Transport Canada has classified the heavy metal contamination in Reay Creek Pond as a priority for cleanup work.
Following meetings led by the Town of Sidney with members of a Reay Creek working group, Transport Canada reviewed data collected on the pond and creek of the same name. Studies conducted over the last three years have shown the pond is contaminated with heavy metals, exceeding safe levels, presumable deposited there after years of industrial activity at the airport. That prompted the Town to post warning signs.
According to Tim Tanton, Sidney Director of Engineering in Public Works, Reay Creek Pond was earlier in the fall made a Class 1 area in the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory.
“Which means the site will now have a higher priority for attracting federal government funding,” Tanton stated in an email.
Class 1 sites are considered high priority by Transport Canada. There are two other such sites on the Saanich Peninsula: the East Dumpsite on Victoria Airport Authority land adjacent to TenTen Creek and a site on the Tsawout First Nation. Both have received federal money for cleanup activities.
Tanton said Transport Canada will look at options in 2017 to either remediate the site or manage the contaminants in a different way.
“The Town expects that local residents will be consulted before an option is chosen,” he said.