-up.
“There is a wide range of options, and we are looking into all of this. The cost factor needs to be considered as well. We really want to make sure that we have all possible options in front of us so that we can decide what is the best avenue for the community at this point,” he said.
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