In June 2012, City Staff responded to a reported spill in Centennial Park and
found a tar-like substance breaking out at ground level at random locations in
the park. Golder Associates was sole-sourced to investigate based on their
experience with similar issues in Canatara Park. On-site meetings were held with
representatives from the Ministry of the Environment and the Lambton Health Unit
and Golder recommended that the City proceed with a Phase I Environmental Site
The Phase I (ESA) was completed to review historical ownership and land uses on the site to determine potential contaminants. This report was submitted in November 2012 and Golder was retained to proceed with the Phase II ESA in May 2013 to conduct field work to identify and quantify contaminants.
During the Phase II ESA, contaminants (lead, hydrocarbons, asbestos, etc.) were discovered at varying depths and concentrations in the park (including in the topsoil layer), which led to fencing off the park, with adjustments made to the fencing as further analysis was conducted. Media releases were provided at these times with associated mapping.
During the Phase II investigation, the City proceeded with the Risk Assessment (RA) to address the potential health impacts, risk management measures and remediation options associated initially with the Legacy Project site and subsequently extended to the entire park. Work on the RA report commenced in July 2013.
On September 23, 2013, Golder Associates presented the initial findings of the Phase II ESA to City Council.
On November 8, 2013, City staff received the drafts of the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Report and the Risk Assessment (RA) Report which pertain to the entire Centennial Park Site. Staff is reviewing the draft reports; these reports are available on this web page for public reference.
On November 18, 2013 Golder Associates presented to Council the findings and available remedial measures determined through the environmental investigations on this site. The consultant responded to questions of Council. Council decided to consider next steps at their meeting of December 2, 2013.
On December 2, 2013, City Council approved moving forward with a third party review of the Risk Assessment Report. Council also approved City Staff proceeding with the Remedial Action Plan for Centennial Park.
On March 24, 2014, City Council received and released the remediation strategy plan and park concept plans for Cenntennial Park for public review and comment through the public engagement process.
On April 15, 2014, a public meeting was held in Council Chambers to present concepts and receive input.
On May 5, 2014, Council received the staff report for the finalization/presentation of the RAP document, which was presented for Council approval on June 30th, 2014.
On June 30, 2014, Staff presented the RAP report for Council approval to allow for the remedial works to commence in Centennial Park.
Following the approval of this plan by Council, Staff proceeded with grass cutting and a topographic survey of the entire park. Golder Associates collected and submitted bulk samples of grass clippings as well as samples from the cabin air filter of the tractor following grass cutting activities. As indicated in the report which is available on this web page, neither the grass samples nor the samples collected from the cabin air filter contained detectable concentrations of asbestos fibres.
Golder Associates also provided results of airborne fibre sample analysis collected during the grass cutting activities which took place over the course of two days at Centennial Park. The samples were collected to evaluate the possible disturbance of asbestos in the soil resulting in the potential release of airborne fibres at the Site during the grass cutting activities. Based on the results provided in the report, analyses determined that there were no detectable asbestos fibres in either of the samples collected.
On September 8, 2014, Council accepted the offer from Murray Demolition to demolish the H.G. MacLean Building in Centennial Park. This building has been abandoned since March, 2011. Murray Demolition has offered to demolish the building at no cost and demolition is expected to take place in October, 2014.