Nova Scotia

More contamination at former Sydney Radar Base

The Department of National Defence has discovered three new pockets of oil contamination in the ground at the former Radar Base in Sydney.

3 pockets of oil have been discovered, most likely from old underground storage tanks

The Department of National Defence has discovered three new pockets of oil contamination in the ground at the former Radar Base in Sydney. (CBC)

The Department of National Defence has discovered three new pockets of oil contamination in the ground at the former Radar Base in Sydney. The base was owned by DND until the early 1990s.

"We're down to one large pocket and a couple of small groundwater plumes," said Lisa Hampson, project manager for DND. "We will be installing socks in the wells which will essentially flood the site with oxygen and allow it to help clean itself."

The area has had problems with oil contamination before.

In 2004, oil was discovered leaking into the ground from old underground storage tanks.

By that point the property had been sold to the community development group New Dawn Enterprises.

DND assumed responsibility for the site again and started an $11 million dollar clean up in 2010.

Joy Gates, who lives near the site, said she's worried the newly discovered contamination could make its way onto her property.

"The ground does slope in this direction which is why we were concerned, yes, that the oil might come under the roadway and get to us," said Gates.

Hampson said she doesn't expect any of the contaminants to affect the properties near Gates.

New Dawn Enterprises still owns the property. Norma Boyd, director of operations for the group, said once the contamination is cleaned up, they can proceed with their plans for the site.

"Restoring the housing we lost, doing more housing development, doing another long term care facility, similar to our guest home we had recreational plans for a walking track and so on," said Boyd.

DND is going to begin cleaning up the remaining contaminants in the next few weeks.

The department is hopeful the final cleanup will be finished and the property turned back to New Dawn by the summer of 2013.

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