Hamilton city council will send a "strongly worded letter" to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for help cleaning up contaminated land around the Hamilton airport.

Councillors voted to write Harper expressing their displeasure with the way the government has handled the matter.

"They're just simply avoiding it," Coun. Brad Clark said Wednesday.

"There has been no response. They're pretty much blowing us off."

The property, formerly owned by the federal government, is contaminated with perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

The chemical is found in firefighting foam used when the federal government had a fire training area on the site. Airport firefighters from across Ontario trained there.

Coun. Terry Whitehead said the federal government not only owned the land, but approved the materials used during that time, and "now it's not taking responsibility for the cleanup.

"If you look at Nova Scotia with the tar sands, that was private industry and the federal government stepped in with dollars for something they had no linkage to."

With the airport land, "they're not stepping up to the plate to do what morally and ethically they should," he said.

The city estimates that remediation will cost as much as $3 million.